North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

The June checklist for gardeners

 


What a crazy, back and forth spring this has been. It was the wettest on record, followed by the sunniest Memorial Day Weekend in 15 years and now we are into the unpredictable month of June when we can either get “June Gloom” or glorious sunshine.

While any of us who have lived here very long know that summer doesn’t really start until the 5th of July, I think it is safe to say that whatever June brings us the gardening season is in full swing and there is work to do. Here are some important chores to put on our calendars.

LAWNS: If you are having trouble with weeds, moss and diseases, you might consider a new product called Bonide FE. According to their website it contains "Naturally occurring IRON (FeHEDTA), is people and pet safe and kills broadleaf weeds, disease, moss, algae, plus it greens up lawns. It works fast (in a matter of hours) in low temps with no unpleasant odor, you can re-seed in only 1 day and can apply to new grass after only 1 week!" If you are looking for a natural product to get rid of those nasty weeds, this might be the ticket. Also, a healthy application of an organic lawn food will do wonders for a tired looking lawn this time of year.

ROSES: Roses are coming into full bloom as we speak, so if you want to pick up a few new ones, this is the month to do it. Nothing says “love” like a beautiful fragrant rose. And “yes, roses take a bit of work” but they are oh so worth it.

PERENNIALS: Remember, most perennials only bloom for 5 to 6 weeks. Buy a few every month and over time you will have a nice succession of color in your border.

MULCHING AND FERTILIZING: This is the easiest way to keep plants healthy and to control weeds. Clean up the beds, spread a generous helping of an organic all-purpose fertilizer and cover it with a one inch layer of compost. You are done!

ANNUALS: The season started really late this year but there is still a good supply of color in the garden centers. You will find stuff now that wasn’t available in April or May. Remember that annuals are heavy feeders and to get the most out of them you should be feeding on a regular basis.

VEGGIES: Like annuals, the season got off to a slow start but now it’s time for warm season crops like corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to be planted. Because harvesting a crop removes nutrients from the soil it is imperative to replace both the organic content and nutrients by annually adding compost and fertilizer to our garden beds. It’s best to do this before we plant, but if that didn’t happen apply these goodies in and around your new transplants as soon as possible. It will make a huge difference. Make a second application of fertilizer in 6 weeks.

PRUNING: There is always something to prune in the garden. Trim the hedges, deadhead the rhodies, clean up the spring bloomers and then analyze the rest of the garden to see what needs editing. You can do “light” pruning any time of the year.

Now that the weather is warmer and drier you should have no excuse for not gardening. Spend some time in the yard and soak up the beauty of the plant world.

Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached online at info@sunnysidenursery.net .

 

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