Digging Deeper – Late Spring Gardening
“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”
– Gertrude Jekyll, On Gardening
This post is about late spring/early summer gardening tips and things to look for that may be showing up soon in your garden.
Don’t forget water soluble fertilizers for container plants. Container plants are in a potting soil that do not contain enough nutrients for all season. Depending on the plant, you will need to add fertilizer to the water or use a slow release fertilize like Osmocote. Follow directions of product and individual plant needs for fertilization. Top dressing containers with compost can also be done to add some nutrients.
Boost for New & Established Plants
Most in-ground soils will benefit from adding organic material like compost and a starting fertilizer like Biotone Starter before planting. Top dressing the established perennials/shrubs with compost in the spring will give them an extra boost of nutrients. Plants like butterfly bush, delphinium, and clematis like if you put a mound of compost around their root ball.
Newly planted plants in the ground need deep waterings so their roots reach down and establish themselves before winter and reduces stress on the plants. If it only rains a little (pay attention to how many inches you get with a rain gauge), and water around your new plants a little more to get water deep into the soil. It helps you conserve water and save time watering. 1″ of water per week is the recommended amount of water. Pay attention to the soil and if it is wet looking, hold off for another day. Don’t water a small amount everyday. Water deeply a couple times a week, if needed.
Remove weeds now while they are small as they grow quickly. Weeding is easy when soil is damp since it’s easier to pull the whole plant including the roots. Be careful not to walk on soil around your plants to avoid compaction of the soil.
Prevent Fungal Diseases
With rain and warming weather you need to be proactive about fungal diseases. It’s best to prevent it, instead of treating it because once it starts, you can’t get rid of it completely. Treat your plants that have a higher chance of fungal issues with a fungicide before you see signs of it. For example, tomatoes usually get blight so best to treat with Bonide Revitalize or Copper Fungicide before it starts. Make sure to water your plants at the base and water in the morning when possible so the water can dry before it cools off at night. Mulch around your plants as well to help prevent fungus from the soil splashing on your plants.
Pests are going to start showing up as well. Keep an eye on your plants for damage to their foliage. If you see an insect, it doesn’t mean they are bad. Some insects are good for the garden but some are invasive. For example, If you start seeing metallic looking green/bronze beetles flying around, those are Japanese Beetles and need to be eradicated, if possible. Read more about them here. Getting rid of insects isn’t always easy and care should be taken if you choose to spray with insecticides. You should avoid spraying blooming plants since the insecticide can kill pollinator insects.
*Quick side note about fungus since we have been having cool springs the last couple years. With cool/wet weather you may encounter anthracnose on your plants. If you are seeing brown spots on trees and shrubs early in the spring it may be this.
Join the conversation with fellow Drummers gardeners!
Join the DGCF Gardeners – Digging Deeper Group on Facebook to have conversations with local gardeners. This group is for YOU– new or expert gardener! Share, ask, and dig deeper into plants and gardening with us. There is always something to learn. This is for Southern MN, zone 4 planting and hopefully will become a great resource to follow as more people contribute from the Drummers community of gardeners!