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Garden Gossip

June, 2021

If you are looking for something to do on a Saturday morning why not go to Pepper Place Market. The market is located in downtown Birmingham at 1130 22nd Street South. The market is open from 7:00 am until 12:00 noon. The have locally grown vegetables and flowers, eggs, cheese and artisan bread.

Petals is there with our farm fresh blackberries and homemade jams and jellies. We also bring a few plants too.

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

Blackberries and Blueberries

The U-pick blackberry fields are now open from 8am to 5 pm. The U-pick blueberries will be opening on June 19. Please check our event page for a list of the month of berries events.

Blackberries and blueberries 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 and trellising your berry plants.


You may now start to prune back the spring only flowering roses. They may be pruned hard at this time and then the rest of the year just prune to shape. Fertilize them when you are finished.

The repeat flowering roses can be deadheaded at this time and pruned for shape. It is also a good time to give them some fertilizer.

Spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia and azaleas should be pruned now also. Pruning the later in the season will cut off next year’s flower buds. Prune arborvitaes, evergreen shrubs, juniper, yew, and hemlock for shape after their main spring growth is complete. Continue to mulch your planting beds with shredded pine park mulch to conserve water and prevent weeds. It is best to use pine straw on slospes since the pine mark may wash away.

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.

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

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. 

Squash vine borers can be a problem on your squash plants. Check your plants daily for signs of yellowing and break off the affected pieces. A row cover can be effective but should be removed for pollination. If you are seeing a dark colored end on your fruit you may have blossom end rot. It is due to a calcium deficiency. It can be remedied by applying the appropriate amount of lime.

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 tablespoon depending on the size of the seed. Both make lovely cut flowers for your home or picnic table.


Don’t forget to plant some herbs to go along with all the vegetables you will harvest from the garden.  Basil, parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary are a must but consider some of the other herbs as well. Try your hand at Stevia, a natural sweetener for your tea or coffee. Texas tarragon is a good replacement for French tarragon which is a little fussy about growing in our hot humid climate. There are a host of others not to mention the 8 or 9 different kinds of mint that we offer.

Greenhouse Sale

June 26 from 7:00am to 2:00pm is the date of our annual Greenhouse sale. We are offering all our plants in the greenhouse growing areas at wholesale prices. Many of the plants at the retail shop are also on sale as well as the accessory items such as pottery and yard art.