American Summer

American Summer

Our gardens are going through a seasonal transition; it’s called American Summer—no longer the cool season.  For the Gulf Coast, American summer starts in late April and runs through late June.  Gardening expert Bill Finch says it’s classic summer, what summer is like in other parts of the country, what you think of when you think summer.  We have other summers that go beyond this.

This is the time to pull out cool season plants like kale, yellow squash, and sugar snap peas.  This is the time for beans, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes.

You don’t mulch during the cool season because you want the ground to warm as quickly as possible.  American Summer is the time for mulching…just leaves that your neighbors put on the street will do.

This is also the time to make some changes for your lawn.  The most important thing you can do is RAISE THE LAWNMOWER BLADE.  It’s okay to cut the grass short in early spring, but now the blade has to go up.  If you have St. Augustine grass, raise to the highest height.  Any less and Bill says you’ll lose it.  Even with centipede grass, raise the blade to between two-thirds and three-quarters of the way to the top.  Grass needs the extra blade area right now…it’s how they feed themselves during a time of fast growth.  As Bill says, it’s not like cutting off someone’s hair when you mow, it’s like cutting off a vital organ for the plant.

Learn more by calling Bill’s radio show Sunday mornings from 9-11 on 106.5FM or email plaingardening@yahoo.com.

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