‘horticultural how-to and woo-woo’
the source for organic gardening inspiration
margaret roach, head gardener
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June 1, 2012
succession sow vegetables
CONTINUE SOWING carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, dill, cilantro (remember what herb expert Rose Marie Nichols McGee told us about the three plants she grows for all-year “cilantro”). With salad, select heat-resistant varieties, and sow small amounts every 10 days. The shadier side of a tomato row or your pole beans, for instance, is nice for lettuce now…not baking sun. DIRECT-SOW A SHORT ROW OF BUSH BEANS every two weeks, and sow pole beans for a later crop. Whether for eating fresh or drying, here’s how to grow beans. Did squash, cucumbers, melons go in?
June 2, 2012
weed, weed, weed
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. Help with weed ID.
June 4, 2012
prune lilacs; more deadheads
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, and things that don’t make showy fruit next–anything where leaving behind the faded blooms just looks messy. 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 7, 2012
support vines, order bulbs
ARE ANNUAL VINES getting the support they need, whether twine, wire, lattice? What about perennial ones like clematis? All my vine-related stories are here to browse, and expert tips from Dan Long of GardenVines [dot] com are in this Q&A. ORDER BULBS this month to get varieties you want (see Sources for bulb vendors). Remember our “early, middle, late” mantra when doing so.
June 8, 2012
perennial haircuts in order?
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, 2012
weed asparagus, garlic (eat scapes!)
KEEP ASPARAGUS and garlic well-weeded; let asparagus grow lots of ferns the rest of the summer into fall as harvest ends. If you’re growing hardneck garlic, as I do, the delicious “extra” crop of their scapes (flowering stalks) will be coming in right about now up North.
June 18, 2012
has a soaking rain fallen?
GARDENS NEED an inch of water a week from you or the heavens. Check your rain gauge to 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. That’s a garden no-no. Pots need extra attention, especially smallish ones in sun, and they also need regular feeding. Be alert! What? Didn’t plant up any pots yet? Plenty of time still; here’s the container garden 101.
June 20, 2012
first day of summer
TODAY AT 7:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time the summer of 2012 officially begins. Feels like it already had arrived around here in late May, with bouts of heat and humidity that rushed spring out the door.
June 22, 2012
mow smart and often
DON’T BAG OR RAKE clippings when you mow; let them lie on the lawn to return Nitrogen to the soil…unless you waited too long between mowings, that is. Mow frequently if grass is growing fast (I’m at twice-weekly now because we have had heat and rain); never remove more than one-third of the blade of grass at any one mowing.