Managing Your Gardens

Posted Jun 1st, 2008 in From Vito's Desk

Gardening in the Garden City, a feature of the Senior's Review: Managing Your Gardens June/July 2008 issue - written by Vito M. Pirri. 

June is a great time of year to visualize your landscape and plan to re-design your current gardens or create new gardens. Have you been thinking of creating a new landscape design / garden makeover? Now is the time to plant. You will add valuable curb appeal to your homestead.

Has your landscaper suggested that he could re-design your gardens for you? Your landscaper should be well versed in all aspects of horticulture; fertilizer, chemicals and green options, plants, trees, shrubs, bushes, annuals and perennials. You can enjoy your new gardens all summer, adding plants that bloom in fall.

Late spring and early summer is a good time to re-visit your early spring planting. Consider adding some perennials, or some exotic plants. Check out the Internet, or ask your gardener what perennials are available for planting in your climate zone. Also, bear in mind the colors you would like to see in your garden. Take a trip to your local nursery and browse. Pick up some new planting ideas, and discuss your ideas with your gardener.

Spring and summer heat can get very intense at this time of year. For optimum garden results water in the early morning or late evenings. If you don’t have a gardener maintaining your gardens heat and humidity will not only affect your plants, it could affect your health. Stay healthy, and enjoy your outdoor space this summer.

Just taking it easy, by sitting on your patio or deck entertaining, you will want the best curb appeal possible. Gardening can get very strenuous, digging, planting, or even bending down weeding; just be careful!

In maintaining your gardens, you should remove the flowers dead booms; this is also known as deadheading. Top up your soil with triple mix, and add some mulch to you garden. Mulch will assist in the water retention of your garden and keep the weeds at a minimum.

The use of chemicals, fertilizers and weed killers should be applied very carefully. Make sure you use as directed. Chemicals can be very helpful in getting rid of numerous challenges, yet they could be dangerous to your health.

If spots are appearing on your rose bush leaves, you should apply a garden fungicide, or garden sulfur. This can be purchased in either a concentrate, dust or in a spray bottle. Wilson’s, have a dust product called garden doctor and a liquid application called floritect, combining both insect and disease control. Grub’s can really be a nuisance in the summer months. If your lawn has bare spots appearing, there is a good chance you have grubs. I would recommend that you use Wilson’s Grub-Out, ant & grub killer and lawn insects. Grub-Out should be applied in late July to be effective. If you have Japanese beetle early August is the time of the year to tackle this challenge.

If you have a snail problem, I would recommend you using Scotts Eco Sense Snail Bait.

There are many different products on the market that you can purchase at your garden pharmacy to assist you with insect control. Wilson’s liquid Sevin insecticide, controls over 200 different destructive insects on over 90 different crops. Sevin is a liquid suspension formula for easy measuring and mixing.

I would also recommend Ortho’s Bug-B-Gon, brand of liquid concentrate. This formula will kill over 100 insects, without harming plants or blooms. Another great product is Bug-X liquid concentrate, a tree and garden insect killer. Wilson’s 50% Malathion is a popular, versatile broad- spectrum insecticide / miticide, used on flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, shrubs, ornamentals and trees. 50% Malathion comes in a concentrate and must be used as directed. I recommend you using Wilson’s Rose Doctor, a rose dust, on all your rose bushes.

Green Earth has a product named Bio-Mist insect killer. This product has numerous uses, including reducing the population of adult mosquitoes and killing a wide range of insects on flowers and vegetables. With the threat of West Nile Virus, I would recommend the use of this product.

In Canada the availability of most chemicals are different from that of USA. Canada’s laws are much stricter.

It is time to fertilize your lawn. You should be using a Weed and feed fertilizer. You can purchase weed and feed in liquid or granules at your garden center. Knowing your lawns square footage will enable you to purchase the correct amount to cover the area. You should also use a fertilizer spreader if you are using the granules. If you don’t have a fertilizer spreader, your garden center will usually have rentals for personal use. I would recommend using “So-Green Ultra + Weed and Feed 27-7-7. If purchasing a liquid weed and feed fertilizer, I would recommend using either Scotts or Killex brands.

If you would like to purchase a Liquid Weed Killer, I recommend Wilson’s Lawn Weed Out.

If you are trying to rid yourself of weeds that appear through interlocking brick, patio or driveway, I recommend using products that are still available in the USA and Canadian farmers.

Plant food is regularly available at your garden center. Scotts has a Miracle-Gro, all-purpose water-soluble plant food 24-8-16. No matter what product you purchase, always read and follow the instructions. This food helps to grow spectacular flowers, large vegetables, lush foliage and strong trees and shrubs. Scotts also has Miracle-Gro Shake and Feed slow-release plant food 10-10-10, for your outdoor plants, ideal for time-starved gardeners who want the ultimate in convenience. This formula shakes on dry in minutes, feeds your garden continuously for up to 3 months.