June: Things to do in your garden now to keep it healthy, growing and pretty
Flower farmer Lisa Ziegler checks on early-season snapdragons. (Daily Press file photo / June 15, 2012)
• Larger containers are easier to take care of then several small ones. The larger the mass of soil, the less often you need to water and the healthier your plants will be. You will reap these benefits more and more with each passing hot day.
• Remember to get the weeds while they are small. The hoes I use in our garden make weeding an easy and non-back-breaking chore. Click here to see our easy-to-use hoes.
• Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. Mulch immediately after planting to prevent weeds from sprouting.
• Continue planting warm season annuals until mid-summer such as zinnias, sunflowers and tomatoes.
• Be sure to have plenty of fresh water in your flower and vegetable gardens for the birds and squirrels. This will keep them from eating your produce for moisture, and their bathing will entertain.
• Use shredded mail and newspaper as the carbon/brown matter in your compost bin. It breaks down quickly and we all have lots of it. Click here to see compost supplies.
• Feed the birds. They will return all summer to eat bad bugs.
• Plant vines for vertical interest. I plant the annuals Heavenly Blue Morning Glory and Moonflower together for a gorgeous display of blue and white flowers. Plus the hummingbird moth comes and visits the freshly opened moonflowers each evening at dusk-
• Cover your newly-planted seeds and plants with a floating row cover until established. They will grow quicker and it will prevent the squirrels from digging them up!
• Top off all bare ground with a layer of compost and mulch to prevent weeds and soil erosion.
• Compost all healthy refuse from your garden.
• It's never too late to start seeds. There are seeds to be started in every month. We plant summer annuals once a month starting in late April until July. These include sunflowers, zinnias, cockscombs, tomatoes, squash, and many others.
• Harvest most spring flowers just as they begin to crack open. Place in flower food and the blooms will continue to open indoors in a cool spot free of wind and bugs. The quality of the bloom will be greatly improved and the bloom will last longer.
• Remember to scout for seedlings in your garden. I often find sunflowers, zinnias and cockscomb that have reseeded. Hand weed carefully!
• We mulch our gardens deeply immediately after planting plants or once the plants are 6-10" tall if we planted seed in the garden. We use any organic product that is available in masses to include, but not limited to: bark, leaves, compost and straw. Then we feel like our garden is ready for summer.
• Place a birdbath near a window you frequently look out. The variety of birds drawn to water far exceeds those at feeders. We have bluebirds splashing in our baths most mornings in spring and fall. Even a trashcan lid turned over and filled with water will do the job.
• Visit TGW TV and our Learning Center for Tips and References click here.
• Use your garden fork to open the soil around the drip line of your shrubs and beyond, then mulch with compost. Your shrubs will be thanking you all next season.