We hope that you had a special Memorial Day. The weather was perfect for boating and families enjoying themselves. Now it’s time to get to serious yard work.
This past Tuesday, June 1, was productive for us. Armando Pena, Barbara Dowdy, Ruby Duecker, and I planted Katie Ruella and added New Gold Lantanas to the City Hall front yard, as we lost several this past winter. We also added more Moss Rose to the pots along the sidewalk. We will be removing the snapdragons from the pots and adding summer flowers. Nathan and his crew brought mulch and hauled it to the front of the City Hall.
I have had requests for a list of plants that deer won’t eat. It really depends how much food is available to them during the heat and cold. There are more than what I have listed, but these will give you plants to look for and make choices: agritias, artisma, boxwood, cactus, Copper Canyon Daisy, esperanza (yellow bells), holly (yaupon, Chinese, burfordi), iris, junipers, lantana, palm, oleanders, sage (senisa), salvias (many varieties), santolina, Turk’s cap, vitex, rosemary, and yucca - but the deer will break off the blooms if they are hungry. There are many wildflowers available the deer will leave alone. Spray Bob-X once a month around the roses and vegetables. It works better than anything being advertised. The deer will leave most highly scented plants alone.
Spider mites, aphids, ants, and caterpillars are causing havoc with many of our plants. Try spraying the undersides of the leaves with a strong stream of water; many times it will knock the insects off. You can use a Safer Soap spray or you can mix a solution of 1 gallon water, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid seaweed, plus 1 tablespoon liquid molasses. Spray once or twice a month. Do not spray this mixture on white flowers because it will give them a dirty look. For the caterpillars, use BT worm killer, spray or dust. Or you can use Dipel dust. The small caterpillars have started on the vinca. They will completely ruin the groundcover and they are not easy to control. I would spray first and then use the dust. Unroll the leaf and you will find a small worm. Sometimes, you need to trim the vinca.
Powdery mildew and other fungal diseases, caused by high humidity and warm temperatures, are showing up on melons and cucumbers in the garden, and some of the crepe myrtles. Visit your favorite nursery or store and ask for a low-toxicity fungicide. Read the label and follow the directions.