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Let’s Talk About June 2018

By: Pat Cordray

Okay, the heat has made itself known this month, along with its best friends Humidity and Mosquitoes. Walking outside the door in the morning can be quite a powerful slap in the face, Ouch! It feels like a large elephant is sitting on my chest trying to “assist” in my breathing. So, take it slow when gardening in the heat and please drink plenty of water. Protect yourself from the mosquitoes as best you can with clothing and bug sprays.  As daunting as all of this sounds, gardening can still be fun this month.

Denver Daisy Rudbeckia

June gardening includes watering, watching for bugs, planting, and fertilizing:

This is the month watering moves to the top of the list. It is the most important part of gardening. Too much or too little looks the same; dead. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers to check the soil around your plant for moisture. You can wash the soil off afterwards, it’s okay.  When you are new to gardening or you are trying a new plant, watch the plant to see how much water it uses in the area of your garden it is planted in.  The more sun, wind, and/or the higher the bed, the more water it may need.  but you will have to check. Use your finger and push down into the soil close to the plant. You might find that the top layer of soil is damp but an inch or two down is dry. Water slowly, think of a soft rain not a flash flood. You want the water to soak down to where the roots are, you don’t want the roots to come to the surface looking for water or the plant to die.

Sunfinity Sunflower

While you are out watering is a good time to keep an eye on your plants.  What are you looking for?  You are looking for damage on your plants and other signs of insects.  Ever see a white cottony insect on your hibiscus or other plants?  That is probably mealy bug.  An adult mealy bug is stationary, if you see one moving, that one is the mealy bug destroyer.  It is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It looks like a mealy bug, but it moves around and eats them.  So, don’t kill that one.  Mealy bugs suck the juices from plants that causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop off.  They also produce a honeydew that then grows mold.  They are just all kinds of fun and they love, love, love hibiscus.  Usually, that is the only plant in my garden that gets mealy bugs, (I hate to say that out loud).  To control them, I try to use as little as possible of garden insecticides.  You can wipe mealy bugs off the stems of your plants, yuck.  But tat doesn’t take care of the ones that seem to have embedded themselves in every nook and cranny of the plant causing the leaves and flowers to be deformed, I cut these areas off and throw them in the trash.  If I do use a product, Neem oil or Triple Action help control mealy bugs.  Sometimes, I get rid of the plant and try something not so attractive to mealy bugs, just saying there are other ways to win the battle besides chemicals.

Pazzaz Purslane

Scales are another common garden bug. This bug is stationary as an adult.  Scales cling to the plant even after death. Scales can be on many plants and there are different types of scales, some are soft and some are armored.  The best time to spray is when the crawlers are active (early spring), this is the easiest stage of the scales life to control.  At this stage Neem oil or Triple Action will work.

Another bug I want to talk about is the mosquito. It isn’t a problem for plants, but this bug is a problem for gardeners. To control mosquitoes, get rid of any standing water around your home. Check saucers, trash can lids, gutters, standing water in the lawn, garden art, birdbaths, fountains and ponds; try not to breed them. There are safe products for use in birdbaths, fountains and ponds to keep mosquitoes under control around your home. We carry Mosquito Beater WSP , Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks to help control mosquitoes.

If you haven’t changed out your spring color yet, there is still time to add some summer color. For sun, vinca (there are a couple of new varieties of vinca, check out the pictures), blue daze, salvias, scaevola, white wing, turnera pentas, cone flower, angelonia, gomphrena, rudbeckia, gazania, sunflowers and purslane work wonders in garden or container. Just give these sun lovers well-draining soil, water and fertilizer and you will get tons of blooms with just a little care.
Soiree Kawaii Vinca
Tattoo Vinca
Soiree Double Vinca
 For shade, you can pick torenia, Persian shield, mona lavender, cat whiskers, coleus, shrimp plant, caladiums, begonias, impatiens and ajuga. Any of these plants will add color and beauty to your shadier garden or containers. Again, use well-draining soil, water and fertilizer to keep these beauties healthy.
Cat Whiskers
Yellow Shrimp Plant
Golden Glow Ajuga
Fertilizing your plants is an important step to keeping your plants full of blooms and growing healthy. Don’t skip it. Microlife will feed the soil your plants grow in. The regular 6-2-4 bag is good for garden, lawn, shrubs and trees. It is easy to use, and there is no need to worry about getting it on yourself or your pets.


Enjoy your garden,