Garden Tending Needs
The garden is planted, flowerbeds are beginning to bloom and trees and shrubs have leaved out. Everything is looking good and to keep it looking attractive, you want to stay on top of things.
June Gardening chores
- Mugho Pines are beautiful evergreen shrubs. They are low maintenance but do require a bit of pruning each spring. Mugho pines put out a lot of new growth in the spring in the form of candles. Candles are the elongated new growth that form at the end of the branch. To keep Mugho Pines looking dense and full the candles should be pinched back. Each candle should have one-third to one-half of the new growth pinched off. Doing this will force the newly pinched candle to branch out into 2-3 new buds, making the shrub compact, and nicely shaped. This needs to be done when the candles are still soft and the needles have not formed yet. If you wait too long to pinch back the candles, they will not break out, resulting in a broken stub.
- Nutrition is important in a plants growth. Flowers and flowering perennials, should be fertilized with a flowering plant fertilizer. They need phosphorus to promote blooms, and this is what the middle number of the three numbers listed on the fertilizer stands for. You can use a water soluble type for containers and flowerbeds, or a granular type for flowerbeds. Vegetable gardens will also need to be fertilized if they haven’t been done. You can add blood/bone meal, manure, or go to a granular type such as 8-20-20.
- When spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, etc., have finished blooming, remove the old flowers before they set seed pods, so that the plants energy will go to the plant and bulb rather than forming seeds. Do not remove or cut down the bulbs remaining stem or foliage as this is needed for photosynthesis and creating next years flower. Allow the stem and foliage to die back naturally. To keep things tidy, the foliage can be loosely tied up. It can also be hidden by planting annuals and perennials in front of the finished bulbs.
- Go for a daily or weekly walk in the garden and landscape to check for any problems. Ideally you want to catch things early before a problem gets out of hand. Look for pests, diseases, and keep up on the weeding. A few aphids on a leaf are easy to remove with a blast of water but when a plant becomes infested it is hard to control. Keep plants nourished, and as healthy as possible, so they are better equipped to fend off pests and disease. Remove any damaged, or diseased leaves and stems before they get mouldy to prevent fungus. Remove finished flowers so the plants energy will go towards flower production. A healthy garden tends to be a weed free garden as plants do not have to fight with weeds for moisture and nutrition. Weeds are also a good hiding spot for pests and disease. Its much easier to go through the garden with a hoe periodically and remove weeds when they are small with a small root system, rather than allow weeds to get large and established root systems.
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Home and Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road