With the summer weather upon us, slugs are having a field day. They eat holes in the leaves of many vegetable, annual, and perennial plants. There are many chemical and nonchemical controls for slugs, including a new one that contains iron phosphate as the active ingredient. The slugs eat the pellets and die, yet the iron phosphate doesn\'t harm other wildlife or the environment.
As lettuce continues to grow, thin out the largest heads to eat. This will create space for the younger heads to fill out. After harvesting, water the lettuce bed with a solution of seaweed mix and water to stimulate more leafy growth.
As your peony blooms fade, snip off the dead blossoms. Removing the dead blossoms will not only make the bush more attractive, it will allow the plant to send more energy to the leaves and roots and less to producing seed. Keep plants well watered through the summer.
Continue harvesting strawberries, removing any berries that show signs of grey mold or rot diseases. These berries not only are inedible, but they quickly spread the diseases to other ripening fruits. Pick and remove the rotten berries and mulch under plants with straw to reduce contact with the ground where the disease spores reside.
Weed and Mulch
This month is a critical time for weeding annual flower beds and vegetable gardens. If gardens are kept weed-free now, there will be less weeding to do the rest of the summer. After thoroughly weeding the garden, spread a 4 to 6 inch thick layer of hay or straw mulch around plants to prevent weeds from returning.