by Ceil Loucka
Summer is almost here! I have a strong feeling it will be a dry summer. It is already below average on rainfall. For any newly planted bush or shrub, they need at least one inch of water each week for the first two years. Now is the time to mulch to keep down weeds and retain moisture. The best kind of irrigation is drip irrigation – it goes directly to the roots and is not quickly evaporated like water from a sprinkler.
Pull weeds early and often. They’ll come out easier if the ground is wet, so wait until you have watered or after a rainfall. Avoid synthetic chemicals. Deal with pests with pyrethrins, Bt, insecticidal soap, or neem oil. (Neem oil comes from an African plant.)
Replace fading pansies with petunias or New Guinea impatiens. Prune spring flowering shrubs immediately after they have finished blooming.
I have had a lot of die-off on my hydrangeas. I cut off the dead stalks and they are growing up from the roots. It was a mild winter so I don’t understand what happened. I do see the affects of more CO2 in the atmosphere – the perennials are growing taller than usual.
Enjoy the beautiful colors of the flowers. Every day is a joy and surprise to see something else beginning to flower.
Until next month,