Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Gloom?

As I write this it is almost June 1, 2011. The last day of May was a gorgeous day at the nursery. The wind didn't pick up until later in the afternoon which gave us a chance to get everything watered before the smaller plants tumbled over.

By the time you read this we will have flipped the calender to June. I am hoping to not see any June gloom in the near future. We pay sunshine tax here in San Diego and we expect to get 100% return on our investments right? Our bodies and our gardens enjoy the warm sunshine.

While I was out taking inventory, we sold a lot of vegetables over the 3 day weekend, there were hummingbirds flying right next to me getting nectar from the lantana. As they flew about I thought; it is like going to the Soup Plantation for them so many choices.

Some of you might not have enough planting area for the hummers to come and have lunch, maybe you live in an apartment or condominium, yet you can feed them by hanging a feeder. One variety we stock is from a company which really believes in it's product, Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder. For the next couple of weeks I will be offering free nectar with the purchase of a Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder ($21.99 style). Open your own smorgasbord, sit back and watch the beauty unfold.

What else is unfolding in your garden this month? How about all those vegetables you planted in March, April and May? You should have already harvested strawberries, cucumbers, chard, lettuce and enjoyed fresh herbs in your dishes. With the warmth from the sun your eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, corn and so much more should be ripening up. I love the garden boxes we have planted at the nursery, not only are they easy to garden in but the plants are producing like crazy. We enjoy the cucumber water at our Urban Farmstyle seminars, Tiger has cooked brite lights chard for his family, everyone nibbles on the strawberries and we are watching the tomatoes which any day now will be snacked on by one or all of us. Fresh lemons are squeezed into ice-tea and the apples are changing from green to red.

I just love this time of year, so much is fresh and new. Life unfolds with the warmth of the sun.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tiger's Tips for May

Spring is now in full swing and it is time. If you haven't already treated yourself to one new plant I invite you to come in and find just the right one for your garden. My favorite as I write my tips for this month is the Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso, with a green throat and red outer lips it is striking.

Give yourself everlasting flowers by cutting and drying ones which are blooming now, example statice, strawflowers and hydrangeas.

Another treat you and the butterflies will enjoy is an easy to maintain butterfly garden, come in and see the Asclepias and Buddleias.

Don't have space but want to grow vegetables? New product in the nursery is the Grodan Hugo Grow Cube. Horticultural stone wool is used the world over by both hydroponics and soil gardeners, it provides enough growing volume to support a large plant. Made in Denmark this cube is 6x6x6, stop in and I'll be happy to show you how it works.

Towards the end of this month you need to really pay attention to any roses in your garden, as the June gloom begins to roll in especially along the coastal areas. Deadhead and trim unsightly leaves then spray them with Serenade Disease Control.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Insects this month in your garden

What a beautiful start to the month of May, we have been enjoying sunshine and warm breezes from the east for the last couple of days. If you are out walking thru your neighborhood you will begin noticing almost every day there is a new flower blooming. Along with the blooms come the songbirds singing and hummingbirds humming as they also enjoy springtime. What else is that you see on your new tender growth? Aphids of course, they like the tenderest part of plants and seem to appear overnight. How to control or get rid of them?

First keep your plants fed and healthy, just like people the healthier a plant is the easier it is for it to fight insects and disease. Then if you get aphids you may simply spray them off with a strong spray from the garden hose or release ladybugs to do the trick.

When releasing ladybugs do it in the evening, water the garden first and release them at the base of your plants so they work their way up. They will rest for the evening and wake up to a buffet the next morning. If you release them in the middle of the day ladybugs will fly away to a cooler shady spot and won't eat away your aphids.

Want the ultimate predator insect in your garden? Now is the time to pick up egg cases which will hatch between 50 to 200 baby Praying Mantids. This carnivorous insect will keep the beetle, cricket and grasshopper population under control but be forewarned they also will eat butterflies if nothing else is around.

Are there sprays to use instead of beneficial insects? Yes you can use organic products such as Insecticidal Soap and Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew which contains Spinosad. Both are approved by the EPA for organic gardening.

Remember though not all bugs are bad bugs so know what you have before you spray.