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Green Speak

Horticulture topics from gardens to lawns and then some.

Garden Update – Mid August 2015

What's going on in the garden this week? Here is a snapshot of observations and questions coming into the Extension office.

Out in the Garden

  • Here in Illinois the rains stopped early July and have been sparse ever since. Gardens have needed supplemental water.
  • With the abundance and then lack of rain we've lots of soil cracking. With all that rain how could our soils be so dry so soon that they are cracking? The overabundance of rain saturated our soils, pushing much of the air out. As the soil dried the lack of pore space caused excessive cracking to occur. This can be good as these cracks are allowing oxygen back into the soil.
  • The lack of air in the soil has led to very compacted conditions. The rain kept gardeners inside early in the season, now as gardeners get out to weed and tend plantings, they are finding soil as tight as concrete. For lawns hollow-core aerating will be useful to reduce compaction.
  • It's time to transition to fall containers and fall vegetable crops. The high tunnel has been seeded with turnips, spinach, and carrots.
  • Prime time for rehabbing lawns. For Central Illinois, hollow core aerate, overseed and fertilize, from August 15 to September 15.
  • Cherry tomatoes came out. Waiting on one final harvest of the sauce tomatoes and those will be pulled.
  • Hops harvest has begun.

Homeowner Questions – Mid August

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