Summer has so greatly crowded the end of spring that I'm overlapping the Country Living Gardener's "Gardening Basics" to-do calendars for late spring and early summer. Obviously, my own garden is well along. Some of the designated garden plot is knowing a season of rest this year, covered by a tarp; but the chipmunks haven't lost any time finding the part that is still growing. Minnie does her part, running them off when she's outside, but she's an old enough gal that she spends the heat of the day napping. Not to mention the fact that she's hardly any help against other sorts of pests. Such pests begin to be a factor in garden care this time of year. I've already begun spraying my broccoli and Brussels sprouts, peas, cucumber seedlings and tomatoes with an organic insecticidal soap--a little more expensive but safer for the environment--and particularly better for the future health of the surrounding soil. The snap beans need a few more mature leaves before they receive a spritz.
Now on to the topic of the day...
To-do list for late spring/early summer's vegetable garden is as follows:
plant out greenhouse seedlings or recently purchased ones like tomatoes and cucumbers
apply manures and fertilizers
start sowing or do next succession sowing of salad vegetables
protect plants from birds
sow snap beans, sweet corn and other tender vegetables
watch for activity from aphids and root flies
For the ornamental side of the garden, do the following:
fertilize and mulch flower beds and borders and fertilize the lawn
plant hanging baskets and window boxes
sow seeds of hardy annuals
prune spring flowering shrubs and stake herbaceous perennials
deadhead flowers regularly
continue container planting
plant out dahlias
sow seeds of biennials
fertilize roses as the first flush of flowers ends
watch for signs of mildew, blackspot and aphids and treat accordingly
mow the lawn on a high setting in dry weather
Here's to enjoying a busy time in the yard and garden!