Outdoors: Many tasks to undertake this summer

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By SHANE PROPHETT, Arnall Grocery Company

It’s summertime in Georgia! Grab your SPF 1,000,000, your wide brim hat, bug spray, short sleeved shirt and let’s head outside.

This time of year, in order to avoid the heat, you might want to become crepuscular ($100 word for “you only come out around sunrise and sunset”) like a lot of wildlife.

As you head out to the vegetable garden you should see some squash, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes ready to harvest.  With that in mind you may want to get the white bread and mayo on hand for the first tomato sandwich of the summer.  Beans and peas will be a few weeks behind the other vegetables followed by corn and okra.  If your corn is knee high or so you may want to add some nitrogen to give it a final push.  Do this by adding a high nitrogen fertilizer such as 33-0-0 or blood meal if you prefer a more natural fertilizer.

If you want a pumpkin this fall, June is a great time to start a pumpkin patch.  You can plant as late as mid-July in order to time it out right for October Jack-o’-Lantern season.

While walking out to the garden you probably noticed the grass needs cutting, AGAIN!  If you don’t like weeds in your lawn, then be careful and not apply herbicides in the heat of the day.  You could damage your lawn by applying weed killers in extreme heat.  Early morning or late evening applications are a safer bet. If you are like me and wouldn’t have lawn if not for the weeds, then simply keep it mowed to your hearts content.  Apparently, there is rule that if your neighbor mows their yard that you have approximately 48 hours to respond with like action.

Those birds that were nesting on your porch in the spring have most likely hatched out and may be hitting your bird feeder hard.  As they visit the feeder along with all their bird friends, it will make for an exciting time in the yard.  Be sure to place the feeder near the woods or bushes to allow the birds a safe place to escape in the event of an attack.

Hunters should be finishing up planting spring/summer food plots and dove fields.  Timing on dove fields can be crucial.  It’s best to plan it backwards.  Start with the date that you would like to have your event (yes, dove hunts are events) and once you choose your plant research the days to maturity.  Most sunflower varieties have a day to maturity of around 3 months.  So, if you want to hunt mid-September then you would need plant the sunflowers in early to mid-June.  Another popular planting for dove is Brown Top Millet.  It is only 60 days to maturity which allows for a later planting usually sometime in July.

Deer hunters can be out scouting, hanging stands and trimming shooting lanes.  Plan some workdays at the hunting club.  It’s a good way to get everyone together and get some projects done that you wouldn’t want to be doing during the season. Stuff like trimming roads, checking and repairing stands (take wasp spray) are important tasks that are best done in the summer before hunting starts.

Fishing is still good, just different.  Go get some cooking oil and wait for a full moon.  Once the full moon hits in the summer the bream will be on bed.  Worms will do the job, but crickets are the favorite of the bream.  Bass may be seeking shade and deeper water to stay cool.  You may catch them up shallow early and late in the day.  Night fishing is fun this time of year for crappie and catfish.

It’s hot out there folks.  Go early, go late, put on your hat and SPF 1,000,000, dodge some thunderstorms and keep an eye out for me because I’ll see y’all out there.

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