It’s that time of year
|The summer has just begun and I want to run a few happenings by you. Some are new while some will never be old.
Lightening bugs return - lightening bugs are technically predatory beetles that when they are at larvae stage (glo-worms) feed primarily on slimy, squishy insects on the ground such as snails, slugs, and worms. Those of us who have sufficient soil moisture will have lots of food, consequently, lots of fireflies. If it’s been dry, no slugs and no Fireflies. Areas with good moisture this time of year will have lots for the kids to chase. Beware of websites that blame pesticides. The secret clue is lots of soil moisture, not bug spray says David Shetlar, Landscape Entomologist at O.S.U.
Now some happenings that may need your assistance.
Loosen Existing Mulch
Processed hardwood mulch, the most popular mulch used, should be loosened monthly using a garden cultivator - allowing air and moisture to move through the mulch and into the soil. To end this monthly chore, mix pine bark chips in with the processed hardwood to keep the mulch from crusting.
Drain Hanging Baskets
Many of the flowering hanging baskets purchased this spring are in pots that do not drain, but instead collect water and hold it in the pot’s water reservoir. This keeps the soil in the hanging basket too wet.
Take a large screwdriver and a hammer and put 3 to 4 holes in the bottom of the hanging pot to allow trapped water to escape. You will notice that your impatiens and other flowers will perk up with-in a week. Patio and deck pots that have their drain holes on the bottom should be elevated at least ½” off of the floor to allow excess moisture to escape. Use large galvanized washers to elevate.
Control Weed Seeds
Weed seed control should be applied or re-applied to all of your planting beds. There are many weed seeds that have not germinated this season, including chickweed which germinates in the fall. Apply Preen now and again in early September. Apply Dimension now and it will work for the rest of the year. Read the label for application directions.
Dead Head your Summer Blooming Flowers
This is the time of year when some of your summer-blooming annuals and perennials grow tall and lanky. Pinch tall growth back half way, and your plants will respond with new, bushier growth. Continue to remove the spent flowers on your Knock Out Roses and other summer blooming shrubs to get more color in the weeks ahead.
Deer remain the No. 1 enemy of many gardeners. There are many products that discourage deer from setting a dinner table up in your landscape. The better deer repellants include ‘Liquid Fence’, ‘This One Works’, ‘Deer Scram’, and Milorganite. The secret to success is rotating products using different ones a month at a time and then switching to another.
Just Say No to Summer Lawn Feeding
Feeding your lawn this summer might seem like a good idea. It’s not! The nitrogen in that feeding will make the grass blade greener but that’s all it will do and that’s not good. You will push a lot of new blade growth that won’t have the roots to support it. In essences you’ll be spending money to weaken your lawn. Late fall is when grass plants grow the majority of their new roots.
Continue to Plant
Its summer but that doesn’t mean you can’t add more beauty and color to your landscape. Find room for a Knock Out Rose or place a flowering hanging basket on a lower branch of that large shade tree. Remember, you can dig a hole and install a new plant any time of year except for when the ground is frozen.
“For more timely tips concerning what’s going on this week go to www.bloomingarden.com.”