Author Linda Cobb
Master Gardener Linda Cobb

Linda Cobb is a garden writer and certified Master Gardener who lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is the author of My Gardener's Guide: Easy Steps to a Better Garden.

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Our Garden by Linda Cobb

Our Garden in the Summer (2006)

Spring was easy. Find out how to get out there, work hard, and keep the garden going during these hot summer months.

Now that the hot weather will be settling in, it is time to start a regular watering program for all of those container plants.  They dry out faster than anything else, as all of that air swirls around the pots.  It can be extra dry during these summer months so make sure that the flower beds are getting the benefit of regular watering also.  Spend some time in the garden trimming away all of the spent flower blooms.  This will encourage new growth.

As far as the roses go, it is Japanese beetle month.  They will arrive June 1, and start their chewing.  I use Sevin Wettable Powder (WP) 50%.  This is a water soluble powder that I put in my sprayer.  This is a relative of Sevin dust, but just much more effective.  The 50% indicates that it is 50% stronger.  I use a tablespoon to a gallon of water.  It really works, and I use it once a week on my roses.  The roses will need to be fed with some 10-10-10, with trace elements.  Use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup per plant.

One shrub that I love in the garden is called Vitex or Chasetree.  It resembles a butterfly bush, but is not related. It can take sun to partial shade and has long spikes of purple, pink, or white blooms in the summertime on new growth.  Hydrangeas are starting to bloom.  Remember when drying the blooms to select the old and faded blossom to dry. Daylilies, Hostas, Coneflowers, and Hollyhocks are blooming now.  I am growing the new Hollyhock called Queeny Purple this year.

Remember to feed the annuals with a little 10-10-10 with trace elements every month. They are heavy bloomers and need a lot of food.  July is a time when coleus shines. Very few things can take the heat like coleus can.  This is an annual that can really fill in some gaps in the garden bed when it is really hot.  There are many new shades and patterns available.  Try some.

In the vegetable garden it is harvest time for cucumbers, beans, okra, and squash.  Corn needs water at two critical times.  First when the tassels at the top begin to show, and secondly when the silk is beginning to show on the ear.  Water especially if it is dry.

Do not forget to walk through the garden (flower or vegetable!) and see how things are doing.

Posted by Linda on May 09, 2006

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