In this issue:
- August in the Garden
- Visiting Quebec City’s Gardens
- Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Cleaning Hose Nozzles
- Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardenerd T-Shirts
1. August in the Garden
In some ways, it’s not pretty out there. The hot weather in our neck of the woods has taken its toll on plants. In other ways, however, the garden is going gangbusters. I just returned from a trip to Quebec City, and it nice to come home to a garden that is full of veggies to pick. It’s not so nice to return to find all the clean up that needs to be done.
The gardens of Quebec City (north east, hardiness zone 5a) are deep in the “going gangbusters” thing. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing photos from the lush gardens of the city. They were full of familiar veggies, but more often than not, unfamiliar flowers and shrubs that aren’t seen in Los Angeles (or at least shouldn’t be since they require a lot of water).
Now it’s time to dig in and prepare for fall. That may mean pulling dead crops, it may mean planning for new ones. It’s a great chance to clean tools (see the Tip of the Month), add compost to beds and plant a few seeds for fall. Whatever you do this month, Gardenerd is here to help. We have upcoming Fall Garden Planning and Composting Workshops to guide you through the season.
2. Visiting Quebec City’s Gardens
Part of the fun of traveling to far-away lands is the chance to see how gardeners express themselves in different communities, with different plants in a completely different climate. We visited seven gardens while in Quebec City (fortunately with glorious weather the entire time) and we’ll share some highlights with you over the next few weeks. First up:
3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Cleaning Hose Nozzles
Garden tools tend to need cleaning right about now. That goes for hose nozzles too. If your hose nozzle is clogged with hard water deposits or debris, try this tip:
- Unscrew the nozzle from the hose
- Use a screwdriver to separate the spray head from the handle. Keep an eye out for loose parts. (ie. Dramm hose nozzles have a Philips-head screw in the center of the spray head and comes off easily, but there are a couple of loose parts that fall out of place when you take it apart. It’s easy to put them back in place later).
- In a non-reactive bowl with a flat bottom, pour some white or distilled vinegar (enough to cover the spray head). Drop the spray head into the vinegar and leave for an hour.
Some people use a toothbrush to scrub the surfaces at this point. For some, this is all it takes, but for older nozzles or really hard water deposits, keep going with this next step:
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda into the vinegar and watch volcanoes happen (you might want to put your bowl in a sink or on a towel. The bubbling action helps break up tougher deposits. Plumbers will tell you this doesn’t work on grease, but it does work on deposits, I promise.
- Next, if there are tiny pieces of debris blocking the holes of your spray head, take a pin and poke each hole from front to back. It will dislodge the debris and return your spray head to practically new.
- Occasionally you will need to replace the rubber gasket on the hose end of the handle. Replacement washers are readily available at hardware stores and only cost a few cents. It’s worth it to prevent leaking.
- Replace the loose parts (usually a spring and an inner gasket) and screw the spray head back on to the handle.
- Screw the hose nozzle back on the hose.
- Experience the joy of a refurbished garden tool!
4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardenerd T-shirt
Our Gardenerd T-shirts drew a lot of attention in Quebec City. We were there to share Gardening for Geeks with our fellow garden writers, but we didn’t expect everyone to want what we were wearing! Now’s your chance to get one of your own:
Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Gardenerd.com. Happy summer gardening!