General Maintenance Of Gardens

  • Fertilize container plants often, with a slow release or organic fertilizer like fish fertilizer, recommend 25-50% strength
  • Divide or move spring-flowering bulbs after their foliage has died back
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs if needed
  • Keep compost pile moist during warm weather; add weeds, grass clippings and kitchen wastes
  • Early morning is best time to water, deeply and infrequently
  • Mulch after soil has a chance to get warm, paper, sawdust, not plastic


  • Ground covers, once bloom is gone clip and feed with complete organic fertilizer (kelp, alfalfa meal, canola meal)
  • Prune long stems and shape azaleas and rhododendrons
  • In hot weather, container plants require more water, give them special attention
  • Fertilize June-bearing strawberries after harvest, remove dead leaves and other debris, pin runners for new plants
  • Plant fall garden – seed directly into soil, radishes, lettuce, bush beans, onions, carrots, turnips, beets
  • Plant seedlings of cabbage family
  • Divide irises as they finish flowering
  • Stake tomatoes, sunlight does not ripen tomatoes, the gaseous plant hormone, ethylene does, therefore leave leaves on
  • Tomatoes, spray with compost tea to control early and late blight
  • Control hollyhock rust by compost tea spray and sanitation, picking infected leaves

Fruit Tree, General

  • Scale insects: the best time to control is during the crawler stages, from late June, July, and into August, spray with horticulture oil
  • Pull off water sprouts as you see them, they will not grow back, and will help with calcium deficiencies and less shading of fruit
  • Water young trees if dry, at drip line and beyond

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Apple: set traps for apple maggot
  • Apple: set traps, pheromone or water/molasses for codling moth in apples and pears
  • Apple: examine fruit for bitter pit (early varieties) – spray with calcium spray and remove larger of the water sprouts forming in July and first half of August
  • Cherry fruit fly larvae drop from tree to soil, may be controlled with Nc nematodes [if soil temperature 60°F (16°C) or above], apply to soil beneath tree, keep top 2-3″ soil moist, Nc feeds on pupa
  • Place tarp under tree to prevent the cherry fruit fly larvae from entering the soil