Irrigation - If your system stopped working, check the battery in the 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 and check for leaks. Check all emitters to make certain they are working. When you are ready to learn everything you need to know about your drip irrigation systemcontact Maryfor an appointment!
Dahlias - Do you have Dahlias growing in your garden? If you have tall growing or Dahlias with the dinner plate sized blooms theymay need staking 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.
Pruning - Most important for fruit trees is to wait until after June Drop (nature thins some fruit from trees in June) to thin the fruit.Basil, keep pinching out tip leaves while growing up to encourage more branching and more leaves. Do not let Basil flower (the leaves turn bitter once the plant flowers). 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 or WATCH WITHOUT ADS on OUR NEW VIMEO CHANNEL.
Pest Management - Spider mites can be a real problem this time of year. Start by spraying with insecticidal soap. If soap is unsuccessful, use need oil spray. Fungal infestations, such as powdery mildew, may be managed by avoiding watering foliage at night. If your plants get fungal disease, Neem oil spray is a fungicide and an insecticide.
Double Tuberous Begonia flowers hanging from a pot. (photo links to Pinterest Page)