Author Archive

Armyworm Infestation Management Tips

Friday, July 29th, 2022

Armyworm Infestation Management Tips from J&N Feed and Seed.The Fall Armyworm definitely lives up to its name— Given their immense appetite, great numbers, and marching ability, armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days. Armyworms are on the march so come see us at J&N Feed and Seed for the right insecticide solutions for your pasture crops.

Two species of armyworms can be significant pests of Texas forage and pasture production. The “true” armyworm is more of a spring pest of cool-season grasses and tall fescue. The fall armyworm is a summer/fall pest primarily of Bermuda grass, but it can also damage fall-seeded, newly established winter annuals, fescue, and orchard grass.

Damage from true armyworms and fall armyworms can seem to appear overnight. Although the damage might appear overnight, larvae have likely been feeding for a week or more before they or their damage appears. Large armyworms may move into an uninfested field (or area of field) adjacent to a field that was just defoliated. Because armyworms are so destructive and compete with livestock for forage, producers should diligently scout susceptible fields for the true armyworm beginning in April and for fall armyworms beginning in July.

At J&N Feed and Seed, we’ve got solutions for armyworm control. There are several different pesticides that can be used to control armyworms in pastures and hayfields. Stop by J&N Feed and Seed and together, we’ll come up with a plan to win the war on armyworms. Read more about managing armyworms here.

11 Tips to Curb Heat Stress in Cattle

Friday, July 29th, 2022

Water, shade, and the right nutrition helps mitigate heat stress in cattle. Take proactive steps to mitigate its impact on your herd.Water, shade, and the right nutrition can help mitigate heat stress in cattle.

The weather report says it’s going to be a scorcher, and sure enough – the temperatures start steadily climbing. Cattle start grouping in shady spots. A few cows start panting to stay cool. The flies settle in. And, suddenly, you’ve got a herd struggling with heat stress.

The heat may be unavoidable, but you can take proactive steps to mitigate its impact on your herd. First, let’s look at the dangers of heat stress in cattle.

When temperatures rise

Cattle have sweat glands, but it’s not a very efficient way for them to cool off. Instead, they rely on respiration, or opening their mouths and panting, to help them dissipate heat. When it’s 80 degrees or hotter out, their ability to regulate their own temperature becomes a big challenge. You start to see behavior changes – more time in the shade, less time grazing, and increased water consumption.

To make the heat even more challenging:

  • A cow’s rumen activity naturally increases body heat. Fermentation occurs in the rumen, producing heat as bacteria break down and digest forages.
  • Cattle seek shade to help keep cool. Grouping up in the shade sometimes has the reverse effect and creates a lot of radiant heat between cows. The thermometer might read 90 degrees, but the temperature in the middle of the group could be much hotter.
  • Crowded cattle attract more flies, causing animals to move even closer together to protect themselves.
  • Animals with dark hides have a higher risk of suffering heat stress than those with lighter-colored hides.

Suddenly your herd feels overheated and cattle are less likely to graze.

When grazing stops

Forage is the number one nutrition source for cows on pasture. If they aren’t grazing as much during a heatwave, they’re probably not meeting their cattle nutrition requirements.

When cows don’t get adequate nutrition, they’re at risk of:

  • Losing body condition
  • Taking longer to rebreed
  • Producing less milk for their growing calf
  • Generating a weaker immune response to health challenges
  • Long-term fertility consequences

If cattle are too hot to graze, they may also be too hot to consume mineral at target intake levels. If you’re using a fly control mineral and intakes are below target levels, cows no longer benefit from it because they aren’t getting a full dose of fly control.

Curb heat stress in cattle by planning for proper shade, water, and the right nutrition program.

11 hot weather tips for cattle

  1. Ensure access to fresh, clean water. A brood cow drinks 25 to 30 gallons of water on a normal day. She’ll drink even more in hot weather.
  2. Check water tanks often to make sure they are clean and free of contamination (algae, feces, organic material, etc.). You might need additional portable tanks to ensure adequate access.
  3. Place water tanks in shaded areas to keep water cool if possible. Keep waterers several feet away from buildings or fences, so cattle can access water from all sides.
  4. Offer supplements to help cows make the most of their forages. Accuration® Supplements with Intake Modifying Technology® helps feed necessary rumen microbes to keep cattle eating and encourages snack eating behavior.
  5. Choose a mineral designed for consistent consumption during hot weather, like Purina® Wind and Rain® Summer Season Mineral.
  6. Control flies to prevent further stress and grazing disturbance. Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral contains Altosid® IGR, an insect growth regulator offering a beneficial mode of action to deliver fly control via cattle nutrition. Consider Purina® Wind and Rain® Fly Control Mineral to stop the horn fly life cycle by preventing pupae from developing into biting, breeding adult flies.
  7. Supply ample shade. Whether it’s provided by trees, a manmade building, or portable structures, shade is critical. It might be necessary to move cattle to a pasture with trees or additional shade.
  8. Strategically move rotational grazing herds to fresh pastures in the late afternoon/early evening instead of the morning. Cows will have access to fresh grass when temperatures are beginning to cool and will be more likely to graze.
  9. Work cattle as early in the day as possible when temperatures are lower.
  10. Don’t graze pastures short before moving cows to another. Pastures with taller, thicker grass feel cooler than pastures with short grass where more soil surface is exposed.
  11. Observe cattle frequently and take precautions when hot and humid weather is forecast.

Source:

Chris Forcherio, Ph.D.
Purina/Beef Research Manager

Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

Friday, July 29th, 2022

Will great nutrition guarantee trophy bucks? Great nutrition will give your deer the opportunity to maximize their genetic potential for antler growth, but it is just one (albeit an important one) of many factors that affect deer antler growth. Even assuming that you are providing the best nutrition possible, other things, some within your control and some not, will affect production of trophy racks.

Factors in deer antler growth

General health greatly influences a variety of factors that affect deer antler growth, such as feed intake and hormone production. If your deer are laboring under a parasite load (internal or external), clinical or sub-clinical disease challenges, or have been injured, antler growth will be negatively affected no matter how nutritious the feed because nutrition will be siphoned off to deal with these other issues. Good management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results.

Deer habitat and antler growth

Environmental conditions are also a factor. Climate can affect how much time a deer spends eating, moving around, resting, etc., and how much energy it expends just staying warm or cooling down. Stressors such as traffic or roaming dogs can upset deer, raising blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol and negatively impacting feeding behavior and nutrient usage. Even something like an improper feeder design can affect how much a deer will eat.

Hydration maximizes feed intake in deer

Water availability is critical. Research has shown that in many species of ruminants, if water intake is reduced even minimally, food intake drops also. Water must be fresh, clean, available, and away from stressors that might inhibit a deer’s water intake. Maximizing water intake will help maximize feed intake.

The genetic footprint

Genetics, of course, are very important. If a buck is genetically programmed to be average, then the best feed in the world will make him only average. Keep in mind, however, that a lesser feed will allow him to be only less than average. However, a buck genetically programmed to have a superior rack will not achieve that growth without optimal nutritional support. If you want your bucks to achieve their genetic potential, then you must feed them accordingly.

Population density relative to antler growth

Finally, there are population factors that can affect deer antler growth, primarily population density (how many animals are in a given space) and dominance relationships between bucks. Even mild crowding is a stressor that affects hormone levels, impacts feeding behavior, and leads to increased energy expenditure and even injuries due to increased movement and numbers of altercations. Bucks must be managed with their social hierarchy in mind if injuries are to be minimized and desired breeding strategies achieved.

All in all, while nutrition is extremely important, and great trophy racks will not be achieved without optimal nutrition, management and genetics are also critical to achieving superior antler growth.

Source: Purina Animal Nutrition

August Gardening Tips

Friday, July 29th, 2022

August is here and needless to say, it is HOT! However Fall is right around the corner and here are a few tips to get August Gardening Tipsyou through the scorching days of August.

Make the best use of the water you have by watering early in the morning before the wind speeds pick up. Otherwise, much of the water will evaporate before the plants get to use it. To further avoid excess evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water instead of a fine mist. Plants need about one inch of water each week during this long summer period. If you have heavy clay soil adjust the timing of the irrigation zones to make sure water is not running off the landscape. Your irrigation schedule should be adjusted to allow for slow infiltration of the water. Be a WISE – keep water on the landscape.

Soil that is exposed can heat up to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to kill those tender root hairs near the surface. Three to four inches of mulch can make the soil 10 to 20 degrees cooler. Besides reducing soil temperature, mulches also conserve water by reducing evaporation, often up to 65 percent.

August is the last month to plant a new lawn before winter temperatures arrive. Newly-installed lawns need at least six to eight weeks to establish a healthy root system.

Prune roses back, but do not remove more than one-third of the plant. Prune and remove spent blooms on annuals and perennials to encourage continuous blooming well into fall.

Tomato and Peppers planted earlier this year will not set fruit during the heat of the summer, even though they may still be flowering. If the plants remain healthy, they will set fruit again once the temperatures stay below 90 degrees. Sidedress established healthy plants with fertilizer and keep watered to encourage new growth. Set out tomato transplants; look for early maturing variety (65 to 75 days). Our average first freeze is mid-November and tomato maturity slows down as the days get cool and cloudy.

Three Reasons for Weaning Calves Early

Friday, July 29th, 2022

There are certain scenarios where weaning calves early makes sense from both a cow & calf health standpoint and from an economic perspective.The majority of U.S. cattle producers will wean calves at around 205 days of age 1, or roughly seven months, and typically make the decision on weaning time based on calf age, calf weight, or because ‘it’s what they’ve always done.’

But, there are certain scenarios where weaning calves early makes sense from both a cow and calf health standpoint and from an economic perspective.

There are a variety of economic benefits to implementing early weaning strategies. For the calf, we’re looking at a feeding during a time in their lives when they are extremely efficient at converting feed to gain.

For the cow, we’re able to give her some forage resources that would typically go to the calf, thus allowing her to pick up condition score going into the winter months. Putting on that extra condition means we can save on some winter supplementation by not having to play nutritional catch-up.

Here are three scenarios where implementing early weaning might make sense:

1. Drought or low forage situations
One of the most common reasons for a producer to consider early weaning would be if they’re in a summer drought situation. Considering early weaning in this scenario would save some of your valuable forages for the cow.

Each day an early weaning strategy is implemented saves 10 pounds of forage for the cow. Implementing an early weaning program two to three months earlier than the industry average means that a significant amount of forage could be saved for the cow.

Those extra pounds of forage may go a long way towards increasing the condition score on the cow herd going into the winter months, as cows are likely either late in the second stage of pregnancy or early in the third stage.

Early weaning also means the nutritional requirements of the cow decrease as she no longer needs to put resources towards milk production, allowing her to shift those energy resources to gaining condition.

2. To hit your marketing window
Early weaning may help producers hit a more lucrative calf marketing time, given what the cattle markets are signaling to customers.

There are some scenarios where selling lighter calves means a higher price per hundredweight. There are also scenarios where selling calves earlier than the typical months when calves are marketed (typically mid- to late-fall) means a higher price floor.

If the marketing scenario is right, it’s always good to consider options to capitalize.

3. When stocking density is increased
A reason to wean early that’s becoming more prevalent is land cost, and subsequently increased stocking density. Some cattle producers today are trying to run more cows on the same acreage to potentially increase profit.

More cows on the same acreage mean that the forage resources are limited and that both cows and calves could potentially be shortchanged on nutrients.

If we’re short on forage, either quantity or quality-wise, it’s often a good plan to start calves on a higher plane of nutrition by going ahead and weaning them.

With any of these three scenarios, it’s critical to get early-weaned calves on a quality nutrition program.
These early weaned calves can’t hold a lot of feed because of their small rumen size. At the same time, the calf’s requirements per pound of body weight are quite high. You need a high-quality, nutrient-dense, complete feed to get them off to the best start.

Content source:

NT Cosby, Ph.D.
Field Cattle Consultant
Purina Animal Nutrition

The Impact of Heat Stress on Deer

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Heat stress on deer can have metabolic and hormonal effects on ruminants that have significant production impacts including reduced feed intake, growth, milk production, and reproduction.Heat stress on deer can have metabolic and hormonal effects on ruminants that have significant production impacts including reduced feed intake, growth, milk production, and reproduction.1 By understanding heat stress, when it occurs, and its impact on deer can help improve management decisions.

Each species has a specific thermoneutral zone (TNZ) where the animal feels comfortable. At temperatures below and above the TNZ, the metabolic rate increases to keep the body warmer or cooler. Due to the increased metabolic rate, a greater amount of energy is needed and therefore negatively impacts health and productivity parameters. The temperature range for the TNZ is also affected by moisture, wind chill, solar radiation, body condition, and hair coat. In white-tailed deer, the transitional hair coat in the fall offered more protection against temperature extremes than the summer coat and results in a larger TNZ.5Heat stress occurs when the temperature or temperature-humidity indices (a combination of ambient temperature and relative humidity) go above the upper critical temperature of the TNZ. For northern white-tailed deer, the upper critical temperature is 68°F during the summer and 77° in the winter.5 See Table 1 for the TNZ of selected cervid species.

White-tailed deer reduce movement, spend more time lying, seek cooler locations, look for shelter from solar radiation, and pant to dissipate heat during heat stress.5 As panting increases, there is an increased risk of rumen acidosis due to a decrease in rumen buffering capacity through increased exhalation of CO2 and loss of saliva by drooling.1 Elk rarely pant, but sweat to cool off.6 Deer under climatic stress, like heat, can have a negative effect on nutritional status at a time when growth, lactation, and antler production occurs. This reduction in productive activity is partly due to reduced feed intake, altered endocrine status, reduced rumination, nutrient absorption, and increased maintenance requirements.1 This results in reduced energy and nutrient availability. If heat stress occurs and results in a negative energy balance just after fawning, there could be an increased risk of metabolic disorders, health problems, decreased milk yield, and reduced reproductive performance.3 Reduced nutrient intake during lactation can also lead to inefficient nitrogen incorporation into microbial proteins in the rumen and loss of amino acids that were mobilized from skeletal muscle.1 Feed conversion efficiency is reduced in part due to increased energy expended to rid the body of excess heat and reduced digestibility of higher fiber forages.4

The goal is to reduce the potential impact of heat stress to keep animals eating and in positive energy balance. One of those management activities could be to provide additional cover in the form of improved habitat, stands of trees, or artificial shade structures.7 Because water is important to help dissipate heat, make sure deer have access to fresh water near every feeder or every 300 acres.7

Through Purina’s deer research program, a patent-pending mixture of plant extracts, Climate Guard® supplement, was identified that support deer during climatic stress events like heat. Climate Guard® supplement has been added to all Purina® AntlerMax® deer feed, except AntlerMax® Deer Mineral and Extreme Energy supplement.

Shop J&N Feed and Seed in Graham, Texas, for Purina Climate Guard Supplement. While you are here, ask us about our feeder filling services.
Source: Michael Schlegel, Ph.D., PAS, Dipl. ACAS-Nutrition
Sr. Nutritionist, Wildlife & Small Ruminant Technical Solutions
Table 1. Thermoneutral zones for selected cervid species
                                                         Thermoneutral Zone
Specie SeasonA Lower Critical
temperature, F
Upper critical
temperature, F
Reference
White-tailed deer Sp, Su, Fa
Wn
41
41
68
77
1Holter et al., 1975
1Holter et al., 1975
Black-tailed deer Su
Wn
53.6
21.2
80.6
64.4
2Bunnell, 1990
2Bunnell, 1990
Mule deer Su
Wn
-4
-4
77
41
5Paker & Robins, 1984
5Paker & Robins, 1984
Elk Wn -4 68 6Paker & Robins, 1984
ASp=Spring, Su=Summer, Fa=Fall, Wn=Winter

1Bernabucci, U., N. Lacetera, L.H. Baumgard, R.P. Rhoads, B. Ronchi, and A. Nardone. 2010. Metabolic and hormonal acclimation to heat stress in domesticated ruminants. Animal 4:1167-1183.

2Bunnell, F.L. 1990. Ecology of black-tailed deer. In: Deer and Elk Habitats in Coastal Forests of Southern British Columbia, J.B. Nyberg and D.W. Janz, eds. Research Branch, Ministry of Forests, Province of British Columbia, Victoria, pp 31-63.

3Drackley, J.K. 1999. Biology of dairy cows during the transition period: The final frontier? Journal of Dairy Science. 82:2259-2273.

4Fuquay, J.W. 1981. Heat stress as it affects animal production. Journal of Animal Science. 52:164-174.

5Holter, J.B., W.E. Urban, Jr., H.H. Hayes, H. Silver, and H.R. Skutt. 1975. Ambient temperature effects on physiological traits of white-tailed deer. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 53:679-685.

6Parker, K.L., and C.T. Robbins. 1984. Thermoregulation in mule deer and elk. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 62:1409-1422.

7Schreiber, C. 2015. Research suggest south Texas heat impacts deer productivity. Texas Wildlife. August:50-51.

8Silanikove, N. 2000. Effects of heat stress on the welfare of extensively managed domestic ruminants. Livestock Production Science. 67:1-18.

9Tomeček, J.M. and M. Russell, 2016. Managing heat for wildlife on Texas rangelands. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. EWF=034.  Available at:  https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Managing-Heat-for-Wildlife-on-Texas-Rangelands.pdf

Closed On Labor Day

Sunday, July 24th, 2022

Labor DayJ&N Feed and Seed will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2022, in observation of Labor Day.  Enjoy the holiday!

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

2022 – 2023 Texas Hunting Season

Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Texas Parks & Wildlife released the 2022 – 2023 Texas Hunting Season dates. Check them out below. You can find more information on their website. Before you head to the lease, stop by J&N Feed and Seed for all your hunting supplies, feeds, and attractants. Ask us about our feeder setup and filling services!

  • JAVELINA
    Javelina season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General North Oct. 1 – Feb. 262022 – 2023 Texas Hunting Season dates are published, take a look here. Shop J&N Feed in Graham, Texas, for feeders, attractants, and more.
    South Sep. 1 – Aug. 31

 

  • MULE DEER
    Mule deer season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General Panhandle Nov. 19 – Dec. 4
    Trans-Pecos Nov. 25 – Dec. 11
    Archery 59 of 254 counties Oct. 1 – Nov. 4

 

  • PRONGHORN
    Pronghorn season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General 41 of 254 counties Oct. 1-16

 

  • SQUIRREL
    Squirrel season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General East Texas Oct. 1 – Feb. 26 & May 1-31
    Other open counties Sep. 1 – Aug. 31
    Youth-only East Texas Sep. 24 – 25

 

  • WHITE-TAILED DEER
    White-tailed deer season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General North Nov. 5 – Jan. 1
    South Nov. 5 – Jan. 15
    Special Late North Jan. 2-15
    South Jan. 16-29
    Youth-Only North Oct. 29-30 & Jan. 2-15
    South Oct. 29-30 & Jan. 2-15
    Archery 252 of 254 counties Oct. 1 – Nov. 4
    Muzzleloader 90 of 254 counties Jan. 2-15

 

UPLAND GAME BIRDS

  • CHACHALACA
    Chachalaca season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr & Willacy Counties Oct. 29 – Feb. 26

 

  • PHEASANT
    Pheasant season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Panhandle Dec. 3 – Jan. 1

 

  • QUAIL
    Quail season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Statewide Oct. 29 – Feb. 26

 

  • TURKEY
    Rio Grande Turkey
    Rio Grande Turkey season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Fall North Nov. 5 – Jan. 1
    South Nov. 5 – Jan. 15
    Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg & Willacy counties Nov. 5 – Feb. 26
    Archery-only Oct. 1 – Nov. 4
    Fall Youth-only North Oct. 29-30 & Jan. 2-15
    South Oct. 29-30 & Jan. 16-29
    Spring North April 1 – May 14
    South Mar. 18 – Apr. 30
    One-turkey counties Apr. 1-30
    Spring Youth-Only North Mar. 25-26 & May 20-21
    South Mar. 11-12 & May 6-7
    Eastern Turkey
    Eastern Turkey season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Spring East Texas Apr. 22 – May 14

MIGRATORY GAME BIRD

  • DOVE
    Dove season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular North Sep. 1 – Nov. 13 & Dec. 17 – Jan. 1
    Central Sep. 1 – Oct. 30 & Dec. 17 – Jan. 15
    South Sep. 14 – Oct. 30 & Dec. 17 – Jan. 22
    Special White-winged Dove Days South Sep. 2-4 & Sept. 9-11

 

  • DUCK
    Duck season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular High Plains Mallard Management Unit Oct. 29-30 & Nov. 4 – Jan. 29
    North Nov. 12-27 & Dec. 3 – Jan. 29
    South Nov. 5-27 & Dec. 10 – Jan. 29
    Youth/Veterans High Plains Mallard Management Unit Oct. 22-23
    North Nov. 5-6
    South Oct. 29-30

 

  • GOOSE
    Goose season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Early Canada Goose East Sep. 10- 25
    Light & Dark Geese West Nov. 5 – Feb. 5
    East Nov. 5- Jan. 29
    Light Goose Conservation Order West Feb. 6 – Mar. 12
    East Jan. 30 – Mar. 12

 

  • RAILS, GALLINULES & MOORHENS
    Rails, Gallinules & Moorhens hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Statewide Sep. 10-25 & Nov. 5 – Dec. 28

 

  • SANDHILL CRANES
    Sandhill Cranes hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular A Oct. 29 – Jan. 29
    B Nov. 25 – Jan. 29
    C Dec. 17 – Jan. 22

 

  • SNIPE
    Common season dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Statewide Nov. 5 – Feb. 19

 

  • TEAL
    Teal hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    September Teal Only Statewide Sep. 10-25

 

  • WOODCOCK
    Woodcock hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Statewide Dec. 18 – Jan. 31

 

OTHER ANIMALS

  • ALLIGATOR
    Alligator hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    General 22 Counties & Special Properties Sep. 10-30
    All Other Counties Apr. 1-June 30

 

  • RABBITS AND HARES
    Rabbits and Hares hunting seasons and dates
    Season Zone Dates
    Regular Statewide No closed season

Outdoor Wood Patio Furniture By Texas Casual

Monday, June 27th, 2022

J&N Feed and Seed is your local dealer for Outdoor Wood Patio Furniture from Texas Casual Wooden Furniture. Shop our selection quality wooded patio furniture.J&N Feed and Seed is your local dealer for Outdoor Wood Patio Furniture from Texas Casual Wooden Furniture.

Are you looking for that perfect swing for your front porch? Or, do you need new patio furniture for your back deck? At J&N Feed and Seed,  you’ll find a great selection of rockers and other patio items made in Grandview Texas, by Texas Casual. Outdoor furniture is an investment, so make sure you invest in high-quality pieces.

Every piece of TX Casual furniture is handmade from premium-grade, American grown, Wolmanized, Southern Yellow Pine. Each piece is assembled with hot dipped zinc fasteners which are more rust-resistant than galvanized and stronger than stainless steel. We are obsessed with comfort and design. Which means we routinely refine and improve our furniture. It’s the small things like, hidden hardware, and sanded edges that make a real difference.

We are proud to be a dealer of Texas Casual fine outdoor wood patio furniture. Avoid the big box stores and come shop local with us, where you’ll find a knowledgeable staff and outstanding customer service. J&N Feed and Seed is a family-owned business located at 450 Pecan Street, in Graham, Texas. Shop local with us today!

 

July Gardening Tips

Monday, June 27th, 2022

July Gardening Tips

July Gardening Tips

Gardening activities usually slowdown in the summertime as the temperature continues to climb into the 90’s and beyond. July is often a very dry month and can be very hot. New garden projects are not usually started but there are always maintenance chores to do. The best time to do any kind of gardening or maintenance is in the early morning or late in the day after supper.

Proper watering is essential to keep plants healthy in the heat of summer. It is best to water as deeply and infrequently as possible, as opposed to frequent light sprinklings. This will encourage a deeper root system that can take advantage of water stored in the soil.

One of the best strategies for getting shrubs and young trees through summertime dry spells is to apply a thick layer of mulch over the root systems of plants. Mulches break down over time, so if it has been awhile since you’ve mulched, check all the plants in your yard. A three to four-inch layer will prevent most evaporation from the soil and lower the soil temperature in the root zone, reducing stress on the root system.

Drip irrigation combined with mulch is an excellent way to maintain a high quality of plant materials. Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro-irrigation is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly into the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing and emitters. It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant. This allows for fertilizer and nutrient loss to be minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching. Soil erosion and weed growth is lessened with this type of irrigation along with the foliage remain dry, reducing the risk of disease. If drip irrigation is not an option at this time, consider using soaker hoses to provide a good source of water to your garden or bedding plants.

Water plants in containers and hanging baskets more frequently in the summer to keep them from drying out. This can leach out plant nutrients from the soil, so use a water-soluble fertilizer regularly to keep your plants growing and healthy.

 

 

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