Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Avoid the Heat

Our hot dry weather continues and I have heard the word "drought" mentioned recently. Make sure you make the most of your watering… early morning and early evening is best. Avoid the heat of the day especially when it comes to your lawns. If you water your lawn during the heat of the day especially during these very hot days, much of the water will evaporate before ever making it to the roots of your lawn.

On Monday, we taped this week’s segment on the University of Minnesota - St. Paul Campus as part of my month long visit of great gardens that you can visit. Located on the north side of the campus (on the corner of Gortner and Folwell) is a great educational/training garden. It was great to go back to a garden that I spent many hours working in as a Horticulture student some 20 years ago. The garden is totally different now - bigger with more structures and some paved walkways.

The garden is about three acres in size. It hosts a wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Nearly all the plants are labeled - so they can be easily identified and most are available on the market. One of the many things I like about this garden in addition to the fact that it’s free is that it’s really a test garden. Once the plants - especially the annuals are planted, they are left alone, besides normal care. If they get a disease or have an insect problem, they are not pulled out and replaced. You are able to see how these plants perform under normal conditions and even vote for your favorites. Previous years favorites are listed on florifacts.umn.edu. If you are near the St. Paul Campus of the U of M, bring your note pad and check this garden out.

Try to stay cool - I’ll have more for you later this week.