‘horticultural how-to and woo-woo’
the source for organic gardening inspiration
margaret roach, head gardener
June 1, 2013
tidy up, and keep sowing
“NOTHING LASTS.” That Eastern-style philosophical message of impermanence is also what the June garden teaches. What was just all about fresh color and foliage and newness can suddenly looks like a whole lot of big brown deadheads on things like lilacs, with floppy, gone-by perennials beneath them, waiting for you and your trusty shears to make it all better. Are you up for the task—and for insuring the vegetable garden keeps on producing by keeping up the planting?
June 3, 2013
i.d., and tackle, weeds
MAKE A PASS through each garden bed each week, since weeds are not just unsightly but steal moisture, nutrients and light from desired plants. Apply mulch to all beds to help in the plight. First: Learn to identify your opponents. Here’s help with weed ID. I am about to do battle with this prolific one—called clearweed. Look familiar?
June 4, 2013
be vigilant with watering!
GARDENS NEED an inch of water a week from you or the heavens. Check your rain gaugeto make sure they get it, and remember: Soak deeply in the root zone. Don’t spritz things with a sprayer now and again like you’re washing the car.
June 5, 2013
ideas, and care tips, for pots
POTS need extra attention, especially smallish ones in sun, and they also need regular feeding (no blue chemicals, please; try seaweed and fish emulsion concentrates that you dilute in your watering can). Be alert! Didn’t plant up any pots yet? Plenty of time still, and here’s how to take your containers up a notch this year.
June 8, 2013
garlic and asparagus care
KEEP ASPARAGUS and garlic well-weeded. Let asparagus grow lots of ferns the rest of the summer and fall; never cut back the foliage untit it’s totally brown. If you’re growing hardneck garlic, the “extra” crop of their scapes (flowering stalks) will be coming in about now up North. Water garlic during dry spells. Many people wonder all spring about when to harvest, which is high summer sometime, around July here. Not yet!
June 9, 2013
cutback of some perennials
SOME PERENNIALS MAY be so tired they need a full cutback now or soon. My perennial geraniums, particularly the great groundcover Geranium macrorrhizum and extra-handsome G. phaeum, are like that. You sometimes have to make things worse for the garden to look better in the long run.
June 12, 2013
lilac pruning asap!
SPRING-FLOWERING SHRUBS like lilacs get pruned now. Later pruning (after July 4th in my Zone 5B Northeastern location) risks damage to emerging buds for next year’s blooms. Clean up unsightly deadheads of other big bloomers like rhododendron if you care to, but with fruiting things (roses that make nice hips, viburnums, you get the idea…) faded flowers are left intact to set beautiful, bird-feeding fruit.
June 24, 2013
MULCH VEGETABLES with baled or chopped straw, partially rotted leaves, or other available organic materials. Confused what mulch to use? Read this. MULCH AROUND WOODY PLANTS after cleaning away weeds and grass, but no volcano mulch (meaning no piling thick mulch up against trunks). Two inches depth or slightly less is plenty, starting several inches or so away from trunks.