Inspect Plant Purchases
When shopping for annual bedding plants, be sure to check the undersides of the leaves and along the stems. Impatiens, geraniums, fuchsias, tomatoes, peppers, and certain herbs, like basil are frequently infested with white flies. It won’t take long for these pests to find their way to other plants in your garden. Aphids, which are soft-bodied insects, are especially fond of young growing shoots of plants. If you see plants that are under attack by bugs, pass them up and pick out healthy ones.
Take Off Tree Wrapping
If you haven’t removed the tree wrap from the trunks of young trees, take time to do it now. If the tree wrap is left on throughout the summer, it’s a great place for some insects to set up house. Even disease spores can find the perfect environment to start growing underneath the tree wrap. Bark needs exposure to sunlight and air circulation to develop naturally and adapt to our climate.
As mulch begins to decompose and diminish, weeds can more easily start to sprout. Renew mulch layers around trees and shrubs to 2 inches to prevent weed invasions and help retain soil moisture. Spread the mulch up to, but not over, the root flare at the base of the tree or shrub stems.
As shrubs start to resume growth, and the spring-blooming varieties that escaped the frost begin to bloom, it’s time to apply a good general purpose fertilizer. Gro-Rich Garden Fertilizer has a 5-10-5 analysis plus iron and sulfur. It is an ideal product for our highly alkaline soils.
Conquer and Divide
Perennials that have started to outgrow their boundaries are in need of division. Now is the time to take a heavy-duty spading fork and lift out old perennials and split them. Divide them into thirds and transplant them to new sites or share them with gardening friends. Don’t forget to add EKO or Nature’s Yield Compost to the new planting site.
Prune Non-Blooming Lilacs
If your lilac isn’t blooming this year, it might be caused by the frost that followed the early warm-up this year. Perhaps the shrub is planted in too shady a location and will need to be moved. Older shrubs may need some renewal pruning since they bloom best on younger branches. Remove one-third of the oldest stems at ground level after their normal blooming cycle.
Plant Container-Grown Perennials
When buying perennials, be sure to select vigorously growing plants that have healthy foliage and a strong root system. Gently lift the plant out of the pot to check the roots. Healthy vigorous roots can be detected versus lack of root development.
Mow Your Lawn Frequently
Keep the lawn mower blades sharp and set the height to 2 to 3 inches. A longer grass height reduces the lawn’s water needs and promotes a healthier lawn. Mulching mowers leave the grass clippings on the lawn and returns one to two pounds of nitrogen to the soil in a season. Leaving clippings does not increase thatch buildup.
Time To Fertilize The Lawn
If you haven’t done so, this is an ideal time to fertilize your lawn. Even with all of the moisture we’ve received over the last few weeks, turf grass needs nutrients to perform at an optimum level. Well fertilized lawns also save water and choke out weed infestations. Either Richlawn Turf food or Richlawn Pro-Rich provide all of the essential elements your lawn requires.