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Summer Care For The Garden

A man practices air rescue in an anti-terrorism drill held at the Heilongjiang Stadium in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2006. Policemen from different departments cooperated in the drill. China continues its preparations for the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.
AP Photo/Xinhua, Lu Ming
During the hot humid summer months, your garden is highly susceptible to disease, fungus and damage from pests. Gardening Contributor Georgia Raimondi of The Saturday Early Show offered some advice on how to care for your garden this season, inviting us into her own yard.

Roses:

  • There is a very specific way to deadhead spent blossoms. Cut off spent blossoms about one-quarter of an inch above the nearest leaf with five leaflets.

  • Watering: Insects and disease prey first on roses that are stressed by lack of water, food, and poor drainage. Roses need at least an inch of water a week. Never water roses at night; it's a sure way to create fungus and spread foliage disease.

    Placing a soaker hose around the roses for a drip irrigation method of watering works best. Place rough textured shredded cedar mulch or cedar chips around roses. Not only will this disguise the soaker hose, but will also prevent spores on the ground from splashing onto the leaves during rain.

  • Mildew: To protect against powdery mildew, spray roses once a week with a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of ultrafine horticultural spray oil and 1 gallon of water. To avoid spreading diseases, it is important to remove and pick up fallen infected leaves.
Pest control for roses and other flowers: Insecticides are indiscriminate. If you use chemical insecticides, you will kill off all the good bugs in your garden, too, which will lead to additional insect infestations.

Ladybugs are one of the best control predators of many garden insects. They'll reduce harmful aphids and other insects quickly and naturally. Release the ladybugs in groups at night (when there is less chance of their flying off) in the garden.

You can also try a ladybug attractant. Just place a few drops on tree trunks and trellises, and it will help lure hundreds of these great predators to your garden.

The praying mantis also is a good garden friend. You can hatch scores of them by buying a case of their eggs and allowing them to hatch in your shrubbery.

For slugs, a trap is available that improves on the old "beer and can" method. The trap keeps the beer bait fresh, and it can kill as many as 50 slugs and snails every night.

With suburban sprawl, deer have become a real nuisance in many regions of the United States. A single deer (and where there's one, there are usually hordes) can ravage an entire flower and vegetable garden and strip trees and shrubs bare.

Deer spray tastes of things like garlic and hot pepper. If you spray it on your plants, deer won't want to eat them. Deer pouches are hung on trees and shrubs, emitting a citrus scent that turns deers off.

Deer fence: A temporary polypropylene fence. Attach a few strips of Mylar to startle the deer and help to keep them at a distance.
The items featured on this segment came from the Gardener's Supply Company, 1-800-427-3363.
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