Eliminate places where water can collect

Ample rainfall helps to create ideal breeding conditions for summer’s greatest pest — the mosquito. Homeowners should be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect in their yards and gardens, including birdbaths.

COURTESY PHOTO/HermanAuer

Last week’s bountiful rainfall was a welcome occurrence — at least that was my opinion.

However, a local broadcast station meteorologist summed it up as being a dreary week.

Excuse me, but we are still working our way out of a drought, and the temperatures were quite high at times.

My gardening notes reminded me that daytime temps had passed the triple digit mark during this time last year.

The arrival of July means the heat and humidity are settling in as the summer season gets underway.

A little care now will not only help your plants withstand the rigors of summer weather, it also will reward you with a flush of color later on during the late summer and fall seasons.

Critical gardening activities for July include the following:

Weed control seminar

Do you have a bumper crop of plants growing in landscape beds that you did not plant? Is your lawn more weeds than grass? What can you do about problem weeds that are taking over your yard?

Master Gardener AnnaWygryss will provide a seminar from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July 19 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located at 4102 Main in La Marque (Carbide Park).

There is not a fee, but preregistration is required by emailing galv3@wt.net or calling 281-534-3413, Ext. 12 to ensure availability of handout material.

Gardening health, safety tips

Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Whether you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety are always important. Daytime temperatures are gradually increasing.

The following are some guidelines to follow when trying to beat the heat:

Gardeners need to make an effort to stay hydrated by drinking water often — even if you’re not thirsty. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol.

Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day — and yes, this includes gardening.

Avoid overexertion. Take frequent rests while you work outside.

Wear light-colored clothing to reflect the heat. Apply a sun screen to exposed skin.

Pay attention to signs of heat-related illnesses, including high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness.

Where possible, garden with a friend. The Master Gardeners practice a buddy system when gardening at the Horticulture Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park. Everyone should keep an eye on everyone else for signs heat-related problems and encourage frequent water and rest breaks.

When it comes to heat-related illness while working in the garden, prevention is the best medicine.

Taller lawns

Given last week’s ample rainfall and warming temperatures, lawn growth is entering overdrive.

Check the cutting height of your lawn mower. Consider raising the lawn mower blade to a higher setting. The higher the cutting height, the less lawn grass is stressed — resulting in a healthier lawn.

Mosquitoes

Ample rainfall helps to create ideal breeding conditions for summer’s greatest pest — the mosquito.

Some of the most effective ways to reduce mosquito populations involve taking simple actions that prevent mosquitoes from reproducing.

Mosquito larvae can develop in as little as a tablespoon of standing water that remains for as little as one week.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water so homeowners should be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect in their yards and gardens.

To help reduce mosquito populations, drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, flower pots or any other containers where water has collected.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.