Friday, June 14, 2024

MY GARDEN PATH: Lots of 'growing' going on

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| June 29, 2022 7:51 PM

I can't help wondering, are we going to have ANY summer this year? So far, it's been cool and wet with very few “nice” days.

At least most of my perennials are doing well. I have 15 varieties of irises in bloom with more to come. Nothing is easier to grow and more rewarding. Soon it will be time to dig and divide those that need it. That time comes about every five years. More on that a later date.

My ferns have never looked better. So, there are plants that thrive on this damp weather. Some of mine are close to 3 feet tall.

I hope you've managed to get all of your spring planting done. I'm still behind on those chores as my back has been bad for many weeks and I'm awaiting a back procedure which will (hopefully) fix it.

Don't forget to prune back those lilac bushes. You're running out of time for that chore. If you wait much longer, you'll be taking off next year's tiny flower buds. I'm sure you know that lilacs are one of the toughest plants to grow. Others are irises and peonies. By toughest, I mean easy to grow and hard to kill.

Speaking of peonies, lots of them are now blooming. Remember, they do NOT need ants on their buds in order to bloom. These guys are just after the nectar left by aphids.

Be sure to stake up those tomato plants. It's easier to do that when they're young and pliable. Older plants can be harder to work with. Don't forget to fertilize them.

One thing this wet weather has been good for is filling in those dead spots in the lawn. Just scratch, toss and cover each area. So far, I haven't had to turn on my sprinklers as Mother Nature has been taking care of that chore.

The robins have been very busy. We had a pair nest by the back door. They raised four babies in record time. Both parents worked diligently to feed the little guys. They'd arrive with a beakful of food every 10 minutes. No wonder the youngsters grow so fast!

It won't be long before the raspberries start producing berries. Remember to give them a shot of fertilizer. Any granular grass fertilizer will work as they aren't choosy. Just be sure not to use the weed 'n feed type.

Raspberries have an unfortunate habit of popping up new plants where they're not wanted. Most of these can be yanked out by the roots when their area is wet. If you don't keep after them, soon you will have a VERY big raspberry plot.

Be sure to give those rose bushes a dose of fertilizer occasionally. Producing those nice blooms is a big job. This same goes for dahlias and other bloomers. A little of this job goes a long way.

I just saw a new description for coffee, it called it a “Hug in a mug.” True.

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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