With the weather being so warm and wet plants are growing like crazy. Sadly, so are their weed competitors. Pre-emergent controls you applied earlier may be wearing out sooner due to the weather conditions. Scout for weeds regularly and remove them promptly before they have a chance to spread or go to seed. Weeds can successfully out-compete our cultivated plants for space, water, and nutrients due to their unique genetic make-up. This makes them a nuisance in our gardens, if not an outright danger to our prized plants. Be careful when using Roundup not to get it on anything you don’t wish to be killed. There is a microfine mist beyond the visible cone you can see with your eyes when spraying and even it is lethal to any plants contacted. I found this out the hard way when plants died I thought I hadn’t sprayed. – ‘Plant Doctor’ Bob
Do you want to have short, bushy mums and asters blooming in your garden this fall? If you do you must remember to keep cutting them back until mid-July for the September bloomers, and late July for the October bloomers. A good many folks forget that this needs to be tended to and then wonder why their plants are tall and clubby come fall, arching to the ground with rain storms. Ideally this process was started when the plants were only 4” tall back in April by pinching or shearing the top 1” off. Then, every time the plants grow a few inches another 1” is taken off. Starting early with this pruning close to the ground will give you good branching low down so your plants will not rock and snap off in the storms of late summer and fall. – ‘Plant Doctor’ Bob
We still have a couple of months left of perfect weather for annuals, but some of them may be looking a little shabby at this point. So give your plants a good haircut and feed them well. You may sacrifice a little color right now. But in just a week or two, new foliage growth and blossoms will appear!
If your azaleas have finished flowering and you need to prune them back to control their size and shape, now is the time to do it. Remember that azaleas have adventitious buds under their bark so you may prune anywhere you need to, even on old hardwood, and they will re-sprout. Make sure they are well fed with Holly-tone so they fill back in quickly. If they regrow a bit irregularly you may need to prune again in mid-summer. After that leave them alone to set up their flower buds for the following spring. – ‘Plant Doctor’ Bob
Our apple and peach trees have finished blooming and there are many baby apples and peaches on the trees. It is time to keep the apple codling moth from laying her eggs in the base of the apple. It is also the time to keep the brown rot fungus disease out of our peaches. Spray your fruit on a regular basis with a combination orchard spray according to label directions and you will avoid both of these problems and have a plentiful harvest!
– ‘Plant Doctor’ Bob
For planting success, be sure to amend your soil, mulch well, and water regularly throughout the season! All plants benefit from added organic conditioning, mulching to retain water and keep weeds away, and consistent watering. Be good to your plants. They will return the favor with long-lasting and increased value to you and your home!
The calendar insists that the first day of summer is June 21, but all of us know that summer actually begins on Memorial Day! Swimming pools are open and outdoor furniture is cleaned up and ready to use for the first big barbecue or back yard cook out. If the cooler temperatures keep you out of the pool, they are certainly perfect temperatures for gardening.
Patio tropics and container gardens will give you just the color you need to put the finishing touches on your outdoor entertaining areas. For larger areas consider using shrubs or a small tree in a container with annual color spilling over the edges for instant beauty. Always take notice of the sun conditions before buying, and be sure to choose appropriate plants.
During this weekend, take the time to remember that on Memorial Day we recognize the sacrifice of thousands of men and women who gave their lives for our country and our freedom. Remember as well that many are still in harm’s way as they serve in the military around the world. We owe them our gratitude and support!
Enjoy this first summer holiday with friends and family. If you are in the area, be sure to check out our fantastic weekend sales!