Saturday, September 30, 2023

MY GARDEN PATH: Give those trees a drink!

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| July 10, 2022 1:00 AM

Summer finally got here and is already flying by. How does that happen? I guess it's just “one of those things.” We went from cold and wet to hot and dry in just no time.

Speaking of hot, we need to be diligent about watering. Lawn grass does not like hot and dry weather and will start looking ratty with too much of either. Whether or not there are local water restrictions, just use your common sense when it comes to watering your yard. Basically, this means to do your watering in the “cool” of the day…early morning or late evening. Never run your sprinklers between noon and 6 p.m. That's the hottest time of the day. Most of the water will simply evaporate then.

Hopefully, all your spring planting got done. Now is the time to add a dash of fertilizer to those guys. Petunias are probably getting leggy and are not looking their best. Just cut them about halfway back and scratch in some fertilizer with a high middle number. Water it in and they'll perk right up.

For jobs such as dividing clumps of perennials, choose a nice early morning or evening. Once you've dug out, split and replanted each of them, be sure to give them a good soaking. If you've got something handy to use for shade, that will help. I sometimes place a lawn chair over the “new” clump when I'm done. It might look kind of out of place but it will sure help the plant to recover.

Mid-July is the time to divide irises. This job needs doing every five years or so. If their bloom wasn't what it used to be, they're trying to tell you it's time.

Be sure to choose a sunny spot with good drainage if you're moving them. Irises don't require a lot but they do need these two things. Just dig up the crowded clump and pull/cut them apart. Toss the parts that recently bloomed. Dig up the new area and create a small “hill” in the center. Sit the rhizome on that hill and spread the roots down the sides. Fill in with soil being sure that the rhizome is almost level with the surrounding soil. Water well and you're done with that one.

Keep after those raspberries. The chore does get tiresome, but you'll be glad you did it next winter when you're pulling them out of the freezer.

Keep all those veggies watered and fertilized. This looks like a great year for corn on the cob. Tomatoes are looking good too. It's nice to be rewarded for your efforts.

The pair of robins who live in our backyard have gone back to work…at least she has. I see her back on the nest, producing another batch of eggs. The four babies from the first batch are long gone. Such ambition.

Some actual Idaho laws:

Dirt may not be swept from one's house into the street. Bicycles are not allowed in tennis courts and residents may not fish from a giraffe's back. I love that one!

• • •

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 14 years.


Elaine Cerny

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