GARDEN CALENDAR FOR MAY 2009
TO PLANT: Even though we have had a few hot days don’t be mislead because we can still get some cool and hopefully rainy weather. For the flower garden, it is the perfect time to plant summer blooming bulbs. If you haven’t done so, you can plant gladiola bulbs from April, May, as well as June. These bulbs are still available in most nurseries and will reward you with blooms over a long period of time. Dahlias are a wonderful bulb to plant even this month. Don’t overlook the dahlias available as bedding plants. These wonderful plants will reward you with picking flowers until November. Tuberous begonias (as bedding plants) are available in most nurseries. There is a new series of bedding types available to take a look at. In the vegetable garden there are many “starts” available and it is still in season to plant squash, melons, corn, and other warm weather crops. Impatiens and other shade loving plants will make a wonderful display of color in shady areas. This is a ”go do it” month.
TO DO: Keep grooming all of your spring and summer annuals to remove the seed pods in order to extend the bloom season. Make sure to clean up the old blooms on all of your azalea, camellias, rhododendron, and other winter to late spring blooming plants. Make sure to remove all of the spent blooms from the ground. After doing this spread mulch around the root systems to conserve water and keep the roots cool. Clematis should have its old blooms removed in order to encourage a second bloom. Spring blooming bulbs should have their seed pods removed and give them a slug of liquid fish emulsion to encourage next spring bloom. This is especially important if you wish to leave them in the ground. Tulips can be dug up and stored after the tops have died down. I would toss the small bulbs and only save the largest bulbs. Keep these bulbs in a cool and dry place until fall bulb planting time. Roses in containers are in full bloom in nurseries. If you wish to impress Mom, give her a living rose plant in full bloom. If your azalea plants are leggy, it is a good idea to shear them into shape after the bloom cycle.
GARDEN CALENDAR FOR JUNE 2009
TO PLANT: This is a good time of year to plant an herb garden. There are some easy to plant and harvest types including a couple of annual herbs such as basil and thyme. Basil comes in several different colors at this time and can add a visual appeal to your herb garden. When purchasing herbs, check to make sure that they are not overgrown in the pot. Cilantro will go to seed if the plants are too long in the six-pack. You can start many herbs from seeds and in many cases that is more rewarding than from plants. This is a good time of year to check out the citrus plants in the local nurseries. Many fruit trees are also available in containers. It is a good time of year to shop for that shade tree. If you are not ready to plant, wait until October. On the other hand looking at the trees growing in nurseries will give you a better idea as to what the tree will look like. There are still blooming plants in nurseries that might spark up your flower beds as well as other parts of your landscapes.
TO DO: If your citrus plants looks stressed and still haven’t recovered from this past cool winter, make sure you are feeding them with organic citrus food. If they still don’t look robust check the drainage and also add a source of mineral such as rock flour, Azomite, or other mineral source. Keep your tomatoes off the ground. When tomatoes are on the ground they can be damaged by pill bugs, slugs, and rot. If you notice a dark spot on the bottom of the fruit, add calcium to the soil. Monterey Lawn and Garden sells a liquid form that will correct the problem. This is the best time of year to prune back hedges. If you are into formalizing your shrubs, this is the month to do the job. Hang old CD’s in fruit trees and around the vegetable garden if you see bird damage. The shiny surface usually deters them. Check the sprinkler system in your lawn to make sure that the lawn is being watered efficiently. If fruit on your apples, pears, and the like are bearing smaller than usual fruit, make a note on your garden calendar for next year to thin the fruit at blooming time next year.
GARDEN CALENDAR FOR JULY 2009
TO PLANT: This is the month to groom all of the spent bloom on your annuals, shrubs, and vegetable garden. If the peas and other spring crops are looking spent, pull them out and replant with summer crops such as corn, lettuce, and basil. I don’t think anyone can have too much basil. If you have some lack luster spots in your landscape, visit your local nursery and look to see what is in bloom. Geraniums, lantana, plumbago, and other perennials are in good color. For annuals you can add zinnias, petunias, and marigolds as immediate color. Roses are in good supply if you wish a good spot of color in the garden. Check out some of the low care landscaping roses such as “easy care” and ground cover varieties. If you are interested in fall planting from seed, this is the month to check out the local seed racks in nurseries. Most nurseries will be sending their seed racks back this month.
TO DO: This iS vacation time for many people, but not for your garden. Besides checking out the seed pods in your flower beds and vegetable gardens you need to protect your garden from summer heat. It is a must time to slow down on watering. This makes it imperative to mulch around your landscape. At this time of year our four legged animal friends are starting to run out of something to eat in your garden. Deer Scram is a product you might need to use to keep deer and rabbits away from your garden. This will include vegetables. In order to see if your lawn is in need of water do this. First water the lawn as usual. After the grass becomes dry press your foot onto the lawn. If the lawn recovers within one hour, you don’t need to water. This can be three to five days. If the lawn takes more than one hour to recover, it is time to water. Check the Q. and A. section for clarification. Watering your tomato plants is important, but many people water every day and that just isn’t good for the plant or the flavor of the tomato. Water your plants in the morning and make an X on your calendar. Don’t water until your plants look slightly wilted in the morning. When this happens, make another X on your calendar. This is your watering schedule.