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Somerset County Master Gardeners Newsletter July 2012

Wow! It’s July already and hopefully your gardens are doing well. Now all we have to do is look out for those things that want to harvest it before we get the chance, such as woodchucks, deer, and insects, and, of course, try to keep ahead of the weeds! If you would like information on dealing with wildlife in you gardens, see Cornell University Wildlife Publications Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheets. Or for insects and weeds, please visit the UMaine Extension’s Home & Garden Pest Identification and Management website. No wonder gardening is such fun. Gardening fills each day with new and interesting challenges. Well, the 4th of July celebrations are coming up. Hopefully you will get to do some of your favorite things over the holiday weekend and the weather cooperates.

July is the month to

  • Pull weeds before they set seeds and then add mulch over the soil to reduce future weed growth and to reduce fungal disease spores from splashing onto plant foliage. The mulch will also preserve soil moisture. The earlier you can reduce the weed population the better.
  • July can be a dry month, so be prepared to water. The garden needs an inch to an inch and a half of water per week. For homeowners with gutters on your roof, consider installing a rain barrel beneath your downspout to collect the water coming off the roof. It is a great way to supplement the supply of water you use in the garden. If you missed the June newsletter on trickle irrigation, the following information can help to save your back from lugging all that water: Bulletin #2160, Trickle Irrigation: Using and Conserving Water in the Home Garden.
  • Check your vegetable and flower gardens for insect or disease pests. At least once weekly, on a dry day go into the garden to search for possible problems. Remember that early detection is the key to solving many garden problems. Don’t know what is causing damage? Bring a sample into your local University of Maine Cooperative Extension county office or send us a digital picture of the problem. Also check out UMaine Extension’s Pest Management for Homeowners website.
  • Time to plant a fall vegetable crop? If you find yourself with space in your garden now, you still have time to plant for a fall crop and keep those areas productive. Beans, radishes, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, and kale are a few of the plants that you can try for fall. If you’re worried about an early frost, check out Bulletin #2761, Gardening in Small Spaces.

Disease & Pest alert

 July is the time for Rose Chafers and Japanese Beetles!

  • The Rose Chafer is usually one of the first significant adult pests that we see chomping on the foliage of many of our trees, flowering shrubs, and berries, as well as grapes and others. Arriving in mid- to late June, they usually come in about two or three weeks before the adult Japanese Beetles emerge to start their feeding frenzy!
  • And Japanese Beetle (UMaine Extension) for more information.
  • For the latest information on Late Blight of potato and tomato, visit UMaine Extension’s The Bug Reporter. Or you may also report or track the latest Late Blight outbreaks at USAblight.

Items of interest

  • As our climate changes we seem to be hearing about more invasive insects that we need to be on the lookout for in our state. The Winter Moth is one of those and it was recently discovered in Harpswell, Maine. For more information on this invasive and much more, please visit the Maine Forest Service website.
  • For those of you interested in climate and temperature change, The Heat Is On is a report by Climate Central, on temperature change by state over the past 100 years and by decade. Take a look and see for yourself that Maine is heating up.
  • Are you seeking out information on processing food from your garden but just can’t get to a workshop to see how it’s done? UMaine Extension has informational videos on how to use and preserve fresh fruits and other wonderful Maine grown produce for processing and preserving, along with many useful Food & Health publications.
  • If you’ve ever wondered about those common gardening tips that worked fine, were passed down through the ages, but don’t seem to have the same results for you today, Busting Common Gardening Myths from the National Gardening Bureau has some interesting information.

Upcoming events

  • UMaine Extension Somerset County office in Skowhegan will host following program on Hot Water Bath Canning and Freezing.

Date: July 18, 2012
Topic: Hot Water Bath Canning and Freezing
Location:UMaine Extension Somerset County Office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan
Time: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: $12 (scholarships are available)
For more information or to register: call Tammy Bodge-Terry at 207-474-9622 or tammy.bodge@maine.edu
Taught by: Felicia Dumont, Food Preservation Program Aide

  • Do you want to know more about growing small grains or forage practices? If so the UMaine Small Grain and Forage Field Day is your chance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
5:30 to 8:00 PM (registration starts at 5:15)
University of Maine Rogers Forage and Crops Research Farm
Stillwater, Maine (1.5 miles from I-95 Exit 193)

Please join us to learn about:

  • Small grain varieties for organic production (wheat, spelt, flax)
  • Wheat and spelt varieties for later fall planting
  • Growing flax for feed to alter milk quality
  • Summer slump pasture forages
  • Fitting wheat into dairy rotations
  • Pre-plant nitrogen sources for organic bread wheat yield and quality
  • Nitrogen topdressing decision tools for organic bread wheat
  • Microbial soil inoculants for wheat: farm-produced and purchased

Thank you!

To all the  UMaine Extension Somerset County Master Gardener Volunteers for giving of their time to work in the community and here at the office in Skowhegan. A special thanks to Mark Whitney for taking time out from his own business and family filled calendar to find time to spruce up our landscape here at the office. Also to Cheryl Perkins for her help in volunteering to help with the Extension Raised Bed/Container Garden Series here at the office, along with our other gardens growing vegetables to be donated to local resources. Thank you to Shelia Farrin for putting together the Container Gardening demonstrations that she and other Master Gardeners have been doing for groups, such as the Senior Companions and the Redington Fairview General Hospital Free Clinic function.

Once again THANK YOU All and have a great July 4th holiday!

 

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