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June looks like it is starting off very nice except for a couple of warm days (okay they were HOT). The rest of the spring has been nice except for a couple of hot days. Overall it’s been great spring planting weather and looks like the weather will stay nice for the next couple of weeks at least.
Watering becomes much more important to make sure it is done well as the weather warms up. When watering trees, be sure to give established trees a deep soak once or twice a week depending on temperatures. Newly planted trees should be watered daily for the first week or so then cut back to about two or three times per week. Do not give short daily watering. Give good deep soaks. A good rule to use is to give 10 gallons of water per week for every inch of trunk diameter and be sure to soak to a depth of at least 12 inches. On larger trees you’ll want to soak to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. Use slow drip and let it run long enough to soak deep. Add 3″ of mulch around your trees and shrubs to hold the moisture in the ground and not allow it to evaporate. Mulching garden beds and vegetable gardens should also be done. Deep soaking and mulching encourages a deep healthy root system so that trees and shrubs and new plantings can go through hot spells with no adverse effects on the plant and you will use less water.
It’s time for your second fertilizing of the season if you have not done it already. Use a balanced fertilizer for most trees and shrubs. Be sure to water your plants well the day before you are going to fertilize and then fertilize and water the fertilizer in well. DO NOT fertilize on a very hot day. It is very easy to burn plants with fertilizer if you fertilize on a very hot day. Nitrogen portion of the fertilizer moves with water and plants are moving lots of water in the heat. Fertilize in the evening and look for temperatures in low to mid 90’s as a high or less for fertilizing. Fertilize citrus trees monthly through the growing season. Use a citrus and avocado fertilizer. Rhododendrons azaleas and camellias are about due for their third and final fertilizing. They are fertilized 3 times, each 30 days apart, after they are done blooming.
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CITRUS LEAF MINER
Citrus Leaf Miner can be a problem for citrus trees. It looks a bit like snail tracks in the leaf of the citrus tree and affects primarily the new growth. The new growth curls and looks shriveled with lines looking like snail trails in them. Treat this with Monterey Garden Insect Spray. We carry it. The active ingredient is Spinosad. It is OMRI listed for organic gardening. It is absorbed into the leaf and kills the leaf miner. We spray and then wait a few days and prune out the affected area. Treatment can be done weekly. This will take care of the problem.
MULCH MULCH MULCH
Be sure to mulch all new plantings and re mulch older plants. Use 3″ of mulch around your plants. Keep the mulch away from the immediate base of the plant. Mulching keeps the ground and roots of your plants cooler and holds the moisture in the soil. New plantings will do much better, no matter what the temperature, if they are watered well and mulch is used. You can cut your water use by up to 50% by mulching and your plants will do so much better. You can use shredded bark or chunk bark or compost or even gravel will work as mulch but gravel will reflect heat onto your plants so for some plant If you aren’t mulching, I would strongly advise that you do. Your plants will get through hot spells with no adverse effects, this is not a good choice. With mulching, you can plant any time of the year with no adverse effects. IT REALLY HELPS!
BLOSSOM END ROT
If you experience blossom end rot on tomatoes and squash, you want to add calcium to the soil. The bottom of the tomato and the ends of the squash will shrivel and become brown or black. If you add calcium at the first sign of this, the problem will be corrected fairly quickly. We carry bone meal, and oyster shell lime. The bone meal and oyster shell are organic products. We also have a product called Foli Cal which is a foliar spray calcium which will also correct blossom end rot.
APHIDS AND FUNGUS PROBLEMS
Aphids will be bad as the weather warms. Some problems have already started. For control of aphids, Neem Oil works well and is an organic pesticide. It also works as a fungicide so it does double duty. Use it every two weeks on roses and control aphids and fungus such as powdery mildew, rust and blackspot. It will also control aphids and powdery mildew on Crape Myrtles. We also have a product called Monterey Take Down Garden Spray. It is not organic but it works very well for controlling aphids and other insects. It is pyrethrin and canola oil. With all insecticides, be careful not to spray when bees are present. Better to spray late evening or very early morning when bees are not active, to avoid injuring bees.
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We’ve had a very nice spring this year which the plants really have liked. The inventory is full and looking good. All of our plants are fully acclimated to our climate. We don’t protect them under shade cloth so they can go into your landscape and not miss a beat because they are used to the weather. We do keep shade loving plants in the shade here at the nursery. If for some reason we don’t have what you are looking for, we can order it and usually have it here in a week.
This time of year here at the nursery we start doing lots of cleaning and maintenance in our growing ground. We shift plants from smaller pots to larger pots to grow. We will be cleaning mats and we will have many one of a kind or overstock items going into the parking lot reduced price area over the next few weeks. Be sure to check it out when you come in. You may find a great price on a plant you could use.
Enjoy this beautiful spring weather we are having.
We hope to see you soon.