Spring time is here, and it’s starting to get warm. However, we still have to pay attention to our lawn and gardens. Here's hoping that the following information will be of benefit to you.
LAWN & GARDEN EVENTS
JUNE IS NATIONAL FRESH FRUIT & VEGETABLES MONTH. This month recognizes the importance and value of produce and fresh fruit. The purpose of this event is to encourage us to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially a colorful variety. Fruits and vegetables are the original fast foods. Keeping a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables handy at all times for snacking and meals makes it easy to enjoy their wonderful flavors and health benefits. Eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day is the delicious way to help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure as well as avoid those unwanted pounds.
JUNE IS NATIONAL ROSE MONTH. This is the month set aside to honor everyone's favorite flower. Roses have a place in every yard and there are no secrets to have beautiful roses. Any gardener can grow roses by following a few simple rules. The rose is a symbol of the times. In fact, it's the official National Floral Emblem of the United States.
FLOWER OF THE MONTH
The Flower of the Month for June is the Rose. There is unquestionably no flower as beautiful or as loved as a rose. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. More "beholders" carry, display and grow roses than any other flower. They are the undisputed favorite of growers and flower buyers alike.
Did you know that the color of a rose carries a special meaning. Here’s what each color stands for:
Red. Love, beauty, courage and respect.
White. Purity and innocence, silence or secrecy, also reverence and humility.
Pink. Appreciation,"Thank you", grace, perfect happiness, and admiration.
Dark Pink. Appreciation, gratitude Light Pink admiration, sympathy.
Yellow. Joy, gladness, friendship, delight, the promise of a new beginning .
Orange. Desire, and enthusiasm.
Red and White. Given together, these signify unity.
Red Rosebud. A symbol of purity and loveliness.
White Rosebud. Symbolic of girlhood.
LAWN & GARDEN TIPS
Check your lawn-mower blade for sharpness and gradually raise the mowing height
If you have had twig borers, spray dates are March 1, June 1, and September 1.
Fertilize fig trees with 1/3 lb. Of 10-10-10 per foot of height.
Start propagation cuttings of cotoneasters, azaleas, and hollies.
* Insure all your plants are receiving at least 1 inch of water every week. Azaleas and dogwoods are very shallow-rooted and require watering every 4-5 days. Never water anything after noon! The best time is morning, after the dew has dried. Most disease gets started when plants go to bed wet.
The following article was prepared by the Clemson Extension Center:
BUYING AND GROWING HEALTHY PLANTS.
Research which plants are suited to your planting site. Consider the following factors: space, sun and wind exposure, soil type, moisture, drainage, and salt spray or saline soil problems.
Determine which characteristics you find desirable or undesirable. For example, you may be looking for a particular flower color, a long bloom season, attractive leaves or berries, or plants that attract bees or discourage deer.
Choose plants carefully. Healthy plants have good, rich color and a vigorous appearance. Plants should be well-branched and shaped for their type and without physical damage such as stem scrapes or broken branches. Avoid plants that show signs of pests, diseases, drought injury or other problems.
Look at the roots of container-grown plants by gently easing them out of their containers. Look for ample roots that hold firm firmly onto the soil. On most plants, healthy roots are light tan or white, though some have bright yellow or red roots. If roots are dark brown or black, look limp or feel soft, they are probably damaged or dead. There should be no offensive odor or mushiness.
Also avoid “root-bound” plants, those whose roots are very tightly crowded and circulating in containers or that have roots growing out of the drain holes. These will not transplant well. Be especially careful when buying trees to check that they are not root-bound. Root-bound trees often develop circulating roots which, left uncorrected, can eventually girdle or choke the tree.
When selecting trees and shrubs consider that smaller plants are easier to transplant and often become established and grow faster than larger ones.
Look for trees and shrubs that are branched evenly on all sides. Plants with a lack of branching on one or two sides may have been grown in crowded conditions. Be aware, though, that branching may be minimal on very young trees. Look at the angle of the branches to the trunk. Wide-angled branches will be stronger and less likely to break than narrow-angled branches.
If you are buying deciduous trees or shrubs while they are dormant, make sure the branches are flexible and springy. Dead branches will be brittle and are often withered. Buds along the branches should be plump and firm.
When buying bedding plants, it may be tempting to buy the flat with the tallest plants and the most flowers, but this is not the flat to buy. Bedding plants that are more compact for their variety and are in bud rather than in flower will develop roots faster and suffer less transplant shock than their showy companions. If the only healthy plants available are already in bloom, pinch off the flowers before planting. Other things to look for are uniformity of plant size and healthy foliage color.
Once you have purchased your new plants. Give them care that will ensure their continued good heath. Carry them by their containers rather than by their trunks to avoid damaging root systems. Cover or wrap plants that will be carried in a truck or other open vehicle. Water plants thoroughly after unloading.
When mail ordered plants arrive, unpack them immediately and check that they are in good condition. Water the plants thoroughly and put them in bright, indirect light. Since they have been in a dark shipping box for several days, they need a bit of time to adjust before they can be put in full sun.
Plant your new purchases as soon as possible. If you can not plant right away, keep the plants in a protected area and check the soil moisture daily (or more often on bedding plants). Containers and balls will dry out much faster than ground soil does. Keep the plants shaded, since high temperqtures and direct sun can kill roots.
Reference: Selecting and Buying Healthy Plants, 03-03-05, Karen Russ, Clemson Extension Home and Garden Information Center.
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