SUMMER Gardening Tips
Most of the “hard labor” of amending soil, mulching and planting is completed. Now it is time to enjoy the growing colors of your hard work. Use some of these tips to insure your continued success.
- Continue to plant trees, shrubs, flowers and perennials. There is always room to add more color into your beds. It is not too late to plant, there is still a good four months of gardening ahead of us ! Now that your basics are completed, consider adding new perennial beds and colorful pots of flowers to your landscape.
- For longer bloom times on all of your flowers and perennials, DEADHEAD ! Always remove spent blooms to make room for new blooms. Perennials, especially, benefit from a good haircut.
- Water plants and lawns deeply during periods of dry weather. Annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs should be watered with the slow trickle method or by using a soaker hose. Pay special attention to hanging baskets, window boxes and containers as they will need more frequent watering. Anything planted in clay pots or in cocoa liner will require at least once daily watering as these dry out much faster.
- Apply a 2” to 3” layer of mulch around your plants. Mulch conserves water as well as keeps weeds down. Do not mulch against the stems, leave breathing room.
- Warm, humid weather encourages the development of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot. Water in the early morning so that plants can dry out during the day and avoid overhead sprinkler watering if possible. Follow a regular spraying schedule with Bonide Rose RX for good control of fungus.
- Seeing beetles ? You could have grubs…break their life cycle now by using Bonide Grub Beater.
- Insect damage on vegetables should be treated immediately with Safer Organic insect killer.
- Insect damage on ornamental flowers and shrubs can be prevented with the use of Bonide Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew.
- FEED your hanging baskets, containers and all annual flowers with Garden Elements Bud & Bloom. Everytime you water, you are washing away valuable nutrients from the soil. These nutrients must be replaced in order for your flowers to continue blooming and thriving.
- Seed or reseed bare spots in your lawn. Use Bonide Weed & Feed now to keep your lawn green and weed-free.
- Cover fruits and berries with Bird netting so that you can enjoy the fruit and not the birds !
- Cut fall Mums back by one half NOW to reduce their Fall height and avoid floppy plants later.
- Consider adding some permanent color to your garden beds with a bird bath or fountain.
MAY GARDENING TIPS
The month of May is a time when the weather can either turn your garden into an Eden…or a wasteland. Be aware of the weather forecasts for frost and freeze warnings. If a frost is in the forecast, protect your annuals and vegetables with light cloth. If the weather is sunny and dry, be sure to water your plants. Most flowers and shrubs need about an inch of water a week to perform well and newly planted things will perish if their roots are allowed to dry out.
Hopefully, you have done all of your PLANNING, because this is the month for PLANTING!
- Remember that the soil is the foundation for strong, healthy plants. Add Bumper Crop Soil Amendment or Mushroom Manure compost to all of your flower and vegetable beds before planting. The soil from last year is just dirt…all of the nutrients that feed your plants has been used up…you need to replace them.
- It is still not too late to fertilize your trees and shrubs. Use Holly Tone on evergreens, Rose Tone on roses, Plant Tone on perennials and Tree Tone on trees and other shrubs. Be sure to water in after applying.
- Early flowering deciduous shrubs, such as forsythia, should be pruned back when they are finished blooming. If you wait until Fall to prune, you will lose next years' blooms.
- Remove the wilting seed heads from rhododendrons and azaleas so that the plants' energy can go to new foliage growth and next years flowers.
- Work lime into the soil around your Hydrangeas to produce pink flowers, or HydraBlue for blue flowers.
- Remove any sucker growth from fruit trees as soon as they appear.
- Keep a vigilant eye on your roses for insects and disease. Pretreat with Bonide RoseRX now and again in 6 weeks to prevent common rose problems such as black spot, aphids and rust.
- Pines and other conifers can be kept to a compact size by pinching off the new growth (candles).
- Feed your lilacs with 10-10-10 fertilizer for better blooms.
- Plant summer blooming bulbs, such as dahlia, Lily, Canna and Gladiola, NOW.
- Trim off wilting Daffodil and Tulip blooms, but leave the foliage intact until it turns brown.
- Promptly remove spent flowers from any plant, unless your intent is to harvest the seeds. (Deadhead) Removing dead blooms will promote further blooms.
- Wait until late May to plant warm weather crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers.
- Repair your lawn. Set your mower for a higher cut during the Spring months to help the grass grow in fuller and choke out weeds.
- Check those houseplants before putting outside, they may need a larger pot.
- Give your entryway an easy facelift with large pots of colorful flowers and a new Welcome mat.
- BUY MOM A HANGING BASKET FOR MOTHER'S DAY !
- Now is the time to wage war against slugs and snails to prevent future damage to your garden and, especially, your Hostas. Stop in and ask us how.
- SIGN UP for our newsletter for great weekly information and gardening tips throughout the month of May. Valuable coupons, found only in the newsletter, can help you get those extra plants you want In your landscape.
- Stock up on Bud & Bloom, with a 10-52-8 punch of nutrients for all of your blooming plants. Remember that every time you water a hanging basket or container, you are basically washing the nutrients out of the soil. You need to replace those nutrients to feed your flowers.
HUNGRY FLOWERS ARE NOT HAPPY FLOWERS !
HAPPY GARDENING ! DON'T FORGET TO STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS…LIFE IS SHORT, ENJOY IT !
APRIL GARDENING TIPS
- We know you are anxious to plant gorgeous annuals and great vegetable gardens. It is still too early to safely do this ! Remember, SAFE on Mothers' Day, SAFEST on Memorial Day !
- Decorate your front entrance with a Spring wreath, new colorful doormat and Spring Flag !
- Plant trees, shrubs, perennials and Pansies NOW ! You can also plant those potted Easter Flower bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths etc…) after enjoying them in your home for the holiday.
- Begin planting cool-season vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbage-kale, onions, potatoes and radishes.
- Add organic mushroom manure compost to your flower and vegetable beds, mix with existing soil to add much needed nutrients. Get ready for those heavy feeding tomatoes and peppers by working Garden Tone fertilizer into your vegetable gardens with mushroom manure compost.
- Clean out last years' containers and rejuvenate the soil by adding Bumper Crop soil so you are ready to plant next month.
- If you planted garlic last Fall, keep the flowers pinched off. This will direct all the plants' energy towards growing larger bulbs. Garlic is ready to harvest as soon as the foliage turns brown and falls over.
- DO NOT cut off daffodil foliage ! You can remove the spent blooms, leaving the foliage in place to recharge the bulbs. Apply Bulb Tone or Bone Meal around all Spring blooming bulbs for more blooms next year.
- Replant any frost-heaved perennials, divide and transplant any crowded perennials such as Hosta, Iris, Daylily and groundcovers.
- Sprinkle Plant Tone around all perennial beds, apply mushroom manure compost and then mulch.
- 11. Remember to use Preen before mulching to prevent new weeds from sprouting.
- Get rid of existing weeds by pulling out by root or spraying with Kleenup. It is especially important to keep up with the weeds now so you are not overwhelmed later on.
- Cut back last years' dead foliage on all perennials and clean up any leaves around them so that they can rise up with no obstruction. If you haven't already, cut off ornamental grasses.
- If you haven't applied Crabgrass Preventer to your lawn, do it now so that you can apply Weed & Feed at the end of the month.
- If you did apply Crabgrass Preventer last month you can start reseeding bare patches or top dress your lawn. See our Lawn Care page for more information.
- FERTILIZE! Now is the time to feed all of your trees, shrubs, perennials and roses as they awaken and are hungry.
- Address any signs of insects as soon as you spot them. Due to the early warm weather, insects are much more prevalent this year ! Set up a Stink Bug Trap!
- Start more seeds indoors so that you have nice sized seedlings to transplant into the garden next month.
- Clean out water features and ponds. Scrub out the birdfeeders also.
- Trim hedges and prune evergreens. Don't prune Spring flowering trees and shrubs until they are finished blooming.
- Keep up with applying Deer Repellants to protect your plant investments!
- Sign up for our Newsletter for weekly reminders and information as well as special savings !
- Review March's Gardening Tips below to complete anything you did not have time for !
MARCH GARDENING TIPS
- Once the snow has melted, clear away leaves, twigs and any debris that has accumulated over the winter. Keep tender plants such as roses covered until mid-April.
- Remove last years' spent foliage growth from perennials and cut your ornamental grasses back to 4-6 inches from the ground.
- Fertilize trees and shrubs, especially if they did not get fed last Fall. This will give the root systems valuable nutrients for that Spring growth. Use HOLLY TONE on acid loving shrubs like Holly, Azalea, Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Dogwood. (We have a great sale on Holly Tone 40 lb. bags, see our Specials tab) Use TREE TONE on most other trees.
- Prune summer flowering shrubs before new growth begins. Wait to prune spring flowering until after they have bloomed.
- Apply Dormant Oil spray on fruit and shade trees to prevent insect infestation. Temperatures must be above freezing for several days before applying.
- Apply BULB TONE or BONE MEAL to emerging Spring bulb growth (tulips, daffodils, crocus) to bring on more beautiful blooms.
- Begin to use deer repellents to train deer away from your flower beds. Our customers recommend LIQUID FENCE spray and/or DEER SCRAM granular. Remember when using sprays to spray often as bulbs grow fast and the new growth must be treated. TULIPS ARE DEER CANDY
- Begin your 4 Phase Lawn Program by applying BONIDE PHASE 1 CRABGRASS PREVENTER. This is an important step to prevent crabgrass germination in your lawn. If you plan on reseeding or planting new grass, use the Seed Starting weed control from Bonide.
- Apply Mushroom Manure Compost on all of your perennial and garden beds in a 2-3 inch layer. This will add needed nutrients to the soil and provide moisture retention as well as weed control. This is easiest to do now before the perennials emerge. Apply PLANT TONE around your perennials at the same time to give a boost to the new growth as it emerges.
- Apply mulch around any perennials that are showing signs of frost heave to protect the root system until next month when you can replant them.
- Think about testing the soil in your garden, lawn and flower beds to determine which nutrients need to be replaced next month.
- Perform tool maintenance. Take inventory of gloves, hand tools, containers and fertilizers and restock now to be prepared.
- Start planning your gardens, make rough sketches of what you want to see this year. Bring pictures and drawings to us for advice or questions now. Plan your work, then work your plan !
- Start indoor seeds NOW. We have everything you need to start a great vegetable garden and Perennials started from seed now will take off in your garden in May. See our Seed Starting tab for more information.
- Feed your houseplants with Bonide Liquid Plant Food and repot them if necessary. Make new plants by taking cuttings from your existing plants and rooting them. Use BONIDE ROOTING POWDER for the best results. Stop into the store for instructions.
- The grubs will be awakening from winter now through May. They will begin feeding on grass roots and destroying your lawn. Use BONIDE GRUB BEATER soon, one application is all it takes to control grubs all season long.
- Apply Preen weed preventer to flower, landscape and garden beds to prevent weeds all season long.