Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Here comes June, ready or not

by ELAINE CERNY/My Garden Path
| May 28, 2023 1:00 AM

With the weather so warm in May, most of us have got the majority of our planting done already. Even the most sensitive plants seem to be doing OK. I hold off on things like Coleus until the nights stay in the high 50s. It's best to wait even longer before moving any houseplants outside for the summer.

If you have any tall gangly tomato plants, there is an interesting way to plant them. Instead of a vertical hole, dig a horizontal trench and lay the roots and most of the stem into it with only the top several inches bent upward and not covered with soil. This way helps the plant to grow extra roots, which gives it a better start. Try it and see.

For those of you who've been itching to prune back those lilac bushes, now is the time to do it. The window for pruning them is one month after blooming stops. Waiting to do this any later will result in cutting off next year's flower buds.

Go ahead and start planting those glad bulbs. I say "start" as you may want to space them out so you'll have a much longer bloom season. Just divide your bulbs into three piles. Plant the first batch now, the second in two weeks and the third two weeks after that.

For short and bushy chrysanthemums next fall, you'll need to plan ahead. Trim them back by about a third now and do it again in early July. An easy way to remember this is by holidays. First time, do it on Memorial Day or thereabouts. Second time, do it about the Fourth of July. The same goes for tall asters.

Mosquito season has arrived. Besides using a repellent such as DEET and wearing long sleeves, there is another important step to keeping your yard relatively free of the little buggers. That is to walk around your yard a couple of times a week and dump out any standing water as mosquitos can go from egg to flying adult in about a week.

I'm sure you've noticed that our old nemesis, pine pollen, has returned. Some things are sure and this seems to be one of them. We finally seemed to have reached the end of the pine cone drop and now this. Gotta love those trees!

I was recently told a story about some poppy seeds. When the gal who was getting the seeds asked for more information about size, etc., she was told that she didn't know but they would definitely keep the elephants away!

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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 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 to late October for the past 15 years.


Elaine Cerny