Home & Garden

Garden Checklist: Read before you spray pesticides

Roses in a garden are sprayed with a pesticide.
Roses in a garden are sprayed with a pesticide. Bigstock

Are pests bugging your garden? Be pesticide-smart before you spray. Check out www.applyresponsibly.org. On that site, you’ll find tips about pesticide use, storage and disposal.

No. 1: Always read the entire label first, then follow directions. And don’t spray on a windy day.

Often, garden problems can be solved without resorting to chemicals. This integrated pest management website also offers tips and expert advice on growing a healthier garden from site selection to composting. ApplyResponsibly.org also has several how-to videos, detailing such timely drought-related topics as how to stop run-off from irrigation and smart watering.

▪  Mulch, mulch, mulch. As the weather heats up, mulching helps conserve water while keeping your plants’ roots cool and moist. It can reduce evaporation by as much as 70 percent.

▪ Tie up vines and stake tall blooming plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

▪ From seed, plant pumpkins, radishes and squash. Keep soil moist, not soggy, to sprout seeds. After the first few weeks, these veggies can get by on weekly irrigation.

▪ In the mood for some summer color? Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena. Plant seeds for sunflowers, asters, cosmos, salvia and zinnias.

Debbie Arrington