32May 31, 2018

Many of you did a lot of planting this past weekend. But there is still plenty of time to plant annuals, vegetable plants and seeds, perennials, trees, and shrubs. Remember to keep up with watering those new transplants. They need water to help the plants get the root system established.

Many of the rhododendrons are now either beginning to bloom or are in full bloom. Once the flowering is done, you should remove the old flowers. But do be careful removing the old flowers, because new growth is beginning to form under the old flowers.

Post-bloom is also a good time to prune back your rhododendrons. If you wait until later in the season, you may be pruning out next year’s flower buds. An application of fertilizer post-bloom will help your rhododendrons put out new growth, and help the plant form lots of flower buds for next year.

Insects have become a problem on many of your newly transplanted plants. Aphids and flea beetles are very prevalent on vegetable plants at this time of the year. If you apply an appropriate spray onto these pests early in the season, they will have less time to do permanent damage to your plants.

If your lawn was fertilized in early April, you are coming up on the time to fertilize your lawn again. Many of you will be thinking about applying a Step 2 type of fertilizer to kill lawn weeds. Please remember that this type of fertilizer/weed killer combination does not prevent the formation of weeds, it only kills weeds that are already growing in your lawn.

If you have only a few weeds to kill, it would be better to spot-treat those weeds. There is no sense in applying a weed killer all over your lawn if you only have a few weeds to kill. It will save you money to apply just a lawn fertilizer if you do not have weeds in the lawn. Another plus to this is that you won’t be applying an unnecessary pesticide where one is not needed.

If you planted pansies in the early spring, be sure to keep up with removing the old flowers and their stems. If you remove the old flowers and stems, the pansies will continue to bloom for many more weeks. You should also keep up with applying an appropriate fertilizer to encourage new flower buds.

If you have blueberry bushes in your yard, you probably have seen the flowers beginning to open up. Once the bees have pollinated the flowers, it is time to put berry netting over the plants. The berry netting will allow the berries to grow. And when the berries have ripened, there will not be a battle between you and the birds to see who will get the ripe berries each day.

With the extended period of cooler and moist weather that we have had, fungus diseases may be showing up in your gardens. If you see black spots or a white coating on the leaves, you probably have a problem with fungus diseases. If you spray an appropriate fungicide onto your infected plants, you should be able to stop the spread of the disease. Take some time now to check your plants for signs of fungus diseases, and if you spot any problems, make sure to treat your plants ASAP.

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

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