As always we have a few gardening ideas to start your summer off. Consistent daytime temperatures of 90 – 95 degrees generally marks the start of a once daily water schedule. Remember to water in the cool of the day, ONE TIME A DAY. We water too little and too often in the Desert. Be certain the water is on long enough to saturate the deepest root ball. Keep in mind, newly planted material may require a bit more water when first planted but once the roots are set; o n c e d a i l y is the rule of thumb. Remember, cactus and succulents are not the same as hibiscus and citrus trees; they have completely different water needs — never the two shall meet. Most cactus do well with weekly water, while their more lush counterparts require daily irrigation. Container gardens may need a little more water when temperatures spike; cactus in pots need water twice a week. Rye seed is slowly dying out as Bermuda grass awakens this time of year. Don’t be fooled into thinking your grass needs more water — this is the natural transitional process for turf when evening temperatures rise.
Give your irrigation system a pre-summer physical. Is the back up battery in your time clock up to date? Is your clock set to the correct time? Is your water start time appropriate? Summer power outages can create a real problem if even one irrigation cycle is missed. Be certain sprinkler heads and drip emitters are functioning properly. Check for clogged heads and low water pressure. A beautiful garden requires a little work!
Mulch in May (or June) as preventative medicine against heat all summer long. Mulching enables plants to retain moisture; it keeps the roots cool. Surface mulch inhibits weed growth and prevents reflective sun damage. All of this puts less stress on plant material which keeps them healthy. Finally, adding mulch to planter beds fights against erosion. Spread a two inch layer of mulch throughout your planter beds to take advantage of all these benefits.
Fertilize! June is a fantastic growing month for any and everything in the garden. Daytime temperatures remain relatively mild while evenings become warmer; this optimizes daytime grow-time. The goal is to promote healthy growth enabling plants to stand up to the dog days of summer. Fertilizer helps the process along. Choose the best fertilizer option for the task at hand.
Watch for pests. Insects are a huge problem this year because the winter was so mild; they’ve had the full year to grow fat and happy. This is especially true of whitefly. Leaf minor and bougainvillea looper remain tenacious as well. All the usual suspects; mites, scales, mealy bugs and ants have moved in apparently to stay. Combat the agave borer weevil this month; treatment is quick, easy and mandatory. It is critical to stay ahead of garden pests through the summer. Apply all pesticides as directed. Choose the right product for the job and apply at the correct time of day. Visit Moller’s, we are here to help all summer long–except Sundays.
Hummingbirds remain present and hungry this spring. Many of you may have noticed nests in precarious places. It may seem the birds are not eating as much. This is largely due to the fact there is so much natural food out there….never fear. Hummingbirds are always hungry. In the mean time, feed the finches – they too are always hungry and equally as interesting to watch.
You have plenty of time to plant through June and plenty of material to plant. This is the time for seasonal color change. Don’t forget your pots, summer color does great in container gardens as well as in your flower beds. Moller’s is open all summer long — except Sundays. It has been a terrific Season at Moller’s and we thank you.