Hello, again!

We all have THAT storm we remember. Weather events can be a milestone of sorts from our past. The big snowfall in February 1971, right before my 16th birthday is one for me. It was the one that shut the town down for a couple of days. Another one I remember is the hot summer of 1980 with its 46 days of 100+ degrees.

However, the most eventful storm that comes to mind for me was the morning of June 19, 1992. Not one, but two severe thunderstorms happened within 6 hours of each other and dumped hailstones up to 4.5 inches in diameter all across south-central Kansas. Over 10,000 homes were damaged, and the hail left wheat fields in a near total loss. Estimated property damage totaled $500 million with crop damage at $100 million. It was insane!

I had just recently planted my garden in the backyard in early June that year. Tomatoes and peppers were just getting established. The first round of storms came at around 6:00 AM. Then at noon, with the eerie dark sky, round two gave us a knockout punch. Cars, homes, and crops were decimated. I remember my newly planted garden was left with tall pencil stalk plants with no leaves remaining. With no inventory at the store to replant with, I fertilized what was left in the garden and soon the plants recovered! After a short time, the compact bushy plants were on their way to becoming an amazing fall garden. My September producing garden was equal to or better than my summer garden. Vegetables love the cool fall days.

This summer we have grown a crop of tomatoes and peppers for summer planting. If you have a spot, consider adding a plant or two; I think you’ll be happily surprised on how well your second season vegetable garden produces. If you have space, consider sweet potatoes as well. My grandfather Orie taught us that sweet potatoes planted around July 4th do as well as those planted earlier. They seem to love the hot weather.

Get the plants off to a good start with ferti-lome Blooming and Rooting Plant Food and fertilize all vegetable and flower garden plants every few weeks with ferti-lome Gardener’s Special. Our summer crop of perennials is looking good now.

If you're looking for some summer color, come check out our summer blooming perennials. Coneflower, milkweed, salvia and others are in their prime right now. Bagworms are active now and mostly on evergreens. The actively feeding small worms are easy to control now with Natural Guard Spinosad.

If you have questions about your lawn or garden, reach out or stop by! We're happy to help.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center