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Archives for June 10, 2017

30 gardening chores and tips for June 2017

Keep up with the work by following this list of outdoor necessities this month.

 June! Graduations, weddings and the garden are in full swing. There’s a lot to do as strawberries are plumping up, roses and peonies are in full bloom, and tomatoes are growing. You’ll need to maintain and also monitor and act on weeds and harmful insects. And, soon enough, you’ll start reaping what you’ve sown. Here’s a calendar of tips and chores to help keep you on track this month.

1. If you haven’t started tending to the garden and yard, now’s the time to start.

2. For bigger blooms and stockier plants, trim the top third off chrysanthemums, Joe Pye weed and Heliopsis.

3. Fill gaps left by early spring bloomers with summer annuals.

4. Clean your birdbath at least once a week to keep harmful bacteria at bay — and mosquitoes from breeding.

5. Remove wilted and yellowed leaves from bearded irises to thwart iris borer infestations.

6. Remove the bottoms from paper cups and collar around tomato, pepper and eggplant stems to prevent cutworm damage.

7. If you haven’t applied mulch, do so now, but keep it a few inches from stems and trunks, and no deeper than 3 inches.

8. Fasten vining plants to their supports as they grow.

9. Keep planting dahlias. Set stakes an inch away from bud-bearing roots now to avoid damaging them as plants grow.

10. Prevent mildew by spraying plants with one tablespoon each of baking soda and ultrafine horticultural oil diluted in a gallon of water.

11. Monitor plant containers for water daily; their soil dries out more quickly than the garden’s.

12. Keep birds and squirrels away from precious berries by covering plants with netting or floating row covers.

13. Snake soaker hoses through perennial and vegetable beds. Roots appreciate direct irrigation, plants will suffer less disease and you won’t waste water.

14. Plant short perennials under clematis to keep their roots shaded and cool.

15. Set your sundial at exactly noon on June 15 for accurate timekeeping all summer.

16. Keep pulling those weeds. Be sure to get their roots or they’ll just come back.

17. Fertilize houseplants at half strength with every other watering.

18. On the 18th, wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there! No mowing the lawn today.

19. If you seeded your lawn this spring, continue watering lightly twice daily until grass is 4 inches tall.

20. Cut back chrysanthemums, Joe Pye weed and Heliopsis by another third.

21. Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs and peonies as long as flowers have faded.

22. To increase tomato production, remove suckers that grow in the crotch between the main branch and stems.

23. Inspect trees and shrubs for scale insects. If pesticides are needed, avoid using hose-end sprayers; they don’t dissolve, mix or apply evenly.

24. Hunt for Japanese beetles. Pick them off by hand and drop them in soapy water.

25. Use only low-nitrogen fertilizer on vegetables or annuals, or you could end up with large, bloomless plants.

26. Deadhead hybrid tea and grandiflora roses.

27. Deadhead annuals as their flowers fade to encourage more blooming.

28. Harvest cool-season crops like lettuce, spinach and peas.

29. For the tastiest herbs, harvest around 10 a.m., just after the dew has dried but before the sun is at its strongest.

30. When the first tomatoes form, shower leaves with fish emulsion to give plants a nutritional boost.

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7 tips for summer gardening | News, Sports, Jobs – The Mining Journal

Be sure all of the tools you need for the day’s gardening are ready for use. (Photo provided by Family Features)


When temperatures peak and the summer sun shines for long hours throughout the day, it can put a burden on your garden and the plants growing in it. Some steps may be easier to take than others, but there are ways to keep your greenery thriving even in relentlessly scorching heat. Of course, having the right tools and a personal commitment to gardening are a couple of the first and most important rules, but these tips can serve as simple, helpful ways to keep your garden growing strong.

Check equipment

Before getting carried away with digging, tilling or watering, be sure that all of the tools for these jobs and others are ready for use. Inspect hoses and spigots for leaks and holes, ensure that hand tools are sturdy and monitor your inventory of important items like soil to make sure you have enough for the tasks ahead.

Keep potted plants cool

When sitting in the sun, certain types of pots may absorb heat, some­ times causing the plants within to dry out and become overheated. Lightly mulching the pots can help, as can placing the pot in a saucer full of moist sand.

Know what to grow

Instead of gardening on a hunch and wasting water or other precious resources on plants that simply don’t grow well or bloom in the sum­mer, research which flowers, plants and bushes will succeed. Local experts who sell seeds and bulbs can likely help guide you while you shop for your next plant.

Water early

By watering in the morning, you can achieve multiple objectives. First, you won’t be stuck sweating it out when the sun is directly overhead during the day while trying to hydrate your plants. Second, soaking the soil early can help plants stay hydrated throughout the hottest parts of the day, rather than allowing them to dry out in the heat and attempting to rehydrate them later.

Protect against pests

While it can be difficult, keeping pests and insects out of your garden can help keep both you and your plants healthy. Repellants are an obvious option, but some may negatively affect the growth of plants. Instead, practice habits like maintaining healthy soil and getting rid of standing water (which can attract mosquitoes) to actively deter insects.

Mix nutrients with water

Adding fertilizer to water can help balance out deficiencies in certain minerals, depending on the quality of your soil, especially if you aren’t able to water frequently.

Add shade

Another way to keep potted plants, and all other plants for that matter, cool is to set up a canopy or shade cloth. Especially if your garden is subject to nearly all­day sunlight, it’s helpful to give it some shade at the hottest parts of the day with a canopy directly above.

By staying committed and following these tips among others, you can keep your garden lush and growing even during the summer’s hottest days. Find more tips for a successful garden year­round at

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Gardening in the month of June – Columbia-Greene Media: Weekly …

Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 12:15 am

Gardening in the month of June

By Bob Beyfuss
For Columbia-Greene Media

still have yet to put a seed in my vegetable garden raised beds, nor have I transplanted any of my overgrown tomato or pepper plants.

The soil is still too cold and too wet to work. I recorded almost 3 inches of rain between June 4 and June 7, and night temperatures at my house were in the 40s last Monday and Tuesday night.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017 12:15 am.

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In the Garden: 11 tips for your vegetable garden – Champaign/Urbana News

ITG veggie garden tips.jpg


I was recently asked if it was too late to start summer vegetables. Starting a vegetable garden and container gardening is quite easy, and if all goes according to plan with warm weather and necessary rain, you’ll be on a path toward success.

Below, I compiled a list of basic information for vegetable gardening. This list should walk you through a full season. Getting started, selection, management and harvest are all cornerstones to getting growing.

1. Know what you can and cannot grow.

You are bound by the growing season and your spacing requirements. Some vegetables will grow well in containers.

You can also grow a fall garden by planting certain vegetables at the end of July/start of August.

2. 175-180 days.

In central Illinois, the last frost is usually in late April and the first frost is around early October. Between these dates is your growing season. As of right now (June 10), all summer vegetables can be planted.

3. Let everything mature.

Seed packets and transplants will tell you the maturity date for when you can harvest. Make sure this is within the 175- to 180-day period. You are better off with transplants than seeds, as they will give you a couple weeks. Sew cool season vegetables like spinach, lettuce and radish as seeds in your garden.

4. Mix it up.

Transplants and seeds. Disease resistance and heirlooms. Nightshade family and cucurbit family.

Not only will some of these help you if disease becomes a problem, but they can also attract a wide range of good insects to the garden.

5. Add to your soil.

Your plants will need a fertilizer, usually a 10-10-10 is fine. But adding aged manure or compost will enrich your soil and start to feed the microorganisms that make plant nutrients available.

6. Stake ’em.

Tomatoes need trellising to support them. Peppers may benefit from trellising. Even cucumbers may like a netting.

Tomato cages can be flimsy, so you may want to get heavy-duty cages to support your plants. It is better to oversupport them than to undersupport them!

7. Mulch ’em.

A good straw mulch and other organic material can keep weed problems from being an issue early on. Mulching can also address blossom end rot in tomatoes. In the fall, the mulch can be turned over into the soil.

8. Water in the morning.

Only water at the base of the plant. Bacteria and fungi that spread disease move by water commonly, and if any of your plant is wet, this can spread disease.

Watering in the morning will let these leaves dry out and keep disease from spreading. For that matter, avoid working in wet conditions; you might spread disease without realizing it.

9. Pick when ready.

While many vegetables will change color when ready to be picked, other ones may require you factoring in their maturity date or other clues. This can also vary between varieties.

For example, not all melons slip off when ready to be harvested.

10. Get the proper diagnosis.

Call the Master Gardener Horticulture Hotline to diagnose your disease or environmental problems early on. Too hot, too wet, too cold, too dry… Many of these conditions increase disease problems, poor pollination and other issues.

11. Remove and clean at the end of season.

Removal of dead plants will keep any disease problems from entering the soil. Clean your garden tools and stakes with a rubbing alcohol solution.

So, that’s your list! These tips will put you in the right direction for your summer vegetable garden.

Grant McCarty is a local foods-systems and small-farms educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. Find more gardening updates in his ‘Raise, Grow, Harvest, Eat, Repeat’ blog at

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Garden Tips: Aphids bugging you? Learning how to manage the plant-suckers – Tri

My niece recently sent me a text with a photo of her shrub covered with aphids, asking what to do about them. And I know she’s not alone in battling the tiny pests.

Aphids are pear-shaped insects with relatively small bodies an eighth of an inch or less in length. They are referred to as soft-bodied insects because they do not have a hard exoskeleton like many other insects.

Aphids seldom dine alone, feeding instead in clusters on the soft tissue of young plant stems, leaves and buds. They feed by piercing tender plant parts and sucking out plant juices.

This can cause wilting and dieback of leaves and shoots or some types of aphids also inject toxins as they feed, causing curled leaves, plant galls or swollen growth. Certain aphids also transmit plant virus diseases when they feed.

What can you do when faced with an aphid infestation? Let us consider the different approaches gardeners can take.

Live and let live

You may not need to do anything if the aphids’ natural enemies are keeping their population in check. Become familiar with these beneficial insects and refrain from applying broad-spectrum insecticides that kill both aphids and beneficial insects.

Early in the season, a forceful spray of water to clusters of aphids can knock them off plants and render them incapable of returning. Where aphid infestations are localized, just snip off the few leaves or shoots where they are clustered.

Control weeds in and around gardens because they can be sources of infestations. Inspect garden transplants before planting to make sure they are not already harboring aphids.

Because high nitrogen levels within a plant increases aphid reproduction rates, avoid using excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to encourage lush plant growth.

Kinder approach

If you decide to use a pesticide spray for aphid management, select one that is least harmful to potential beneficial insects. Insecticidal soaps, petroleum-based horticultural oils and plant-based oils are the most benign choices available.

Be aware that these insecticides only kill the aphids that they come in contact with.

When using these sprays, thorough coverage to both surfaces of the leaves and stems is critical. Aphids protected by curled leaves will not be affected and repeat applications may be needed.

Note: Some products should not be used when the weather is hot because they can damage plants, so check and follow label directions.

Also, only use soaps manufactured for use on plants. Soap sprays made from “dish soaps,” which are primarily detergents can harm plants.

Serious business

When large trees are badly infested with aphids, it is difficult to gain control during the growing season with any type of insecticide spray. A better approach with most types of aphids, is to apply dormant oil sprays just as the buds begin to open in the spring to smother overwintering aphid adults and baby aphids hatching from eggs.

For ornamental trees there are some systemic products containing the chemical imidacloprid that can be applied to the soil as a drench at the base of the tree. This is taken up by the roots and moved upward into the branches and leaves.

Current recommendations indicate that drenches of imidacloprid are most effective before aphid populations have burgeoned out of control and should applied be in the fall or early spring when soil moisture is available. It takes time for adequate levels of the chemical to reach the portions of large trees where aphids are feeding.

Do not expect a drench of imidacloprid to quickly control an aphid problem, but once effective it will remain so for a year or more.

For more on aphid control go to:

For information on beneficial insects go to:

Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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June 2017 garden tips

Susan Moore Sevier is part of the Tulare-Kings Master Gardener program. Visit, email or write UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, 680 N. Campus Drive, Suite A, Hanford, CA 93230.

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Cock of the Walk(er), and other Sculpture Garden highlights

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An expanded and redesigned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens to the public Saturday.

After years of work — and some recent bad press due to the now-removed “Scaffold” — the popular park is ready with improved accessibility and new selfie-friendly sightlines.

Plus 15 new sculptures, with at least two more on the way. The headliner is likely to be “Hahn/Cock,” the giant blue rooster fashioned by the German artist Katharina Fritsch.

Related: Meet the artist behind the big blue rooster

Mark Manders, 'September Room'
The Dutch artist Mark Manders has created pieces that appear to be made of clay, but are fabricated in metal. Courtney Perry for MPR News

Siri Engberg, senior curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center, said the Sculpture Garden had aged since its opening in 1988 and “needed to be upgraded, all the systems underground.” Such extensive work “required us to remove all the art,” she said mdash and that meant an opportunity to rethink the garden’s design.

“And how new artworks could be brought in to be more in conversation with the old favorites,” she said.

After two years of heavy construction, a ton of landscaping and a huge amount of planting, the garden is transformed. It’s more open, has more entryways and is paved in a way that will make it easier for wheelchairs and strollers.

A meadow of native plants and grasses will take some time to grow.
A meadow of native plants and grasses will take some time to grow into the space. Courtney Perry for MPR News

Earlier: How the Walker’s Sculpture Garden will grow

And, in the age of selfies, the Walker staff has placed pieces to make sure people could get interesting shots.

“We went to Google Earth and we looked at the pathways that people would wear as people went to take their photos,” she said. “And that gave us a sense of ‘Maybe we should put a little sidewalk here, maybe we should give people a moment to where they can really position themselves to take that picture.'”

A day of activities is planned for Saturday, with a ribbon-cutting at noon.

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Animal Rescue Fund Of The Hamptons To Host Garden Tour

Some of the most interesting gardens in East Hampton will be featured as part of the 31st annual garden tour to benefit the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons on Saturday, June 17.

The self-guided tour will be held rain or shine, and will allow visitors to get an inside look at a variety of gardens within a tight geographical area, with influences from Spain, Japan and the Victorian era, to name a few.

Each year, the tour moves to a different area of the South Fork. Through plenty of outreach and with the help of landscapers, ARF carefully selects a variety of gardens to include. What started as a small fundraiser has now grown into an event that garners upward of 400 visitors annually, said Mark Fichandler, an event co-chair.

One of this year’s most notable gardens is The Bee Cottage. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the village on Fithian Lane, this cottage provides the best of both worlds: Far away enough to enjoy the intimate garden designed by Jane Lappin, yet close enough to Main Street to walk down to Citarella.

This perfectly represents the owner, Frances Schultz, who decided to purchase the property after years of living in New York City, where a garden was not always feasible. The house and garden sit on a modest third of an acre, so making a sprawling garden design posed a challenge. “A cottage-y house calls for a cottage-y garden,” Ms. Schultz said.

This garden is truly as unique as the memoir that was written about it, “The Bee Cottage Story.” Carved into every gate are images of bees, which represent Ms. Schultz’s vision for the property, inside and out. She purchased the home and renovated it, leaving some of the original design from when it was built in the 1920s.

“I love bees, which, after all, are focused and hard-working,” she said. “They love flowers. They’re social. They have a queen. I like all that!”

To give a sense of architecture to the garden, both Ms. Schultz and Ms. Lappin incorporated hedges in the backyard of the property and boxwoods in the front yard. One of the unique aspects of the garden is the swimming pool: Equipped with fountains on each side, which meet in the middle when turned on, Ms. Schultz said it is reminiscent of the Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy.

Ms. Schultz also noted influences from English and American gardens, from the designs of Rosemary Verey to those of Ryan Gainey.

Just down the block from The Bee Cottage, on Cross Highway, is the garden of Alex Goren and Brooke Kroeger. They refer to the property as “Hippocampus,” which mirrors the name for the part of the brain that is the center of memory and thought. It is thought to be where memories are made.

The name is taken both figuratively and literally, as the owners have collected hippos in many shapes and forms, for many years, said Mr. Goren. They are found on the opening gate as well as outside various entryways.

The house itself was moved from Pantigo Road to its current location in 1954 by William Ronan, who was chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and is referred to as the Stafford Hedges House.

Speaking of hedges, the ones simultaneously lining the driveway and shading the tennis court on this property are, as Mr. Goren suspects, well over 50 years old.

The family added various aspects to the garden to make it their own, after the wife of a previous owner had contributed to the design before they purchased the property. “We added numerous trees, the peonies and roses garden, the white garden, and most of the orchard,” Mr. Goren said. “We put in a cutting garden for fresh flowers.”

Among other notable stops on the tour is the garden of Richard Axel, known for its vibrant colors and rich textures. The Carol and Paul Mendes garden is noted for its “woodsy, park-like atmosphere.”

The benefit will kick off on Friday, June 16, with a 6 p.m. cocktail party at the historic garden and home of Libby and Shahab Karmely, built originally for Sarah Diodati Gardiner. The tour will begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m.

For more information visit or call 631-537-0400.

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Create magical space with bird garden design




I’ll never forget the first time that I walked into the “bird window” room at Birdsong Nature Center in southern Georgia.

I was working at Morningside Nature Center in Gainesville and traveled to Thomasville to meet with Betty Komarek to learn about controlled burning so we could reintroduce fire on Morningside’s 278 acres of longleaf pine forest. We toured Tall Timbers and Greenwood Plantation in Thomasville with Betty, and her husband Ed. Then Betty brought us back to their home, called Birdsong Plantation at the time. We plopped down in front of the “bird window” to relax and chat.

I had never seen anything quite like this bird garden outside her window. A myriad of birds was going about their business. Tufted titmice and Carolina chickadees flew back and forth to the bamboo windowsill feeder, picking off a sunflower seed at each visit.


Goldfinches lined this window feeder and others waited their turn in the limbs of a nearby sweetgum tree. Woodpeckers dashed in to feed on suet cakes. Bobwhite quail scurried from behind the shrubbery to feast on finely cracked corn.

We saw ruby-crowned kinglets, pine warblers, and yellow-rumped warblers that day. I had seen these birds before in the field but never at such close range, close enough to see the tiny red feather on the kinglet when he flashed it.

Years later, when we started Native Nurseries, I called Betty Komarek to ask if she would teach me how to create bird gardens. As friendly as ever, she told me to meet her the next day to help her with a bird window garden she was installing for someone. Thus began a special apprenticeship and wonderful friendship. Native Nurseries has been creating bird gardens ever since.


A bird garden is different from a bird feeding station. It is a space designed not only to attract birds, but also to be an aesthetically pleasing focal point as viewed from inside the home. Your entire yard can be a wildlife habitat, but the bird garden is a specific view from a specific window – or “bird window” – as it was coined by Betty Komarek at Birdsong, many years ago.

The elements of a bird garden are a water feature, boulders, feeders, and plantings. The water feature can be as simple as a birdbath or a birdbath bowl placed upon rocks. Some may prefer to create a deeper pool with a waterfall. If so, a shallow area should be incorporated into the pool because birds need shallow water for bathing. Another option is to use a mist nozzle to create a light spray over rocks and into a shallow clay-lined depression in the ground.

Bird feeders should be easy to fill and clean. If you are going to get along with squirrels and raccoons, at least one feeder should be squirrel/raccoon-proofed so that birds will have a place to feed.



Carefully selected plants provide a backdrop for the water feature and feeders. Trees and shrubs become the staging areas for perching and waiting for turns at feeders and the bath.  They also provide shelter and places to hide when hawks and other predators strike. Take into consideration the beauty of individual plant features, such as flowers, bark, berries, and texture of leaves. We often use needle palms and Florida Agarista as backdrops because of their interesting textures and shapes.

I use primarily native plants in my bird garden designs. Many native plants provide seeds and fruit that are attractive to wildlife, but of even more importance are the native insects that feed on native plants and are the next link of the food web. Most of our native insects cannot use plant species that evolved outside of their local food webs. These insects are then eaten by birds and other wildlife.

Before you start planting and setting rocks, take the time to consider the view from inside. Where do you spend most of your time when you are at home?  We have designed bird gardens outside of kitchen windows, bedrooms, family rooms, offices, and dining rooms.

Any window can serve as the bird window, though the view at Birdsong is so grand because one whole wall is glass, floor to ceiling.

Jody Walthall is co-owner and landscape designer at Native Nurseries and a volunteer writer for UF/IFAS Leon County Extension. For gardening questions, email the extension office at

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Idea for Tucson nanny agency develops into full-fledged business

Whenever Johanna Willett | This Is Tucson posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

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