“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June” -Al Berstein
Spring Garden Notes: Hope you noted how everything bloomed at once and the spectacular Azalea and Rhododendron show, the best in years. And the drought!!
Drought: We had not one but two droughts this spring. Though things looked lush and green we might have to look back and reflect on this dry start to our growing season. Keep up watering practices until things even out. Water wisely, collect rain water or use grey recycled water when possible.
Pruning Flowers: Prune spring flowering plants after they bloom, cut back bulb foliage, trim back post flowering trailing plants, halve chrysanthemums and other Aster related...
Pruning Trees and Shrubs: Cut out winter damage on evergreens, clip Privet and honeysuckle (Loinicera) if necessary, prune deciduous Magnolias, prune flowering shrubs after they bloom (lightly), prune damaged or overcrowded Clematis and Pyracantha. Prune out green stems on variegated Euonymus so it doesn’t revert.
Roses: This is their season, enjoy them. Tie up climbing roses near the horizontal causing more shoots to grow along the length of the stem. Disbud smaller buds from hybrid teas for a central large bloom. Monitor the plants for blackspot, aphids and mildew. Choose some new roses for fragrance, you deserve more than “Knockouts”.
Vegetables: Plant the last of the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Pinch outside shoots on tomatoes. Best bet for taste, vigor and yield- cherry tomatoes, try “Amish Salad”, “Camp Joy”, “Green Grape”, When tomatoes first set give them a boost of fertilizer. Harvest the remaining lettuce, radishes and other salad plants. Protect berries now from birds with netting. Raised bed gardens?? Remember that vegetables have roots: beans, eggplants, peppers cucumbers send roots 18”-24”‘ deep, tomatoes and melons: 2’-3’ deep!
Lasting Cut Flowers: This is the month for arrangements of peonies, roses and other perennials. Rid peonies of ants by submerging them in water-flower and all. A wet towel will keep them submerged but not injured. For long lasting cut flowers Fine Gardening conducted an experiment. Worst choice, adding vinegar and sugar to vase water. Best home remedy, lemon and lime soda. Best choice, the patented “FloralLife Flower Food 300”. Don’t expect flowers to last beyond 14 days- longer than on most plants.
Containers: Just as china is changing shape to rectangles, ovals, triangles and squares so are containers for the outdoor garden. Choose the container for the site: size, shape, material, color. Analyze the location: sun, access to water, function, Then and only then plant. To fill up large containers and save on potting soil and weight fill the pots with discarded plastic pots from the nursery or use small pieces of tinder wood.