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This week’s gardening tips: apply fertilizer, add bird-netting to veggie gardens


This week’s gardening tips: During dry weather don’t forget to occasionally water your compost pile. Dry organic matter will not break down. It’s helpful to shove the hose into the compost pile to make sure water reaches the inner parts.

Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your container plants outside to keep them healthy through the growing season. One application will feed for many months, saving you time and effort.

Caterpillars will feed on the foliage and flowers of ornamentals and the foliage and fruit of vegetables. The tomato fruit worm eats holes in tomatoes. Spinosad, BT (both organic insecticides), carbaryl or permethrin regularly applied will keep them in check.

Birds will peck holes in tomatoes just before you decide they are ripe enough to harvest. If birds are a problem, cover your plants with bird netting or harvest the fruit in the pink stage and ripen them inside. Bird netting also works well to protect fruit crops, such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and figs, and is available from local nurseries or feed stores.

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