Take A Moment to Capture the Season
While taking pictures of a landscape does not literally help in its maintenance, taking a few snap shots of the lawn, garden and landscaping not only provides flavorful memories from weeks of hard work, but can also help envision changes in future years. For example, a few strategic shots may capture the sun/shade ratio to better understand what shade tolerance current or additional plants need. Pictures can also help lawn and garden professionals assist in choosing the right plants or garden products, such as fertilizer. Taking pictures often could even create a time-lapse slide show of progressive landscaping efforts.
While flowering annuals are beautiful, many gardeners are not aware that in most cases, removing the flower now will direct the plant to send up more flower heads. Pinching them back could provide a more dramatic show of flowers later. Plants that respond especially well to this technique include inpatients, snapdragons and marigolds.
To aid in the overall health of flowers and produce bigger blooms, consider using a specially designed fertilizer and watering it into the flower beds once a week.
A little behind on planting this year? The good news is, it's not too late to get those annuals into the ground and containers. The Farmer Almanacs says that any time after Memorial Day is a great time to plant, and the season has just begun to enjoy those colorful blooms.
Unwanted Garden Visitors
Be on the lookout for aphids. These tiny green insects suck the life out of plants. While an aphid infestation should be visible, some other tell tale signs are “sticky” stems or weak looking plants. There are many ways to combat aphids and the best recommendation is to see a specialist at the local garden shop.
Winter Moth inch worms are still very active. You can often see these worms hanging from silk-like threads. The damage is unmistakable as they will target the leaves of many trees, including maple, oak and fruit.
The Vegetable Garden
If the starters have been recently planted or new seedlings have been freshly transplanted, the key to their strong start is ample watering. Watering is not only essential to seed germination, it also helps plants settle into their new home and sends out new root growth.
For tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, peas or any other climbing vine plants, now is the time to consider adding support structures to allow the plants to climb. There are many options available, functional or decorative, such as cages, bamboo stakes, wooden stakes, trellis and obelisks to aid those climbers.
Watering the lawn is obviously important, especially through dry periods. The strategy, however, differs from vegetable watering. Wilson Farm Garden Shop Manager Sam Bradford recommends water less frequently but very deeply. The reason for the deep watering is to encourage roots to grow deeper in search of water. A lawn with a deep root system is healthier, can withstand stress and will also winter better. It may even save time and energy as weeds are less likely to grow in a healthy lawn.
Weeds are a common problem this time of year and there are many strategies for those handling pesky intruders. There are two organic options: first, spray an organic weed treatment. These remedies, however, will also impact the health of the grass as well, so careful application is necessary as to not impact the grass. If the current lawn is mostly weeds, it can be applied to the entire lawn, add topsoil and reseed. At Wilson Farm, the experts in the garden shop have had good luck applying spot treatments of organic weed control using a paint brush. Simply pour some of the weed control into a cup, and use a brush to paint the weeds. It may take more than one application, but it’s definitely a good option for people that want an organic lawn.
The second organic option for getting rid of weeds is to use a weed puller. This tool helps to pull the entire weed out, reducing the chance that remaining roots will re-grow.
There are also easy to use weed control options that are non-organic that work extremely effectively. These treatments can be applied to specific weed spots or can be sprayed over the whole lawn without impacting the grass.
There is no need to sit and admire the neighbor's landscape anymore. A healthy lawn and garden requires just a little regular effort and attention. Pretty soon, those admiration tables may be turned!
Information for this article was contributed by Wilson Farm, 10 Pleasant St., Lexington.
781.862.3900, www.wilsonfarm.com, on Facebook.com/ShopWilsonFarm or Twitter@WilsonFarm.