Sunday, January 16, 2022

MY GARDEN PATH — Sum, sum, summertime!

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| June 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Today has a lot going on. First of all, its Father's Day. Let's all spoil those dads rotten. They deserve it…at least most of them do! Then there's the other one, the first day of summer. It's here, believe it or not. Today is also the longest day of the year, so get outside and enjoy it.

Hopefully, you've got all your planting done. If you still have a few bare spots, go ahead and grab a few annuals and pop them into the ground.

You may even be able to sit in the shade and enjoy your handiwork. I know most dads will appreciate that suggestion.

Once you've rested up, it's time to get back to work. Ha, you knew that was coming, didn't you? Anyway, there are things that need doing. One of these is to get those gladiola bulbs planted if they haven't been already. Find a nice sunny spot with good drainage, dig a hole three times the height of the bulb, dig in a bit of fertilizer and plop in the bulb. Repeat.

If you still haven't got those lilac bushes trimmed, time is a-wasting. Remember, you don't want to put it off much longer or you'll be cutting off next year's buds.

Water the heck out of those raspberry bushes as they're probably starting to grow fruit. With this continuing drought, you'll need to keep watering everything, even your trees. Just be sure to do it right. Water either very early in the morning or wait until evening. No watering on windy days. Doing that would just evaporate it.

Most of the perennials have put on quite a show this spring. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's because we had a mild winter. Anyway, the irises, for instance, were just fabulous. The only thing that didn't help was the three days of 90s that we got in early June. Very strange, as our usual highs for then are in the low 70s.

If you haven't put on any lawn fertilizer lately, go ahead and toss some out there and water it in. Your lawn will appreciate it and will continue to look good.

Be sure to stake those plants that will be getting tall such as tomatoes and pole beans. Don't forget the tall flowering plants. Dahlias need to be staked to keep from blowing over. Just be careful not to pierce the tubers with those stakes.

Keep after the weeds. That's a chore you don't dare to neglect as they will make you pay dearly if you do. Many can be pulled, but some need to be sprayed. These include crabgrass and morning glory. Even some supposedly ornamental plants such as Snow on the Mountain (aka Bishop's Weed), need to be sprayed. Pulling them does not work as every tiny piece of root left in the ground will regrow.

If you should happen to have a bumper crop of veggies, you may want to donate them to a good cause. Your local food bank would love to have some. Just give them a call.

In case you could use some suggestions, here's some “Advice from a Sunflower.”

Be outstanding in your field

Hold your head high

Think big!

• • •

Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 12 years.

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