Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This Week's Garden Tidbits

In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. ~Aldo Leopold

Don't be confused, it really is Tuesday, and I'm late on the garden tips. We had a storm here and our power was out for much of the day yesterday so I saved the blog for today. We needed a good rain, just not the wind! Today's picture is one of my peonies that started blooming on Saturday. They are one of my favorite flowers and I've been taking a lot of pictures.

Deadhead your flowers! Make yourself a note and do it this week. I've been getting emails asking what to do with those flowers that have browned on the plants. Pinch them off with your fingers or clip them off with shears. Each plant is slightly different, but the seed head will form where the bloom was. If you don't clip off that dead bloom, energy will go into forming seeds instead of making more flowers. Snapdragons, petunias, sweet William, pansies, zinnias, calendula, bachelor buttons, geraniums and many more annuals need to deadheaded. Those in the soil, in window boxes and hanging baskets all need to have this done. There is a lot of growing season remaining.

A quick reminder on feeding and watering most herbs. Water only during drought conditions or when first transplanting. Don't mulch unless it's an herb that prefers moist conditions and the general rule is to not fertilize. Certainly if you do, use only organic fertilizer and go lightly.

This is the time of year to pinch back certain plants that are considered fall bloomers, so you'll be sure to have color later in the season. Some of these are mums, asters, and Autumn Joy sedum (we call these house leeks here in the Midwest). You don't want to pinch off the blooms or the small side stems too late, but June is a good time to do this. The plant will have lovely blooms in the autumn if you pinch back now.

Slugs are a big problem year round in the garden, but watch for them to be especially annoying during and after a rain. You can surround the bottom of your plants with crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, diatomaceous earth, or even gravel to deter these pests. If they are also getting into your potted plants you can wrap the base of the pot with copper. They won't crawl past this barrier. (Check out any Starbucks for free coffee grounds. I just picked up a bag the other day.)



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