What’s bugging your garden? Rapid June growth often attracts a wide range of creepy crawlers (and slimy slugs). Get help identifying your unwanted pests – and figuring out what to do about them – via the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management website, ipm.ucdavis.edu.
Be pesticide-smart before you spray, too. Check out www.applyresponsibly.org. On that site, you’ll find tips about pesticide use, storage and disposal. Don’t use pesticides or fungicides past their expiration date; their chemical mix may change over time and cause more harm to your plants – and you – than the pests.
No. 1: Always read the entire label first, then follow directions. (And don’t spray on a hot and/or windy day.)
▪ Mulch, mulch, mulch. As the weather warms, mulching helps conserve water while keeping your plants’ roots cool and moist. When applying mulch, leave a circle around trunks or main stems to avoid crown rot.
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▪ Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.
▪ In the vegetable garden, transplant seedlings for tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and squash. Look for varieties that mature in 75 days or less.
▪ From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, squash and sunflowers.
▪ Add some summer color. Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena. Plant seeds for sunflowers, asters, cosmos, salvia and zinnias.
▪ Water early in the day – preferably before 8 a.m. – when there’s less evaporation.