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Garden Gossip

May, 2024

Roses

The roses have been absolutely lovely this year. They look like you couldn’t add another flower to them. However, they do need a little care once they are finished blooming. For your roses that only bloom once in the spring, prune them back hard once they are finished blooming. Then give them some rose food to help them get started again. Many of these once bloomers are climbing roses. They will need some pruning during the rest of the season to maintain their shape.

When the repeat flowering roses finish blooming you may prune them for shape if they need it. Then fertilize them to help them make more flowers. They should be fertilized again in August for the fall flush of blooms.

You may plant roses anytime of year as long as they can be watered during the hot dry summer months. Once your roses are established they are very drought tolerant.

Vegetable Garden

We still have some tomato plants available. There are squash, cucumber, melons and variety of pepper plants available in our vegetable area. Handy, if you only need a few plants and don’t want to fool with seeds. Tomatoes often suffer from blossom end rot. I usually put a hand full of pulverized lime in the hole when planting and that seems to take care of that problem.

Check your squash plants for squash bugs and vine borders. Row covers work well but remember to remove them when the squash flowers so the bees can pollinate them.

If you notice that there is blossom end rot on your squash this can be fixed by treating plants with a calcium spray. Keep the soil consistently moist.

Spraying

Peaches, plums, cherries should be sprayed for shuck split with a fruit tree spray, a combination of captan and malathion.  This controls sucking insects, aphids and scale.  This spray also controls scab and plum curculio which causes wormy fruits and brown rot.  Chlorothalonil can be added for superior scab control.

Keep spraying your daylilies for aphids. Use Neem or Malathion. In lieu of spraying you can use a fertilizer with a systemic insecticide or one of the Bayer products that is systemic. It can be mixed up in a watering can and poured on the daylilies. It lasts up to 60 days. Spraying your daylilies with Neem will also help with the rust problem they often have.

Container Gardening

If you are looking for plants for your containers we have them. We are getting a new supply several times a week.

To grow beautiful containers you should use the proper soil and ensure proper drainage. Combine plants of different heights and textures. Use a Thriller a Spiller and a Filler. The thriller is large, has dramatic foliage or the tallest. The spiller is the plant that will hang down over the edge of the pot and the filler is the plant that will take up the space in between the other two. It is import to fertilize regularly and to water often during the very hot summers that we have here in the south.

Herbs

It is now safe to plant all herbs. Plant basil, dill, parsley and all frost tender herbs. There are so many different basil plants to choose from and each adds a little different flavor to your favorite dish. African Blue Basil is a beautiful addition to the flower garden and a favorite of the bees.

While we are on the subject of herbs, Saturday, May 25 ,there is a seminar in the morning on Using and Growing Herbs with Debbie Boutelier at 9:00am.

The afternoon session is the Herbal Immersion Experience at 11:00. Fee $90.00

It includes a Culinary Demo and Herbal Picnic lunch with Linda Franzo, Yoga Stretches and Herbal Spa items with Betsy Smith and Herbal Tonics for Health with Debbie Boutelier.

You may register for the afternoon session here.

Summer Annuals

Plant some zinnias now for colorful flowers for cutting and for the bees and butterflies. We have seed available for California Giants in mixed colors and all the colors of dahlia flowered zinnias and cactus flowered zinnias. Plant them in full sun. They can be seeded directly into the soil about 1/4″ deep. Water well. Over watering and continuous wet conditions can lead to powdery mildew, leaf spots and rot so water at the base of the plants. In the south you can plant a second crop if you wish in late July or early August for a fall bloom.

Sunflowers, coreopsis, milkweed, gallardia daisies, cosmos and other summer flowers you might like to try.