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GARDENING TIPS FOR SONOMA COUNTY


June 2018 Gardening Tips

www.thegardeningtutor.net - Clematis 'Multi-Blue'
Tuberous Begonia (Hanging Basket)

JUNE 2018

KEEPING PLANTS ALIVE UNTIL YOU PLANT THEM

    While at the nursery “Just to look” the pretty plants call to you to take them home. Once you get them home you have no idea where to plant them. You figure you will get to them tomorrow but tomorrow turns into next week. You finally have a minute and when you go outside the pretty plants are crispy-limp or dead-dying. Take heart, we have all been there. Here are some suggestions for keeping your plants happy while they wait to be planted:

    • As soon as you get your plants home water them and place them in a spot with light shade. Even if the tag states that they are “full sun” plants it will help to place them out of full sun while you find time to get back to them. This is especially true for six-packs and four-inch size.
    • Do what the nursery does. In the nursery, container plants are watered every day. Generally, the container size equals the amount of water needed. The smaller the container the more quickly they dry out. For instance, six packs and 4 inch containers may need to be watered more often on a sunny day with temperatures in the 90’s (morning and late afternoon) to keep them from drying out.
    • When you are purchasing a specimen plant in a large container (5 gallon or larger) ask the nursery professional how often the plant is being watered.
    • If your plants do end up drying out, water them slowly so that the water can saturate the soil. If you give them too much water too fast the water will just run off and the roots will remain dry. They may be so dry that placing the containers in a bucket with about one inch of water in the bottom will be the best way to rehydrate them. Leave them in the bucket until you see (and the container is heavy) that the plants are rehydrated.
    • On the day of planting, water your plants well while they are still in the containers. This will make sure that the roots are well hydrated and ready to be planted.
    • Especially during drought you can use water holding polymers in the planting hole. Using more polymers is NOT better! Follow the directions on the package. Look in the photos of The Gardening Tutor Facebook page for photos of water holding polymers.
    • If the soil in the planting hole is dry when you are ready to plant make sure to water around the plant in the planting hole before you cover the hole with soil. This extra moisture in the planting hole will help keep the dry soil from leaching moisture from your newly planted root zone. In general, new plantings need more consistent watering then once they are established.
    • After watering the newly planted area mulch around all your plants.

    Sometimes you need to know when to let the plants go straight into the compost bin. It’s ok, keep the faith you’ll do better next time.

    June 2018
    Gardening Checklist*
    What to SHOP for . . .
    Checkbox Annuals - Petunia, Marigold, Impatiens, Cleome (may need staking), Zinnia (come in short and tall varieties), Celosia, Lobelia.
    Checkbox Perennials and Bulbs - Fuchsia, Dahlias, and Begonias.
    Checkbox Veggie Seeds - Lettuce, Radish, Carrot.
    Checkbox Veggies Plants - Lemon Cucumber (save space use trellis), Eggplant, Squash, Basil, Nasturtium (not a veggie but leaves and flowers are edible).
     

     

    Tasks to do . . .
    Checkbox Begonias - Thrive in moist but not soggy planting medium. They do not appreciate drying out too much and can rot if kept too wet. Fertilize with all purpose fertilize once a month during the growing season will keep your plants happy (Mary uses Maxsea). Watch The Gardening Tutor video Fertilizing: Two Quick Methods on our YouTube Channel.
    Checkbox Irrigation - If your system stopped working, check the battery in irrigation controller. In general, if your controller has an alkaline battery, change it once a year. If the battery is the lithium type, change it every 5 years. The battery keeps the memory of what is programmed into the controller. If your controller is the type that attaches to your hose it also has a battery that needs changing once a year or as often as the manual suggests. Your hose attached controller will stop working if the battery dies. Flush irrigation lines to clear debris. Check all emitters to make certain they are working. When you are ready to learn everything you need to know about your drip irrigation system contact Mary for an appointment!
    Checkbox Dahlias - Do you have Dahlias growing in your garden? If you have tall growing or Dahlias with the dinner plate sized blooms you may need to stake the stems so they do not fall over. Stake early before they grow too tall and try not to run your stake through the tuber (underground root system). To encourage your large flowering dahlias to be a little shorter and less top heavy, pinch out the tip growth when they have grown about two feet high.
    Checkbox Pruning - Rhododendrons will put their energy into the blooms for next year instead of creating seeds when the spent flowers are removed. Carefully snap the old blooms off the plant while avoiding breaking the new growth. Erigeron-shear the entire plant to 3 inches once the plant has bloomed about sixty percent of the flowers. By doing this 4 or 5 times a year, your Erigeron will look full and flowering well. Watch The Gardening Tutor video: Shearing Plants to Encourage Flowers and Foliage.
    Checkbox Pest Management - Spider mites can be a real problem this time of year. Start by spraying them off your plants and/or concrete several times a week. If this does not knock them back to acceptable levels, spray with insecticidal soap. If soap is unsuccessful, use Neem oil spray. Fungal infestations, such as powdery mildew, can be managed by avoiding watering foliage at night. If your plants get fungal disease, Neem oil spray is a fungicide and an insecticide.
    Free printable . . .
      Looking for a way to stay organized in your garden?
    Download this Free Printable Gardening Checklist* and you’ll be amazed how inspired you’ll feel!
    Let us know how you’re doing. You can do it!
    Remember, this printable was created as a short list of tasks with minimal information. If you would like more in-depth information,
    you can always refer back to the checklist above each month for more details.
     

    The Gardening Tutor June 2018 Printable

    *Colors may vary depending upon your computer screen and printer.


*For More Detailed Gardening Tips
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