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Monthly Garden Gossip,

June, 2019

Welcome to our garden! We're proud of our hard work and want to share the reward with you, so here is what's going on in the garden this month..Central Alabama

Pepper Place Market

If you are looking for something fun to do on a Saturday morning, why not go to Pepper Place Market. It is located in downtown Birmingham. There are lots of fresh locally grown vegetables, artisan bread makers, eggs, cheese and fresh flowers available. Petals from the Past is there too with our blackberries, blueberries, homemade jams and jellies and garden plants. They are open from 7:00 am to 12:00 noon. There are cooking demonstrations from local chefs and demonstrations from local artisans too.

Pepper Place Market

Check out Pepper Place on their website. Stop by and say hello to the friendly crew from Petals too!


The U-pick blackberry fields are now open from 9am to 5 pm. The U-pick blueberries should be opening soon. The Blackberry Festival is June 8 from 9am to 3pm. Check the Event Page for further details. The blackberry fields will be closed Thursday, June 6, and Friday, June 7 in preparation for the festival.

Blackberries and blueberris can be planted most any time of year as long as you are able to keep them watered during the dry season.  As far as maintenance, at this time of year, there is nothing to be done with either of these plants until the harvest is finished.  Once finished picking, you may prune your blueberries to control the size and to raise the 'skirt', the lower branches that lie on the ground when full of fruit. It is a good idea to fertilize again to promote new growth for next year's crop.

Blackberries will start putting up new primocanes; remove them as they appear so they do not interfere with picking.


Once finished picking, remove all canes that fruited this year and start over trellising them by choosing two new canes and training them on your wires.  Fertilize at this time to promote new growth. Watch Dr. Powell's blackberry pruning video on our website for a complete guide to pruning.


You may start pruning back your roses that only flower once in the spring now. You can prune them hard and then fertilize. After they start growing you can then prune to only shape them. Your repeat flowering roses can be deadheaded or pruned for shape. It is a good time to give them some fertilizer also.

Better hurry if you want to prune your spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia and azaleas. Pruning them late with cut off next years flowers. Prune arborvitaes, evergreen shrubs and trees of the cypress family, juniper, yew and hemlock for shape after their main spring growth is complete. Once complete give them some fertilizer to get some new growth.  Continue to mulch your planting beds with shredded pine bark mulch to conserve water and prevent weeds.  It is best to use pine straw on slopes since the pine bark may wash away .





If you haven't put out your hummingbird feeders yet it is time to do so. Although there are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world, the most popular one in Alabama is the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. A simple homemade nectar is 1 part granulated sugar to 4 parts water. No need for the red food coloring. Always use granualted sugar and not honey, brown sugar, molasses or artificial sweetner. The Hummingbirds are not able digest the molasses, brown sugar or honey. The artificial sweetner does not have any nutrients in it. Plus these mixtures also ferment more quickly. The mixture should be boiled to kill any bacteria and mold in the water then it can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately one week. Make sure to keep your feeders clean and free of mold. Use plain warm water to clean the feeder and if you have to use dish detergent rinse it well to remove any residue of the detergent before refilling.


It is a good idea to have plants that attract hummingbirds as well as feeders. They seem to find tubular red or orange flowers very attractive but will feed from many others as well. Just a few are Coral Honeysuckle, all the Salvias, Trumpet Vine, Bee Balm just to name a few.

Citrus trees can be sprayed with ultra fine oil mixed with Neem Oil.  This helps to control greasy spot, mites and whitefly .

Stone Fruit

Continue to spray your plums and peaches for plum curculio about every 2 to 3 weeks with Mal-A-Cide (50% Malathion). You can also use Monterey Garden Insect Spray (0.5% Spinosad).

Spray peaches for fungal diseases. Your sprays should be about 2 to 3 weeks apart now. Suggested products are Hi Yield Captan Fungicide,Thiomyl, Dusting/Wettable sulfur. When using Thiomyl include Captan in the spray to reduce the possibility to developing resistant strains of brown rot.

Apples and Pears

If you were seeing corky spots on your apples last year try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of calcium nitrate to all the sprays for your apples and pears. It should help solve this problem

Check your apples and pears for fire blight.  This bacterial disease causes the leaves and new shoots to turn brown or black and appear as if burned.  If you find any, cut out the branches about 4" below the infected area, making sure to disinfect your clippers each time you make a cut.  Use a 10% clorox solution.  This reduces your chances of spreading the disease.


Vegetable Garden

Be on the look out for cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms.  They can ruin your crop in a very short time.  Use Dipel dust or Sevin to control these pests.  Pumpkins should be planted before July 4, to make sure they will be ready for Halloween.  Squash, okra, corn, beans and cucumbers can still be planted.

Summer Annuals

The seeds for summer annuals are all here as well as the plants. The butterflies love zinnias and we have them in a rainbow of colors. Sunflowers are also a favorite of the birds and bees. The seeds are sold by the teaspoon or tablspoon depending on the size of the seed. Both make lovely cut flowers for your home or picnic table.


Green House Sale

Mark your calendar for the Greenhouse sale on June 22, 7:00am to 2:00pm This is the sale of the year! We offer all our plants in the greenhouse growing areas at wholesale prices. If you are planning to do some additional landscaping this would be the sale for you.  Many of the plants at the retail shop are also on sale as well as the accessory items such as the pottery and yard art.