Monday, June 3, 2013

June 2013

Water. I was looking back over past blogs and newsletters for the month of June and two things stuck out. One is that they were quite often late in getting published and two they were quite often about watering. That could be why they are always late. So here is a link to one that I feel is especially comprehensive June 2011 'Watering'. I always think of George Brookbank, a long time Extension Agent in Tucson, whose pat answer for the question "How often do I water my plants?"  was "When they need it."

Attract beneficial insects. Beneficial insects play many rolls in the garden. They can pollinate, dine on harmful insects, decompose organic matter and serve as a food source for birds and lizards. Bees are very important pollinators and a friend recently sent me some info about their decline. Here is an interesting article on the subject 'Garden Pesticides Killing Bees' . Many moths and flies are also pollinators. The tiny wasps you see are parasitic and will lay their eggs inside host insects as well as controlling whiteflies and aphids. We all know ladybugs have a voracious appetite for all kinds of sucking insects but so do lacewings, spiders, certain flies and dragonflies. So how do you get these little creatures to favor your garden? First and foremost don't use toxic insecticides on your plants. Even organic pesticides such as pyrethrin and neem will kill beneficials so use them sparingly in a controlled area. Second, provide them with food, water and shelter. The food is simple enough to supply by planting an herb garden as described last month. Any small nectar-rich flowers will do and most herbs fall into this category. Other flowers would include yarrow, alyssum, cosmos, butterfly weed and zinnias. Water can be supplied by a shallow birdbath and shelter with a good layer of mulch. If you can make an attractive environment for beneficials it won't be long before they will become permanent residents in your garden.

Plant perennials. Many of the perennials we have been growing are blooming beautifully right now. Come in and check them out. We can help you decide which ones are right for your particular area.
One of our growing areas.

Lycium barbarum. 'Big Lifeberry' Goji Berry is a deciduous shrub that will grow quickly to 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide. It has a sprawling form and staking is recommended for full access to the fruit. Yes! it produces the popular red anti-oxidant rich berries everyone is talking about. The Proven Winners 'Big Lifeberry' variety blooms with lavender flowers in spring and produces extra large berries in late summer. This shrub is drought tolerant and cold hardy to zone 5. It will take full sun or part shade and could be trellised or grown in a large pot. 

No comments:

Post a Comment