Gardeners are very anxious to get the garden planted. Many have already planted and had to plant again. Maybe this last cold spell was our Easter spell.
We are at the intersection of spring and summer crops. Cool weather crops are almost finished and it is time to plant warm season flowers and vegetables.
Continue to plant spring and summer flowers before the weather becomes too hot. Some choices are: plumbago, ginger, angel’s trumpet, firebush, perennial hibiscus, cosmos, marigold, purslane, salvia, and pentas. There are several new annuals and perennials in the garden centers. For summer and fall color, plant copper plants, firebush, periwinkle, caladium bulbs, Mexican mint marigold (an herb with lovely flowers and smells nice), Mexican sage, and fall asters. For best production, water, feed, and mulch regularly.
Aphids and caterpillars are regular insects that visit our spring gardens. A strong stream of water will knock off the aphids. The thumb, forefinger, and heel will remove the caterpillars. Bacillius thurgensis (B.T.) will kill all caterpillars and worms. Sluggo crawling insect killer is good for all crawling bugs, snails, slugs, and pill bugs. Put out nematodes for ticks, fleas, and thrips. If you have already seen grasshoppers, try Nolo bait while they are young.
It is a little early for spider mites, but they will begin soon. Mix 2 tablespoons seaweed and 1 tablespoon molasses in one gallon of water. Mix and spray on tomatoes every two weeks. Use this mix anywhere you find spider mites.
Spray roses with an organic fungicide, like Neem oil, to prevent black spot and powdery mildew. Plant Wash is a good spray for fungus. It is put out by Soil Menders.
It is time to fertilize lawns, trees, and shrubs. Use the same fertilizer on your trees and shrubs as you do on your lawn.
If you have had little small worms in your peaches and plums in the past, this is the plum curculio. They will begin their attacks when the blooms are almost gone. The worm is usually at the stem end and it is a white color. Look for fruit spray to protect the tree.
Tomatoes seem to be everyone’s game. Everyone has their favorite. There are several heirloom varieties on the market this year. My favorites are Better Boy, Celebrity, and Sweet One Hundreds. The cherry tomato made fruit until November of last year. I like to use a mixture of compost and cottonseed in the planting hole, water it in, and spread Epsom salts around the garden bed. This helps to prevent bottom rot. Water regularly and feed when they reach marble size. Mulch and feed on a regular basis. Check for insects and disease; treat according to needs.
We appreciate everyone who participated in the Trash-Off this past Saturday. There were many volunteers cleaning up the river and the streets. They were fed hot dogs by the volunteer group headed up by Pat Vallone.