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Summer Ready Gardens

  Jun 3, 2016   Demaree

Welcome to June. Schools out, garden wedding are in and outdoor entertaining lasts all summer.

Many perennials are in peak bloom and will do so for the rest of the summer. Heat tolerant lantanas, salvias, verbenas and penstemens lead the way for sun. Colorful foliaged hostas, liriopes and lamiums will brighten any shade area.

New plants this month include trailing evergreen grevillea, orange flowering lion's main, dessert bird of paradise and lavatera bi-color. Check out these sun loving shrubs today!

If you haven't planted seasonal flowers for an upcoming garden event, try this. Instead of separately planting individual plants from a 6 pack of flowers, clump 3-­4 plants together and space these clumps 8-­10 inches apart then top-dress with humus. The larger clumps look more mature and make a colorful statement while the extra 6 packs you'll need won't add up to much more.

Every insect in the world seems to be out now, just check your windshield after a drive in the country if you don't believe me. Systemics work great for most sucking insects (aphid and scales) while contact insecticides will control outbreaks as needed. Organic sprays like TakeDown by Monterey Chemical Co. are safe for veggies, fruits and ornamentals.

Crabgrass, spurge, nutgrass and a host of other weeds have sprouted and are now invading your flower bed and lawns. There are good controls for them all provided you follow directions and spray at the right time of day. Call us or come in and we'll show you the proper chemicals. Best to bring a weed sample.

A word about organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are broken down by bi­o-activity from microbes in the soil which then convert the nutrients to a form that plants can use. This bio­-activity is based on soil temperature, the warmer the soil the faster the breakdown of the fertilizer. Feeding now will keep your plant green but not cause rampant tender growth that wilts or burns up in summer. You also do not need to fertilize as often since the break down is slower than chemical fertilizers and does not leach from the soil as fast. An added benefit to using organic fertilizer is increased microbes and beneficial fungi which improve soil quality. You may not notice that your plants look healthier, but they will.