Home & Garden

Tips to stay cool in the garden this summer

Todd Goulding
Todd Goulding wmarshall@macon.com

▪ Summer sun can be dangerous! Be sure to use sun screen with at least an SPF50.

▪ Hats with a wide brim work well to keep the sun off of your face, neck and ears.

▪ Look cool and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

▪ Wear light colored clothes. Light colors reflect the sun’s rays, which keeps you cooler. Drink plenty of fluids while you are working in the garden. Like an athlete, you will perspire and will need to replace those lost fluids.

▪ Ticks are bad this year. If you plan to work in the garden, use insect repellant — particularly around the bottom of your pants where ticks can enter. Check yourself for ticks after being outside. Go to the doctor if a tick bite gets infected or forms a red ring around it.

▪ Time to start pruning azaleas. On larger specimens, try “limbing them up,” by removing the lower branches up to about 4 feet. It’s a great look!

▪ Do you have stumps from shrubs and trees that keep sprouting? Try this. Remove the growth back to the stump. When new growth appears, spray with Roundup or a similar product formula that is extra strength. Thoroughly cover the leaves with the herbicide. Keep the spray close to the leaves to avoid overspray and death of nearby plants.

▪ Whats blooming? Vitex, summer annuals, coreopsis, crape myrtle, caladium (colorful foliage), roses and lantanas.

▪ Check for lacebugs on azaleas. The top of the leaf will have speckling. The underside will appear to have brown dirt on it, which is actually the eggs. Spray with Orthene. Azaleas are a shade shrub, those grown in sun will have more disease and insect problems.

Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at fernvalley.com or 478-345-0719.