| 8/19/2019 7:46:00 PM

Country MoonAt this time of year, the garden is coming into all of its glory. Well, it should. After all, it has been planted (sometimes replanted), fertilized, weeded, watered, sprayed for insects, mites, fungus and more. It has literally been babied so that it will produce.

For all of us folks who love to be in the garden, it is easy to overdo, both physically and garden-wise. Micromanage means to supervise every small step and some of us tend to do this with the garden. We tend to forget that nature provides a balance and sometimes, by trying to help, we do more harm than good.

A case in point is watering. Yes, everything needs water to flourish but not everything needs the same amount. My garden has sandy soil which can wick away moisture in no time. Where heavier ground would be saturated by a heavy rain for a couple days, the same amount of rain will drain through sandy soil in less than a day. So, it does need to be watered more often, but not as a whole. Each plant variety has its own moisture needs.

I learned this lesson the hard way with my peppers. They do like a drink, but not nearly so much as other plants. For years, I watered them every day, especially when they were flowering and making peppers. I was always disappointed when I had hardly any peppers those years. When I learned to let them have their drier soil, they blessed me with numerous fruits.

A few years ago, I literally cooked my tomatoes before I picked them. It was during a hot, steamy stretch of weather and the vines were withered in the middle of the afternoon. Instead of waiting until the cooler evening hours, I watered them in the hot afternoon by spraying water directly onto them. The cold water literally cooked the over-heated foliage and damaged the plants for the rest of the season. Even though they were withered, waiting a few more hours would have been better for them than trying to remedy the situation immediately. I “helped” too much!

The same goes for fertilizer. The first thought is to add nutrients, lots of nutrients, as soon as you can after planting and to keep doing so week after week. Sometimes less is more. Just like when we overeat, we do not do our best and the same is true for plants.

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