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IN THE GARDEN: Duties After the Fourth; Get Rid of Mosquitos

It's time to plant your pumpkins now to have them for fall.

1. If you plan to have pumpkins in time for Halloween this year, then you need to plant your pumpkin plants now.

2. Fertilize your lawns with an organic fertilizer. Lady Bug (among others) makes a really good fertilizer.

Bill and Martelle Luedecke

3. Prune herbs to encourage growth.

4. Mulch, mulch, and mulch. (Sort of like the three principles of real estate investing: location, location and location.)

5. Water deeply; think soaking rather than sprinkling.

6. Gather seed from your summer blooms (We already have new plants from mallow rose and fern lavender plants). Make sure to store your seeds for next year in labeled paper bags after drying indoors.

7. Are you turning your compost piles? Unless you have a fancy drum type that has an automatic timer that does it for you, it is time to turn those compost piles.

Baby wildlife

Summer and spring are when we see more orphan wildlife than any other time of the year. The phone number to the wildlife rescue is (512) 472-WILD (9453). It’s located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Austin. Its website is Never approach an injured animal without the benefit of training.


In the heat of summer, it does not take long for the ground to dry out or for the temperature to rise from the ground to really stress our plants, trees, shrubs, etc. We need to mulch at least 3-4 inches around our plants, shrubs, and trees. Remember those fruit trees that we planted last winter; they are particularly susceptible to the heat factors of summer. Now is an excellent time to apply those drip irrigation ideas. Also, our gardens are definitely thirsty, and we need to take care of them.

Deeply water new plants. Even if rain comes, check the soil to 3 inches deep to make sure their roots have water. A brief shower doesn’t mean it penetrated to the roots.

To avoid over-watering container perennials, water deeply and then let the ground dry out to avoid root rot, and then water again.

Save your home foundations. Depending on what type of soil you have, a soaker hose laid around the base of your home foundation will keep it stable and assist in keeping the cracks out of your home. Now, like the brisket bought from H-E-B and placed in the oven, the oven needs to be turned on for it to cook. The soaker hoses need to be turned on as well.

Hot roots

Remember: Don’t cut off more than a third of your grass at one time. The length of the roots is proportional to the height of the grass. If you cut your grass short, the roots will not be long. If the roots aren’t long, then they are closer to the surface where the hot summer sun will bake them.

Are you mulching your plants? I know, I sound like a broken record. It is so very important to mulch, particularly this time of year with the extreme heat. Make sure you cover every square inch of bare ground.

Favorite mosquito remedy

Several people have sent this one to us. Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Set the dish on your porch, patio, deck, or outdoor area away from where you will spend time. It will bring in mosquitoes by the droves, and they will drop dead shortly after drinking the detergent/water mixture, and usually within about 10 feet of the plate. Give it a try. It is cheap and will not harm children or pets. Please send us your remedies so we can spread the word and all have a pest-free summer and fall.

Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1

Have questions or comments? Contact Bill at The Luedecke Group Realtors at (512) 577-1463 or Contact Martelle Luedecke (512) 769-3179 or

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