“What should I use for bagworms on my Blue Spruce?”.
Good Point, and glad you read the label! Oils cannot be used on Blue Spruce, as it will turn the blue to green. (Although this can be a great trick to play on the neighbor. No-no, just kidding. Although it would be a good joke. But don’t do it!) Eight, Bt, etc., are all labeled. But I like Bonide’s Captain Jacks Deadbug Brew. All natural / all organic, and works great! Handpicking works too, if you have the time. Helps to clear the mind!
“Can I still plant trees and shrubs and such this time of the year?”
Absolutely! With so many things being grown in containers, plant selection has never been better for summer sales. As for watering, it’s no different watering a plant planted today, than watering one that was planted 2 months ago, or I 2014. They still need regular watering. The only big drawback is that you may sweat more! But that can be a good thing!
“We like to go away on 2-3 day trips, but have several container plantings. Have any suggestions how to keep them watered while we’re away, besides asking the neighbor to water?”.
1.) If possible, group your plants (indoors or out) together in a semi-shadier location. Grouped plants shade each other, won’t dry out as quickly, and the shadier location helps slow down water loss as well. 2.) If you used Soil Moist when first planting your containers, great! These small crystals absorb 200 times their weight in water, and re-release it back to the plants roots when the soil dries out, cutting watering as much as in half. If you don’t have Soil Moist in the soil, it can be added by punching several long holes with a pencil or dowel, and then dropping a few crystals in each hole. 3.) Water your plants thoroughly just before you leave, whether they need it or not. That way the soil, the plant, and the Soil Moist have been recharged with maximum amounts of water. 4.) Supplement additional water needed by adding an Aqua Cone (available online) or 2 to each container. These cones, when attached to a 2 liter bottle filled with water, will slow drip water into the soil over an extended period of time, adding moisture to the soil as it is used up by the plant. Again, extending the amount of time before the next watering would be needed. 5.) This is one time, and the only time, we will suggest placing a saucer under the pot and leaving water in the saucer. Again, this is the only time we would recommend doing this, but it will extend the time before the next watering is needed. 6.) If you have several containers, try installing a DIY drip irrigation system for the pots. Then you set a timer to turn the water off and on to water your plants while you’re away…or still at home! This is really a great way to go for those who have many container plantings.
Thought I would just have a few July ‘Yardening’ tips for you to read through. Remember, if you have any questions during the summer, just email. We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible! J
Keep watering as needed. General rule of thumb for established plants and turf is 1 inch rainfall every 10 days or so. A rain gauge will tell how much rain has fallen in your yard – don’t count on the weather reports! Newly planted trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials may need watering more often. Check soil moisture before watering. For established trees, evergreens and shrubs, try using a “Ross Root Feeder”. For landscape beds, try stationary sprinklers or soaker hoses. “Tree Water Bags” are good for newly planted (or up to 3 inch diameter) trees. Water deeply and thoroughly each time, water the soil not the foliage, and try to water between 5am and 9 am. -Keep fluffing the mulch to prevent crusting of the top layer. Mulch helps to prevent weeds, control soil temperatures, and maintain soil moisture. -Feed amaryllis bulbs growing thru the summer. -Keep weeds under control by hand weeding, spot spraying, pre emergent herbicides and mulching. -Garden during the cooler hours. Protect your skin from the sun. Keep yourself hydrated. -Make your fall plans now. Need to add new trees, shrubs, screen plantings, etc.? Looking at a landscape overhaul? Need to renovate the lawn? Make your plans now. -Mark your calendars for Sept. 3. That’s when the Natorp’s Nursery Outlet Fall Sale begins!
Annuals / Perennials / Vegetables & Herbs -Pinch mums and asters for the last time by no later than July 15. -Late July and August are the perfect times for digging, dividing and moving iris. -Keep deadheading spent flowers on annuals and perennials to encourage new growth and new flowers. Cut back leggy annuals to rejuvenate the plant. Keep planting fresh annuals for summer colors, as well as blooming perennials. -Be sure to feed roses, perennials, annuals, veggies, etc., as needed. Container plantings usually require a little more frequent feeding. -Watch for hornworms on tomato plants. -Keep harvesting veggies, fruits and herbs as needed. Have extra? Share with the local food banks or homeless shelters. -Blossom End Rot on tomatoes? Keep even soil moisture and add calcium to the soil. -Plan a fall garden, many of which can be planted in late July. Beets, squash, cabbage, radishes, collards, carrots, beans, turnips, cucumbers, lettuce and spinach are some of the many crops that will perform best late summer and into the fall. -Use bird netting to protect berries and fruits from the birds.
Turf -Mow the lawn as needed (never remove more than 1/3 grass blade each time you mow). Mow at a higher mowing level (2 ½ to 3 ½ inches), and return the grass clippings back to the turf. Change directions each time you mow, and keep that mower blade sharpened! -Still time to apply Grub Preventers to the lawn if needed. -Keep lawn weeds under control by hand weeding, spot spraying, pre emergent herbicides, and of course, always striving to thicken the lawn, as a thick healthy lawn means fewer weeds, insect and disease problems. Lawn thins, weeds move in.
Trees / Shrubs -Remove dead branches, water sprouts and suckers as needed. -Stop pruning spring flowering shrubs if you want to protect next year’s flowers. -Deadhead and feed roses to keep them blooming all summer long.
Bugs / Diseases -Monitor your plants for insect or disease problems. Not sure what it is? Email pictures and let us identify the problem, determine amounts of damages, whether or not it needs control, and what the control options are, including the most environmentally safe options. -Do not apply insecticides and fungicides when the temps are above 85 degrees. Always read the label for restrictions. And most importantly, BEE FRIENDLY in your gardening!