Inventory your garden before fall

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 09:10 AM.

Summer is also a good time to observe the beneficial effects of mulching.  If you mulched your spring garden, you’ll notice that you have very few weeds.  Whereas your neighbor’s unmulched garden might be overrun with a difficult weed problem.  Nematode injury is also much milder on mulched vegetables.  While nematodes will attack mulched vegetable, their effects are not as severe, because of the healthier root zone of the mulched plants.

The most striking observation you’ll make about mulching is the way it controls soil moisture.  Vegetables grown on unmulched hot, sandy Florida soils will droop and wilt, while those grown in mulch gardens will stand tall.  I’ve seen all kinds of things used for mulching including the traditional oak leaves, pine straw, hay and wood shavings.

Some gardeners even used old tire in their gardens.  The tires were placed on the ground, and tomato plants, two or three per tire, were planted inside the tire.  As the plant grows, the tomatoes could rest on the tires, rather than on the ground, which will possibly reduce fruit rots.

For more information on weed killers contact the Gulf County Extension Service @ 639-3200 or visit our website  or www.

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