Thursday, May 24, 2012

May (Late May) Garden Talks

Hello again,

Late May is here.  What a difference a year makes! I was just reviewing what I wrote last year (2011) and it was all about the cold and wet and how to garden through it! We have had some wet weather this May but the weather has seemed much more typical for May after such a wonderful March and April. We are all "revved up" about gardening!

Our late May tips this year still make references to gardening with wet weather effects. This is some repetition from last year but with the knowledge that wet weather is often a huge factor in the Spring here in Skillin's Country.

*With the exception of our vine crops like cukes, squashes, zucchini and pumpkins; tender flowers like morning glory and nasturtiums as well as basil I say if you want to, go ahead and plant! Just keep an eye on night time temperatures and be wary of high winds that could "burn" greenhouse grown plants. But the forecast over the next few days looks good!

*Cool and wet weather can bring fungus and mildews  to many plants. Use all natural Serenade to protect your plants against many diseases! For further precaution in this potentially plant stressful time, make sure your soil is well packed with organic matter (we sell terrific composts here) and that your plants get a good dose of some all natural fertilizer included with their planting. Use Garden Tone or Plant Tone for your garden plants and Flower Tone or Plant Tone for your flowering plants. The microbial bacteria in these fertilizers will really help the roots of these young plants to develop well and anchor your plants through tough climate times.

*ALSO, give many of your flowering plants a little top pinch as you plant them. Yes, flowering will be postponed for a week or so, BUT you will get more shoots (yes this means more flowers) and this top or terminal pinching will give your roots a little extra boost!

*Click HERE for more tips about what to do with your garden after we get rain!

**Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM.

Paul has many great gardening points for May. I will list just a few of his tips; I highly recommend checking out the entire list of great May gardening tips and here they are.

*This is the time to spread limestone or wood ash around your clematis vines. (We sell great little packages of Magi Cal by Jonathan Green to spread around your clematis vine--as well as other plants like lilacs).

*Peonies are now growing quickly with the heat, and it's now time to place the cages around the plant before the flowers form.

*Your blue hydrangeas need to be fertilized with Holly Tone fertilizer now to keep them a nice hue of blue. (If the flowers have been just a dull blue then also apply all natural Garden Sulfur--sold right here at Skillin's!)

*If you have roses, feed them now (I love to use all natural Rose Tone or Flower Tone by Espoma for this task--or Fish and Seaweed food by Neptune's Harvest for a quicker application of food) and be sure to remove any dead or broken branches on the plant. Check for suckers growing on the plant, as this growth will rob the plant of energy needed to make flowers. Most roses are grafted and the graft looks like your fist, a swollen area at the ground area on the plant. Any growth above the graft will make flowers, anything below is a sucker and will never flower, just rob your plant. This growth will also grow very fast and tall with no side shoots; remove it whenever you see one on your plants.

*Spring-flowering bulbs must be fertilized now if you want flowers next year. (For a faster fertilizer application use Fish and Seaweed Food by Neptune's Harvest for your bulbs right now. The all natural fertilizer will greatly help the cells of your bulb become healthier and your bulb to become bigger--all the more flowers for you next year!) You also must remove the faded flower on the plants, or the plant will use its energy to make seed and not flower buds.

*Now is also the best time to prune back any non-flowering shrub in your yard before the new growth really gets going. All evergreen like yews, arborvitae, juniper, spruce, pines, hemlock, ilex, boxwood, and hollies are best pruned now to control height and size of the plant.

Thanks Paul for these great gardening tips and again check out all his May Garden Tips HERE!

Now more gardening tips:

*Sow bean seeds every two to three weeks for some great succession planting in your garden. Same goes for beets, radishes and even peas!

*Cut your asparagus often for better yield!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
May 24, 2012

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