Well folks, summer is officially almost upon us, but judging from the number of customers coming in to see us in shorts and sandals and sipping happily at their Iced Coffee from Timmies or Starbucks depending on what camp they’re in. I’m betting summer snuck in the back door sometime last week!
This has been a pretty darn spectacular spring and it almost seems uncivilized to ruin it with a to-do list but I am just THAT kind of a person. Also Rebecca made me do it ;).
Add a good slow release fertilizer to your lawn if you haven’t done so already. Avoid weed and feeds (most of which are off-the-market anyway), they tend not to do a particularly good job of either and release a lot of chemical where it is not needed. Weed torches are good therapy as is that awesome dandelion picker that the girl across the street lent us because she felt sorry for us and had already saved up enough money from our dandelions to buy a new outfit and hockey goalie pads. I’m not sure if she will become a business women, or an Olympic hockey player, or fashion maven, or perhaps all of the above.
For complete lawn reno’s, reseeding or resodding there is still time, I just like to give the grass enough time to root in so that I’m not a slave to the sprinkler come mid July when the summer heat hits (yes, I am an optimist). It’s also time to think about lifting the lawnmower level a bit. Longer grass is better able to withstand the heavier traffic and heat in summer.
Trees and Shrubs
Mind the mowing and the weed-wacking! Make sure you have tree circles around your trees and mulch them with composted bark mulch or a living mulch like Perennial Geraniums. Sprinkle a good slow release fertilizer on the dripline is recommended if you haven’t applied any yet. Think about watering when the heat hits and yes, you will need to water your street trees and especially any newly planted trees!!
Better to water 2-3 times a week as needed depending on the weather and water long, hose on a trickle for about 20 min if it’s a bigger tree. There is still time to plant new trees and shrubs as long as you make sure to water them in this summer. I would not move any existing trees or shrubs that are planted in the ground at this time. Pruning time is over for now but you can remove dead, damaged or diseased branches at any time.
Weed, water, fertilize and dead head. Don’t forget to cut some flowers and bring them in!! Don’t panic when you see bugs. Take the time to assess damage. In gardening you have to determine an acceptable level of damage. If you have a plant that is constantly taking up your time to fuss over, you may want to let it go.
Keep an eye out for aphids. If needed you can spray them off with the hose. Kind of gross info here so the faint of stomach might not want to read this next bit but when you spray the aphids off with the hose it rips out their mouth parts. Keep an eye out for mealy bugs and scale. Catching things early makes life so much easier…a simple squishing or hosing is much easier than soapy sprays and chemical sprays.
I’ve taken my own advice this year and have gone through the garden every couple of days. It’s really helped!! Still time to add new perennials or flowers but I wouldn’t move existing ones at this time. Time your weeding for sunny days and you can use a scuffle hoe. Mulch your garden beds and fertilize to ensure your plants are happy and well fed and hydrated.
Pots and Hanging Baskets
I still have pots to do! Yes, I’m a slowpoke, but I can’t decide if I want to go edible or just pretty. Rotate your baskets and make sure you can keep up with the feeding and watering in the spots they are in. Pinch back and deadhead. If you have gaps or spaces you can add a water bowl or art piece in your pots or fill in with another plant.
Feed the Hummingbirds!
If you want a spectacular show, you can put out a hummingbird feeder. Keep your feeder clean and full and enjoy the show. Look up hummingbirds online and you will learn to identify the types and their behaviors.
Water Gardens and Ponds
Check for leaks and make sure everything is in working order. You will need about 75-80% surface coverage to prevent hair algae from building up. Floating oxygenators like water hyacinths and frog-bit are pretty handy! You can add pondside marginals to make it more natural looking. Make sure you use a good quality fish food and keep it in a dry place!
Everyone has their go-to tool and I often ask my co-workers. Just like art, food and sports…everyone has their own favorite. When you garden you shouldn’t have to come away from it in pain other than slight muscle soreness if you haven’t been in the garden for awhile. There are kneelers, scuffle hoes, pitchforks and my most favorite…students looking to make some money in the summer . On that note, I will go look up some more Mojito recipes because it is getting to be that time of year again!! Have a great June!! I’ll have more to do for you in July!!