SUMMER GARDENING TIPS
From Head Gardener, Marjorie Currey
Many garden insect pests are present in June. Caterpillar damage may begin to get bad, and aphids and slugs may reach significant populations. Thrips and whiteflies may appear on susceptible flowers, and flea beetles and cutworms can be troublesome to vegetables. If you have a pest, try to identify it correctly so that you can make the best decisions about control methods. A simple deterrent to pests is simply thoroughly rinsing with water (on top of the leaves and underneath) Most pests get tired of being disturbed, and will move on. Summer flowering bulbs should be in the ground now, so plant ASAP if you have not already done so. June is also a prime time for weeds. If you have gravel paths or paver areas that are problematic, an effective, natural weed killer is to mix up 4 cups of crystal salt to a gallon of water and let sit overnight. Spray weeds early in the day when no rain is expected for at least 48 hours. Tiny weeds and grasses will turn brown and disintegrate. Straight vinegar will work as well, but if odor is an issue, I much prefer the salt. For both weeds and pests, the key is to be proactive and stay on top of them.
One of my favorite annuals this year are the many varieties of Non-Stop Begonias. The large, colorful blooms lend themselves so beautifully to both beds and containers. Remember to take time to enjoy your garden this summer!