Cool mornings, pleasant evenings and mild temperatures have made for an almost perfect spring this year. Annual rye is slowly giving way to the summer Bermuda grass. Seasonal flowers have surrendered to the heat allowing room for summer flowers. A few simple tasks done now will allow your garden to thrive through the next several months.
For most of the year, we urge you to limit your watering. Now, we suggest you water the garden once a day, in the relative cool of the morning. Deep water makes for deep roots. The basic premise remains the same: water enough to fully saturate the roots, and then allow the plant to dry out between watering. This promotes healthy foliage growth throughout the year. Newly planted material may temporarily require additional water in the afternoon, but just for a few weeks. Once new material is rooted return to the once a day watering schedule. A plant will dry out much more slowly during humid weather. Keep in mind that plants may wilt from heat as well as from lack of water; just because a plant looks thirsty does not mean it is thirsty.
CHECK YOUR TIME CLOCK!!
Is it set to the correct time and date? Is there a battery back up? Check the water time, what time of day does the water come on? (Should be between 5 and 8:30 am) How long is each station set for? Does the water come on for a long enough period of time allow deep root watering? This is the key to maintaining a healthy garden. DRIP IRRIGATION AND SPRINKLER SYSTEMS administer water differently. Water is not measured in time, water is measured in gallons so be certain of the amount you water your garden. Adequate water is not simply an issue of the water coming on every day. HOW MUCH WATER COMES ON EVERY DAY, that is the question?
A two inch thick layer of mulch at the base of all your plantings is great preventative medicine for your garden. Mulch will hold moisture in, keep roots cool and protect plant material from heat and sun damage. Fresh mulch replaces soil that has settled or blown away throughout the year. A thick layer of mulch even helps keep garden weeds at bay. It is a simple duty with lasting benefits for the garden.
Early summer is a great time to fertilize the entire garden one last time. Citrus trees, roses, gardenias, turf, ground cover, herbs and vegetables, vines, palms, shrubs and trees all will benefit. Fertilizing is no longer a one size fits all practice. use Best Turf Supreme for the lawn. Lutz Palm Spikes for queen palms; Gro-Power palm and tropical fertilizer for all your other palm trees. Use organic fertilizers throughout the summer for all your shrubs and trees. Dr. Earth and FoxFarm organic fertilizers are both highly effective boutique fertilizers. Boutique fertilizers?? The art of gardening has become a highly evolved practice. Boutique fertilizers offer specific nutrients to meet the particular needs of specialized plant specimens: the better the food, the healthier the plant material.
One of the great misperceptions of gardening in the Desert is that there is little to be done in the summer. In fact, summer weather provides us with our longest growing season. Many homeowners end up with a ‘jungle’ at the end of the summer. Excessive pruning typically ensues and the result is a squared off, unnatural looking garden. Spring is the best time for major pruning and summer is a great time for sustained pruning; a little here, a little there. It is all about maintenance and keeping your garden looking natural. Please come in and speak with our sales staff for further information.
Looking for something new to add to your garden?
Something you can plant in the heat of the summer?? (Actually you can plant just about anything throughout the summer, as long as you water it properly.) We have some new entries for you at Moller’s Garden Center. Two new varieties of honeysuckle have just arrived: the solar flare and crimson flare tecoma hybrids offer rich, warm yet subtle hues of red and gold. Perhaps you are looking for something a little more ‘Desert’? Hesperaloe Brakelight is a new drought plant whose blooms are a beautiful magenta red. We have numerous old favorites to offer you as well. Gardenias do well in the summer, bloom in the early summer for those of us who enjoy the Desert all year long and offer over 10 different varieties for your shopping pleasure. Please feel free to bring in a sample of any garden problems you may be experiencing; the staff at Moller’s is here to help.