Last week, as the temperatures started to climb, many people came into the store to get tools, supplies, and plants, all saying “I’m so far behind!” – referring to their gardens, of course. To that, I say – me too! But it’s not our faults. Mother Nature has been really messing with us this spring – lots of cold and snow in April, followed by chilly rain for much of May. It was easy to think that it was too early to be planting anything in the garden, based on the weather. Until of course, last week, when we were suddenly reminded that it was getting late. I had hoped to get a lot done in my garden over the holiday weekend, but I just couldn’t stand being out for too long in that heat. So now I feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland – running around saying, “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”
June Featured Garden Products: Plant Supports
There are some plants in our gardens that just need a little help keeping their heads up. Peonies are notorious for flopping over – the weight of those big beautiful blooms is just more than their stalks can support on their own. But peonies aren’t the only ones who sometimes need propping up. In my gardens, I have catmint that is in serious need of dividing, but since I didn’t get to that earlier, it’s looking very ragged – falling over from the center – and is going to get corralled this weekend.
Fortunately, we have all kinds of options available to give your plants the support they need, including simple stakes, gathering rings, trellises, topiaries, and more. Come talk to us about the best solutions for your plants!
In this month’s issue of Let’s Get Gardening
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for seasonal gardening advice and recommendations for your garden, yard, and bird feeding. In this month’s issue:
Whenever you have an opportunity to get caught up on our outdoor chores during the weekend, here’s what you (and I) should be doing this month…
- Get seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and eggplant in the ground (or in pots) right away, so that they have the necessary time to reach maturity in our short growing season. If they need staking, do that at the time you plant them, so that you don’t risk harming the roots later.
- Start a weekly program of spraying your plants with fungicide as soon as you get them planted.
- One more thing to do immediately upon planting is mulching. Providing your plants with mulch will help keep the soil temperature and moisture levels even – both of which are important for your plants.
- Speaking of moisture, don’t forget to keep your plants watered. An inch of water per week is the general recommendation, but that may need to be adjusted, depending on the weather.
- Plant seeds of carrots, bush beans, dill and cilantro every week or two from now until about mid-July. This way, you can be sure to have a continuous harvest throughout the season. Pole beans can be planted all at once, since they produce all season long, but don’t wait any longer to get them planted, if you haven’t yet.
- Weeding is an important part of keeping your plants healthy and producing – though I have to admit that it’s not my favorite part of gardening. However, weeds compete for water and nutrients, and they can also be disease carriers. Do a little weeding every time you’re in the garden so it won’t seem so tedious.
- Have more questions about growing vegetables in Michigan? Michigan State University’s Extension Service has lots of answers! For tips on watering, weeding, disease and more, check out the vegetable gardening section of their website.
- Just like in the vegetable garden, it’s time to get going on planting in your flower gardens as well.
- Plant summer-blooming bulbs if you haven’t already. This includes dahlias, gladiolus, lilies, begonias and canna lilies.
- Wait to trim back the foliage of your spring blooming bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips and alliums, until the foliage has died completely.
- Plant perennials and annuals now, and keep them deadheaded throughout the season, so they keep flowering. Keep them well-watered too, especially when the temperatures start to climb.
- Annuals should be fertilized regularly throughout the season. Producing flowers takes a lot of energy, which uses up a lot of nutrients. Perennials generally only need one application of fertilizer each spring.
- Set your indoor plants outside for the summer – somewhere where they will be protected from winds and where they will get some filtered sun throughout the day.
- If you’re a fan of peonies, don’t miss the show put on at the peony garden at the University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum. The last report I saw said that the peonies were about 40% in bloom, but you can see the latest update here.
- If you’re interested in planting for pollinators, mark your calendar for June 24th – that’s when MSU will hold its annual Bee-Palooza! The event offers demonstrations, tours, and hands-on activities for all ages.
Trees & Shrubs:
- Plant new trees and shrubs early in the month, so they have as much time as possible to get established before winter comes. Be sure to keep them well-watered throughout the growing season, as the newly transplanted are not as good at taking up water from the soil as established ones.
- Water trees and shrubs infrequently, but deeply. You want to encourage the roots to grow deeply, which won’t happen with frequent, shallow watering.
- Be sure your trees and shrubs have a good layer of mulch over their roots to keep them evenly moist, and to prevent weeds. Mulch should extend out to the tree’s dripline (the circumference of the tree’s canopy), but not be placed right up against the trunk.
- Don’t fertilize newly planted trees & shrubs – you want them to concentrate on putting down roots, not growing above ground, at this point.
- Have you had a hard time keeping up with mowing your lawn this spring, because of all the rain? You’re not alone! Michigan State University’s Extension service has some tips for dealing with wet grass and the problems all that water can cause.
- Remember to clean your nectar feeders on a regular basis so that bacteria doesn’t build up. Also, when we have heavy rains, if your feeder isn’t protected by a dome, or isn’t under a porch, you may need to replace the nectar, because it gets diluted, and won’t be as attractive to the birds.
- If you don’t already have one, consider putting out a birdbath to provide your birds with a good source of clean water for drinking and bathing. If you have one, make sure you keep it cleaned out and filled with water.
- At this time of year, birds are busy raising their young. While you are out in your yard and garden, keep an eye out for baby birds so that you don’t inadvertently harm them.
Store News & Specials:
- This year, give Dad the gift of time in the garden. We’ve got lots of great ideas for unique gifts to show just how much you appreciate him!
- You’ll also find the perfect gift for your Graduate, Teacher, or Bride and Groom. We’ve got you covered for all the important events in the busy month of June.
- $10 off any $50 purchase Expires 6/30/18