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'Dog Days of Summer' goes virtual

German shepherd dog on a chair outside
Rambo has his seat for a garden party --
or for supervising any outdoor activities.
Share your pet photos during
Dog Days of Summer. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)
Green Acres hosts annual pet-friendly garden party online

How do you celebrate August gardening with your four-legged best friend? With the Dog Days of Summer!

Continuing through Saturday, this week-long pooch-friendly garden party has been an annual staple at Green Acres Nursery & Supply, with customers invited to bring their dogs to the nursery for special events and presentations. (Treats, too!)

But with the COVID-19 pandemic, “Dog Days 2020” has gone virtual. While the nurseries are still open for customers, all the fun and games are online, via Facebook and Instagram.

“Each day, there will be a new
Facebook prompt,” say Green Acres staff on the nursery’s website. “Follow the daily prompt to enter for your chance to win a Green Acres Nursery & Supply gift card for that day. Double your chances of winning by entering on Instagram, too.”

The challenges are fun, pet-friendly and reflect the summer of 2020. For example, here was Monday’s prompt:

“Share a photo of your dog being the most loyal co-worker.”

As Green Acres notes, “We've been spending more time at home and that means more time with our dogs.” So, pay tribute to that furry assistant.

Tuesday’s challenge: “What’s your favorite pet-friendly plant? We love sharing info about dog-friendly plants. ... It could be an old favorite, a new discovery, or even a houseplant.”

Post answers in comments on Facebook and/or Instagram. Use #GAdogdays20 on your posts.

New challenges are posted daily through Saturday. The giveaway ($50 gift cards each day) ends Sunday with winners notified Monday.



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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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