Did you know Fresh Air and Sunshine are natural disinfectants? Here is a link to an interesting article about this subject; if you want to learn more, google will provide dozens of references.
Now that the Last Frost Date has arrived, we can comfortably start planting Summer annuals, vines and Topicals like Hibiscus and Banana.
Time to roll out the pots and refresh the soil for the Summer season. Many veggies and vines benefit from early planting to establish quickly and gain some growth before hot, muggy weather. Think: Moon Vine, Morning Glory, Salvia and so many more.
The role of Summer bulbs has been to fill in open spaces after the Spring show is done; they help ‘kick it up a notch’ by adding color and texture over the warm months and are also good cut flowers. More in our next newsletter about the variety and choice of Summer bulbs.
Now is the time to assess overgrown shrubs like Azaleas and Boxwoods to reduce or thin to promote health replacement growth. Fertilizing can be done after flowering and pruning. We always recommend organic-based fertilizers/amendments to avoid soft, lush growth that can attract pests and disease. Mulching to reduce weeds and prevent soil drying out is often a good idea (once the soil has warmed up and you can identify plants/bulbs emerging so as not to smother them).
The subject of mulch is much debated but generally speaking, a loose material that permits water and air penetration to plant roots is good. Fine-textured, small particle mulches may wash off on slopes so coarser textured material may be better. We generally use a high quality Shredded Hardwood Bark or Pine Fines.
Two things to remember:
1) More is not always better! Plants smothered under thick mulch may develop rot or fail.
2) Expensive mulch doesn’t mean better. Exotic materials (Coco Hulls or Eucalyptus Bark) may smell enticing but are not vastly superior to mainstream products.
Now that the weather’s settling, garden centers are filling with fresh plant material ready to plant. We can advise you on appropriate varieties for your design, space and long-term vigor.