47 June 4, 2008

We are now into June and contrary to what many people think, it is not too late to be planting in our gardens. As a matter of fact, I would rather see basil, zinnias, peppers, squash and impatiens planted in early June rather than in May. These plants need the warm soil temperatures that arrive in early June if they are to grow quickly. If you haven’t planted your annuals or vegetable plants, it is definitely not too late.


As the lilacs go by flower, you should be pruning off the old flower stalks. This will encourage new growth and the formation of lots of new flower buds for 2009. Now is also a good time to prune back any over-grown lilacs. Once you are done with your pruning, apply some fertilizer around the base of the plant. An application of lime is also an important step in making sure the lilacs will grow their best. Lilacs do not like an acid soil and will not produce as many flowers or they may not flower at all if the soil is too acidic.


Some of you may find these strange orange growths appearing on the stems of your junipers. This is the result of the junipers being infected by cedar apple rust. This disease alternates between growing on apple trees one year and junipers the next year. Once the growth has started, there isn’t much you can do. The best way to treat this disease is to spray the apple trees next spring. The spraying is done just as the color shows on the apple blossoms and then again at 3 more scheduled intervals. The spraying will prevent the disease from spreading back to the apple trees in 2009 and then back to the junipers in 2010. Spraying apple trees also includes spraying any crabapple trees as well. As for the orange growths, they can be pruned off the junipers. The growth contains spores that will be released and spread back to the apple trees. Removing the growths now will help in lessening the spread of the diseases back to the apple trees.


Aphids appear to be attacking many plants at this time of the season. Aphids can be green, black, brown or white in color. No matter what the color, they can damage new growth on plants. If you apply a systemic insecticide to your susceptible plants, you can control aphids over a long period of time. Any contact insecticide that is sprayed on the aphids will also quickly kill off many of the insects.


Many of you have had your new transplants in the ground or in containers for several weeks. Have you been fertilizing those plants? So many of the new varieties of annuals and vegetables need a regular application of fertilizer to keep the plants growing strong. If you regularly fertilize your plants, you will get more flowers and more vegetables verses not applying enough or any fertilizer. This is particularly true for any plant grown in a container. Container grown plants need to be watered frequently and this frequent watering will wash much of the fertilizer out of the soil. As the plants grow in the containers, the roots take up more of the space in the soil, allowing less area for fertilizer to remain. For better looking and healthier plants, keep up with fertilizing those plants.


Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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