It’s a glorious day in July and time for a garden chat.
We’ve been blessed with lovely, moist growing conditions and things are looking robust. Leaves seem larger than normal, and flowers are bursting forth. Keep your annuals looking their best by giving them weekly doses of liquid plant food such as Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 (which we love) or Miracle Gro. Give your Wave Petunias a light trim, snipping off the ends a tad, to discourage the straggly look in August. That’ll bush them right up! (Just do it – it won’t be painful.) Deadheading keeps the flowers coming.
But now it’s getting very dry out there. Of course, attention to watering is essential! If you did any planting this season, please get the hose out and thoroughly soak the entire root area with plenty of water a couple times a week, the rest of the summer. (Not just a little sprinkle). It may mean the success or failure of your tree, shrub, perennials, etc. We have Plant Nannys to get the annual pots from one weekend to the next. Fancy ones use wine bottles, or less expensive models use 2 liter pop bottles.
Plant for the pollinators! The good insects and bees have a big job to do, and the population is declining due to detrimental environmental conditions. So, what can we do??? Plant the plants they love – encourage them to make babies! So pick from this list: Agastache, Allium, Asclepias, Coreopsis, Coneflowers, Clover, Joe Pye Weed, Heliopsis, Helianthus, Lambs Ears, Linden trees, Lavender, Nepeta, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Solidago, Spirea, Vernonia, etc. etc.
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Read the blog page NATIVE NECTAR PLANTS for a more complete list.
We have patches of milkweed plants in our fields that we are monitoring. This week they are loaded with Monarch eggs, various stages of instars and crysalises. It’s very exciting! That’s a good sign. We also have Yellow Swallowtails out there, too. Which reminds us to keep planting butterfly attracting plants. According to Janice, the Monarch lady, it’s really important to plant late flowering flowers like Asters, Helenium, Helianthus, Liatris and Solidago.
Are the skeeters biting you? Well, Cindy says you should try our No Bite Me Insect Repellant and afterbite cream. A little dab goes a long way… and it works, says Cindy, Paul and Chris. (That’s a good test cuz Cindy’s so sweet that the skeeters are all attracted to her.) We’re happy because it’s all natural – made with essential oils. Yay! Put it on after a bite and it stops the itching. Double whammy.
Our new totally organic product of the month is Vital Blend Bio Char. What’s that, you ask??? It’s a certified organic and OMRI approved soil amendment made from anerobicly pyrolized (burned) yellow pine and humate. You mix it into the soil when planting. It’s a living space for soil microorganisms. All the micronutrients in the humate congregate in the bio char and provide high energy food source that is readilly available to your plants. It’ll kick-start the roots and get everything off to a healthy start. (Increases bacteria by 45% and nitrogen by 100% in 7 days!)
I hate to mention this word… but I will. Deer are the enemy this year, even though they are so beautiful. Everyone who comes in has a deer story to tell, and it’s not a pleasant topic. The best thing we can say is to be diligent with spraying repellant on the foliage of your plants. We still like Plantskyyd and Liquid Fence the best. It’s good to spray the perimeter of your garden so they get the idea that your yard stinks! Also, Milorganite granules spread around , stink wonderfully, too. I fertilized my whole garden with it the other day, and I can still smell it from my screen porch. (Eeek! But I feel protected.) We have thrown out the list of deer resistant plants. It just doesn’t work anymore…. with the exception of Boxwood, Ferns, and Grasses. Everything else may be up for grabs (literally).
Check out our new favorite hostas: T-Rex (blue-green, giant size, very large leaves) and Guacamole (beautiful limey green with dark green margins, large fragrant white/lavender flowers.) They are big, full and beautiful! Check ’em out!
We have some beautiful little OsoEasy Double Red roses blooming along the steps. They are blooming their little hearts out. It’s a great shrub rose, growing 3 to 4 ft. high easy to care for, disease resistant, reblooms pretty bright double red flowers throughout the summer.
For you poison ivy magnets out there (of which I am one): I have a new method for getting rid of the rash. As soon as you notice the bumps, wash vigorously with hot water to open up the pores. Apply TechNu Extreme and rub for 2 minutes (even though the directions say a lot less). Soak a piece of hand toweling in vinegar and place on the affected area. It’ll sting a little but be tough. Leave on till dry. Gone in a week!
Ants in the house? Mix a little sugar and Borax in a little water. Soak cotton balls in it, place in a little dish and set it on the kitchen counter… or wherever needed. They take it back to the nest and die.
Want lots of color all summer? Then you need Hydrangeas. There are even short ones now that can fit into smaller spaces. Ther Invincibelle Limettas are starting to open their sweet little heads, starting out lime and turning to white. They are 3 footers and will bloom every year since they are an Annabelle Type. The PG varieties Bobo, Little Lime, and Little Lamb are short, too. They start out white and turn pink later in the season, dependable every year.
That’s it for now. Have a fun summer.
The Huntree Gang Call us: 269-543-3761
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