Warm Weather Troubleshooting

The heat of the season comes with some issues that we can prepare for with a little preventative care.

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Rolly Pollies
These little cuties are fun to catch, and seem to be a favorite among kids. Unfortunately, these little buggers can wreak havoc on your precious strawberries and new sprouts. Laying mulch in your garden area, especially around your new sprouts and fruit will not only help to keep these critters away, it will also help keep the soil moist by preventing evaporation from the top soil! 
Contact a tree trimming service to request a drop-off of ramial branch chippings. You can even use straw to mulch your strawberries (imagine that!), just make sure your source is organic, and straw, not hay as it can carry grass seeds.

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Squash Bugs
Another warm-weather critter who loves to bring destruction and stress to our growing lives: Squash Bugs!! *Dun Dun Dun!*  Appropriately named, these bugs are attracted to anything in the squash family, namely Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Zucchini, Pumpkins. Look out for their copper-colored eggs on on the underside of nearby leaves (any type of plant) and destroy them at first sight! A strong Garlic spray may be used as a preventative, as they cannot stand the smell. You can purchase an organic concentrate, or easily make your own: 
Check out this recipe from SF Gate!
If you notice their appearance, pick them off and squash them, for their namesake!! If that creeps you out, can always grab the good ol' shop vac!

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Leaf Burn
With the intensity of the sun, wet leaves attract the light which can cause leaf burn on your plants. You can avoid this by installing a top-soil irrigation line, which wets only the soil and keeps the leaves dry. 
If you do not have an irrigation system and are watering by hand, be sure to do so early morning preferable while shady, and definitely before the afternoon light sets in.

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Providing a trellis is a great way to save space, and beautify your garden area! In addition, you can position them to provide shade to heat-sensitive crops with an arch or tipi structure. Best of all, it keeps your crops and precious gems off of the ground and away from potential hungry pests!