Author Archives: Abrahm

Fill In Those Empty Spots In Your Garden

Alan: Well once you’re into June, people wonder what next? The gardens looking good. But sometimes things just don’t make it. Sometimes you find a spot over here that you really want to add something and it’s not too late in June.

June is a great time to continue to plant. We even grow plants in larger containers so that you’ve already planted something and you don’t want to start off with a little plant that doesn’t match. So we have things in larger containers that you can just pop right in and fill in that space and match everything else.

We plant our crops that we grow at the greenhouse, we don’t grow everything at the same time. We don’t just plant tomatoes once and here’s our whole crop of tomatoes for the year. Because some people are planting those tomatoes middle of May and they don’t want some plants it’s overgrown and just scraggly and it doesn’t look good.

So we plant several times throughout the season so that when you come in June, there’s still going to be some plants that are at their peak at that time. So we planned it that way, because people do plant later on.

A thing that would be good in June is to look at your vegetable garden. At this time you probably harvested quite a bit of your cabbage and broccoli and cauliflower, things like that.

So now the is a good time in June to go back in and now you can plant a tomato there. It’s not too late. It’s a good time. So you’re making double use of that space. Things that you harvest early. It’s now time to go ahead and plant the things that will go later, like the peppers and tomatoes, things like that.

Should I Fertilize In The Morning Or Evening?

Alan: Some things that you fertilize, and this would be true for regardless of when you’re doing it, more is not necessarily better. I know people, myself sometimes, if it calls for one teaspoon, two must be better. So that’s not necessarily the case especially depending what fertilizer you’re using.

A water soluble type something that is taken very readily through the plant, very instant kind of effect. Versus something that’s slow release or time release fertilizer, which tend to be a lot safer. You can still burn but not to the severity that you can with some of those water soluble ones. Especially in some of those hotter months. So just be careful with that. If it says a teaspoon or two teaspoons, whatever product you’re using, especially on those water soluble ones, you can do some burning in those hotter months.

And it would be something that you’d want to try to do in the early morning. Just so the plant is not under stress in the early morning, and it gives the the entire course of the day for the foliage to dry out.

If evening is your only option, you don’t hear about evening because the water stays on the foliage. The plant stays wet through the course of the night. And again, going back to some of the fungal problems. That would be something that would just, not necessarily cause it, but could encourage it. And we’re not trying to do that. So just remember stay away from those midday fertilizing applications.

June Insect Control Tips

Alan: Another popular topic in June is insects. That you really want to keep an eye on. You don’t want to just ignore it and then just wake up one day and look at your garden. It’s covered in aphids or it’s covered in something.

A lot of people want to use organic insecticides and organic fungicides, and that’s great. But you have to do those as preventatives. Once you have a big problem and you have aphids covering something or you have whatever the insect might be, once you have a problem with it, organic products just don’t work as well. I mean, they will help.

But if you use those as a preventative to prevent the problem in the first place, they’re much more effective

Don’t come in with a branch, that’s with fungus all over it and say, you know, what do you have that’s organic to take care of this. Because organic fungicides are good for preventative, but they’re not really that effective for taking care of problem that you already have.

So keep in mind, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s especially true with organics.

Kevin: We’ll use plants in our greenhouse and encourage customers to ask this, if they don’t know. But we use plants as scout plants. We can pick on any plants. A portalachka is going to get these aphids first. Aphids are a chewing insect, so they like the freshest softest tissue. Once that tissue hardens off, they can’t bite into it. It’s not as tasty for them.

Aphids on burning bush, the perfect scout plant. You see a little bit of curl on your burning bush leaf. It’s almost 100% going to be aphids. Aphids are hungry right now. I need to look at this plan, or this plan, because they also like aphids, so I need to get my treatment down.

Alan: That’s the same with Japanese beetles. That’s another big problem that people run into. They come in and want to buy these bags. The Japanese beetle traps. And those are great. They do catch the Japanese beetles.

But if you put those right in your garden, you’re attracting all these Japanese beetles and everyone to munch on your garden on the way to the bag. So the best thing is to buy your neighbor one. You say I got you a gift and you buy them the Japanese beetle bag, so they go to their yard to fall into the bag. Just sort of kidding.

But if you have a spot or somewhere away from your garden, that you can put the bag, that would be the best thing because you don’t want those things having lunch on the way to the bag.

June Trimming And Pruning Tips

Alan: Are there plants that should be pruned June?

Kevin: Anything that was a spring flowering plant. I mean by that time depending in June your lilacs are done flowering. Your forsythias and things like that, some of the azaleas, all that type of stuff. All that stuff’s done flowering. That would definitely be a time to either deadhead those plants depending on the plant or just give that thing a nice haircut.

It’s probably getting through its first flush of growth. And so maybe you got kind of some irregular branches where it just kind of threw out a stray branch that’s not where you want it to be. It doesn’t look like that perfect plant you envision. June would be a fine time to kind of clean that up and neaten and tidy those plants up.

Things that you wouldn’t want to prune would be things that are flowering. Things like some of the hydrangeas, some of the butterfly bushes, roses.

A lot of the roses that we’re selling are free flowering. People think about roses and they think about maintenance and where you would have to prune them to encourage new flowers from growing by not let the hips form from the old flowers. And cut the cane back so far.

The roses today, most popular are these free flowering shrub roses. Where they’re also self cleaning. They make enough flowers where, not that you couldn’t clean them up, but it’s not necessary. They just flower right past some of those old flowers.

How And When Do You Control Bagworms?

Alan: Another thing, especially late May that you want to remember, is that, you don’t see them yet, but there are little baby insects out there ready to sprout and start to devour your plants or your trees. One question we get normally after June is what are all these bags hanging off of my evergreens.

Well, they’re bagworms.

But the time to take care of bagworms is late May and early June. And you want to spray because the bags that are there, each one can have up to 300 larvae in it. And they come out of that bag and they just spread and then they go and start making bags with their own.

You may have gone out and you didn’t see anything, it’s all clean. And the next day you go out and look and you got bags hanging all over your tree. So the product you might consider if you do it early enough is bacillus thuringiensis, it’s hard to say that last word. But that’s a natural spray, and it’s a bacteria. But it works as long as the larvas are small.

Once you get into the larger sizes, if you didn’t spray and it gets into June or even July, it’s too late to use that. Because it’s just not going to be effective on larger larva that size. It’s good to do that in late May. And then that could take care of any problem that you’d have developing the bags later because you’ve taken care of it. Later than that, you’re going to have to use another insecticide.

And if you wait till August, then it’s too late. If you spray, they’re going to seal themselves in that bag and you can’t spray them after that. It’s just a matter of going out and picking those bags off. I’ve done that before and spent a lot of time picking bags and think I’ve got it. Then next thing “Oh, there’s another one. Oh, there’s another one. Oh, there’s another one.” It’s a never ending job.

What Is Part Sun? What Is Part Shade?

Alan: Another question we get a lot in May, because that’s the busiest time of the year for us and for gardeners, is that people will ask, Well, what can I plant in this much sunlight?

Well, what is full sun?

What is part sun?

What is shade?

Well, obviously, shade means it’s not not getting any direct sunlight. But when you look at a plant tag, and it says, this is for part sun, what does that mean? It’s generally accepted that part sun means around four hours a day or less. But it does get direct sunlight. Full sun is considered anything that gets six more hours of sun a day.

So you really need to know your own gardens, your own house.

And people come and say, Well, my house space is this way. And so they think that’s enough information to know how much sunlight something gets. Well, does your neighbor have a tree across the street that’s huge that blocks part of that sun? It doesn’t matter what direction your house faces if there’s something blocking the sun. And people will sometimes not realize that they’ll put a plant in that’s not for that area.

Now, I’ve heard quite a few people plant a lilac and say, my lilac never blooms. Then I’ll ask how much sun does it get? Well, it gets a little bit in the morning. That’s not enough. A lilac needs at least six hours. Preferably more. So if you plant a lilac, somewhere that it’s not getting enough sun, you’re not going to be happy with it. So you need to know how much sun things get.

And if you’re looking at it in the wintertime, it’s going to get less sunlight in an area because the sun rotates and it moves. So when you want to know what light you’re getting, look at it during the growing season.

And time it.

Because that makes a difference. Some people think it gets all afternoon sun. Maybe it doesn’t maybe you just assume that. So it’s good to know because if you plant shade things in sun, they’re going to burn up. If you plant some things in the shade, they’re not going to bloom.

Kevin: Another thing you said was the time of day is it. Is it six hours of morning sun or is it four hours of afternoon sun?

Alan: The intensity of the sun makes it makes a difference and how the plant is going to tolerate it.

How To Keep Hanging Baskets Beautiful

Alan: Well, a popular item for Mother’s Day are hanging baskets.

Kevin: Butterfly bush.

Alan: Butterfly bush? Maybe. Depends on your mom. But most normal moms are going to really appreciate a beautiful hanging basket or a container combination pot. These things are already grown. They’re already beautiful when you buy them.

And at Dill’s Greenhouse, we have a huge selection of many different sizes. We have eight inch, we have 10 inch, 12 inch, 14 inch, we have moss baskets, a big container with a spagnum moss around the edge of it and much more soil volume so you can have different plants in there that end up with a huge basket that can actually be grown because there’s enough soil to grow it.
Taking care of hanging baskets.

Now, when we sell a basket we put, as you’re carrying it out the door, will put a slow release fertilizer on it. That helps fertilize the plant through the summer months. The fertilizers that we use is a five to seven month fertilizer. It doesn’t take care of all the fertilizer needs. You’re going to want a couple of times a month at least to put some Miracle Gro or some kind of water soluble fertilizer on that. And especially some plants that are heavier feeders like petunias.

Petunias, they like a lot of fertilizer, so you want to take care to make sure to put those things on there because if you don’t, it could start looking straggly, not the beautiful plant that you bought. And then you’ll think what’s wrong with this.

Another thing to consider is, as the plants get really big and start to hang down too low, just prune it. If you prune a basket, well, one time through the growing season, it’s going to make that basket stay beautiful throughout the whole summer.

And the other thing to remember with a hanging basket is to water. You have this ball of soil up in the air with the plant growing in it. It doesn’t have the ground to protect it. It’s going to dry out a lot more than the ground is. So you want to make sure that you keep adequate water on it. You don’t want to keep it soaking wet. But let it dry down to where the plant has not started to wilt yet, but that you can be picked up that basket and feel that it’s lighter. If you can feel that, it’s time to water. Then water until it takes up all the water it can, it’ll start to run out of the bottom of the basket. Then don’t water it again until it’s dry again. So you don’t wanna keep it wet.

But now there are times in the summer, you’ll have to water every day, especially the smaller the basket, the more often you’ll have to water it. And there are several plants that you can buy that vinca, portulaca, they do a lot better if you’re one who neglects watering, and get home from work and notices, oh, no, it’s already wilting. Those things can recover really fast and they just don’t need as much water as other plants.

So if you’re really good at watering, then go ahead and buy a fuchsia. Fuchsias are beautiful, but they will dry out on you. And if you let that happen too many times they’ll recover but they lose their blooms. So you don’t want to lose all your blooms. That’s why you have the basket.

Spring Has Sprung. Annuals And Perennials.

Alan: Spring is sprung, it’s finally May. This is what we’ve all been waiting for. The time where you can actually get out in the yard and plant all the beautiful flowers and vegetables that was just too cold to do earlier. So this is the time to put in vegetables and herbs and all the tender annuals, a virtually unlimited list of things that you can plant in May.

Kevin: We’re still receiving trucks on a very regular basis. Trees and shrubs are really in full swing right now. As well as perennials. In our nursery, we might carry a particular item in four or five different price points. I’d like to say from from very small, somebody that just wants to be very budget conscious and has the time and energy, and wants to watch it grow and mature. To something that looks very mature, when somebody needs something very instant. We have three or four price points in between on some of the more popular things. So really something for everybody’s budget.

Alan: Okay, you keep taking the conversation back to the nursery. You’ve had your chance in late March and April. This is the time. This is May. This is when you want to get the stuff that I produce that I’m the grower.The vegetables and the herbs. This is what we’re looking at for May.

Kevin: People like to plant it once and be done.

Alan: Hanging baskets. No one’s going to buy their Mom a perennial. That’s already done blooming.

Kevin: They might buy a rose bush for Mother’s Day! A butterfly bush.

Alan: This is the time to buy hanging baskets

Kevin: Hydrangeas.

Alan: This is the time to buy potted plants. It’s the time to buy…

Kevin: Camellias.

Alan: A lot of things you can do now that you couldn’t do earlier when the nursery people had their chance. Yes, it’s still good time to plant nursery products but

Kevin: Tomato, tomahto.

Alan: Just as long as they come to Dill’s Greenhouse to buy it.

Herb Garden Tips

Alan: Another good thing in April is to think about your herb garden. Herbs are one of my favorite things.
I love to grow herbs. I love to to use herbs.

And there’s two kinds of herbs in a sense. There are perennial herbs such as sage and thyme. Most of the mints those are perennial. And then you have annual herbs that are tender. Basil and cilantro, dill, parsley. Parsley is actually kind of hardy. I’ve even seen it live over. But it’s still classified as more of a tender herb.

In April, it’s still too early to put out basil. Now if it’s late April in Ohio, we’re past the frost free date, you have people can get away with it. But I don’t know how much advantage you’re going to have because the ground is still cold, even after the air temperatures warmed up.

In April, go through your herb garden. Look at all of your perennial herbs. What are coming up? You can divide some of those if you get they’re getting too big for that spot.

But the perennial herbs are great because you can just keep harvesting them every year. You don’t have to replant. And we even have one variety of rosemary that I’ve had success with year after year. It came back three years in a row. And rosemary is a very tender perennial here. It’s zone seven is the best one. And sometimes zone seven, if you have a cold winter, it won’t make it. Also if you have a dog that likes rosemary like mine does, and rips the whole plant out of the ground and runs through the yard with it, you’ll have to replant.

But there are quite a few herbs that will make it through winter. It’s good time in April to tidy those up. Divide them that just to have more room to plant the annuals, even in between when it’s time to do that. Which would not be in April. You probably want to wait till the frost free date which considered to be around May 15 in central Ohio.

Rose Pruning Tips

Kevin: So now that we’re into April, any of you guys that were late getting things cleaned up, April is definitely the month you kind of want to have that checked off your list. It’s time to really take a thorough walk through the yard.

Examine anything that needs cleaned up. Whether it be old hostas, or maybe you’ve got just some old perennials, day lilies or asters, or something like that, that just the tops need cleaned off. You definitely want to get that done.

It’d be the time of year that you could do some pruning on your roses. Roses would be a plant that you’d want to go ahead and clean up. First examine your rose. Take out any decaying tissue, any brown tissue, that would be the first thing is get all that old wood out of there. And then take whatever top growth you have, depending on the type of rose. But for the most part, it’s safe to probably safely take off half of whatever growth you have there.

Now if it’s a climber that might be an exception, but most of the teas and shrubs, that would be a safe assumption.

When it comes to shrubs, is it going to be a spring flowering shrub or summer or even late summer or fall? And the answer is if it’s a spring flowering shrub, you’re going to want to wait till after that shrub is flowered, that coming spring. Even if it’s just unruly, and it’s just encroaching on your patio or sidewalk. If you want that color, you’re just going to have to be patient and wait till after the flower.

Once flowering is done, you can go ahead and trim that back. Just note it in your garden notes that would be something that you trim in the summer going into fall. You could most likely still trim it in fall and still get that spring color for most of those shrubs.