Spring & SummerTips:
-Cut flower stalks back to the ground on daffodils, hyacinths, and other spring flowering bulbs as the flowers fade. Do no cut the foliage until it dies naturally. The leaves are necessary to produce strong capable bulbs of reflowering.
-April 25, 2014 is National Arbor Day. Plant a tree, or support an organization which does.
-Prune spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia and lilacs after they have completed flowering.
-Remove sticks, rocks and other debris from your lawn to prevent damaging your lawnmower or injuring yourself when mowing.
-Plant gladioli bulbs in late May.
-Set out marigold, petunia, ageratum and fibrous begonia transplants. All are good border plants.
-To grow annuals in containers on the patio, use a light weight soil mixture. Keep the plants well-watered, because the soil dries out fast. Apply a water soluble fertilizer according to package directions every two weeks.
-Watering roses with soaker hoses or drip irrigation will reduce the spread of black spot disease.
-Mulch around newly planted trees and shrubs. This practice reduces weeds, controls fluctuations in soil temperatures, retains moisture, prevents damage from lawn mowers and looks attractive.
-Lawns maintained at the correct height are less likely to have disease and weed infestation. Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue should be mowed at 2 to 3 inches in height. Mow frequently, removing no more than 1/3 of the blade at each cutting.
-For hanging baskets in cool, shady locations, use tuberous begonias, ferns or impatiens in combination with trailing plants.
-Remove old flower heads from annual bedding plants to keep them blooming.
-Disbud chrysanthemum flowers to secure large, beautiful blooms on straight, strong stems. To disbud, remove the small side buds along the stems which form in the angles of the leaves. This will allow all of the food reserves to be used for one large flower rather than many smaller ones.
-Watch for and control blackspot and powerdy mildew on rose foliage.
-The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
-Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool dry location to be saved for planting next year.
-Tall flowers should be staked to prevent damage by wind. Use stakes which are large enough to support the plant but are not too conspicuous. Use soft twine or twist ties to secure.
-A garden needs one inch of rain or water each week. Early morning is the best time to water. Evening watering is less desirable because plant leaves that remain wet through the night are more susceptible to fungus diseases. Mulch plants to reduce water losses and improve yields.
-For fall harvest of lettuce, radish, carrots, beets, turnips, kale and spinach, sow seeds in late July to early August.
-Check the soil moisture of container grown vegetables and flowers daily. As the temperature rises, some plants may need water twice a day.
-Keep tall flowers staked and cut out dead flower stalks.
-Check on water needs of hanging baskets daily in the summer. Wind and sun dry them much more quickly than other containers.
-Pick summer squash and zucchini every day or two to keep the plants producing.
-Water the garden early in the day so plants can absorb the moisture before the hot sun dries the soil. Early watering also insures that the foliage dries before night.
-To reduce the number of pests on your fruit tree for the coming year, pick up and destroy all fallen fruit.
-Do not add weeds with mature seed heads to the compost pile. Many weed seeds can remain viable and germinate next year when the compost is used.