Thus far this spring weather can be compared to game 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs or an embarrassing noise.
Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen and move on!! Here’s the garden to-do list for June 2011.
Mow! Once the warm weather hits…and it will, raise your mowing height. Your grass will be less stressed, more vigorous and require less repairs come fall.
Gardens – Weed, fertilize, pinch back and trim as needed. With all the rain plants will tend to be leggier and may require support. You may be feeling overwhelmed at this point with weeding. Just keep chugging away a bit each day or so. Things will slow once the heat hits. You can still add to your garden as things have been so delayed, but save the moving of existing perennials and shrubs for fall.
Keep an eagle eye out for pests and disease. Those pesky aphids are here. A sharp stream of water from the hose will do the trick and no, they won’t climb back up. Powdery mildew, oh yeah, if caught soon enough, remove affected leaves and don’t put them in the compost. Black spot, do the same. If you have plants that are consistently affected by pest and disease, its tough love time, there are so many other spectacular pest and disease resistant ones out there that would be great replacements. Don’t expect perfection this year and have patience if your usually trouble free specimens are affected.
Water gardeners with ponds in full sun, stave off an algae bloom by ensuring about 75 percent coverage with lilies and oxygenators such as frog bit, water hyacinth and water lettuce.
Veggie gardens can still be added to. If you have planted sunflowers or corn already, take a peek at a seed or two to make sure they haven’t rotted in the rain and cold. You can still replant. Continue to sow greens at two week interval.
You can do the same with corn, peas, and some carrots and beans so you will have an extended picking rather than one huge glut! Keep hoeing out the weeds. If you’ve lost some to the weather or the slugs, don’t despair, there is a great selection of veggies in the nursery.
Container gardens, water at least once a day.
Check hanging baskets regularly.
If they are allowed to get dry, make sure you bring them down and set them in a shallow tray of water to soak for an hour or so to ensure they will retain moisture with the next watering.
The water will run right through a dry hanging basket without retaining any for the plants!!
Some of your house plants can go out for a summer vacation in a shady place for the first few days and for those that can take sun, gradually acclimatize them.
Fruit trees, if you have a particularly heavy set of apples or pears, remove some of them to keep limbs from breaking or bending. Remove any of the misshapen pink tinged midge affected leaves from apple trees. Watch for and prune out any black knot in plums. Remove blighted leaves from peach trees.
Berries – watch for the different pollinators for raspberries, blueberries and tayberries among others, they are interesting to observe and a good test of the health of your garden.
Remember to stretch during the commercials on game days and to vary your pacing from clockwise to counterclockwise to avoid getting stiff and tired on one side of your body. Go Vancouver Hockey Team Go!!!