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  • Upcoming Garden Events

    Sept. 30: The Nashville Herb Society presents Through the Garden Gate: A Glimpse of Edwardian England, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cheekwood Botanic Hall. Celebrate the gardens, foods and flowers that delighted Downton Abby family and friends at the turn of the 20th century. The event begins with a hearty Edwardian breakfast, followed by three speakers: Marta McDowell on Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life; Geraldine A. Laufer on Tussie Mussie – Victorian art of expressing yourself in the language of flowers; and Terry White, The English Garden event florist . Registration includes breakfast, box lunch in the garden with music, English tea and cookies. To learn more or to register, visit www.herbsocietynashvlle.org.

    Tips & tasks – August

    Water lawns and garden beds early in the morning to allow foliage plenty of time to dry before nightfall.

    Container gardens will benefit from a light application of all-purpose fertilizer.

    If petunias have grown long and shaggy, cut them back and give them a dose of fertilizer. They should bloom again quickly.

    If squirrels and birds go after your ripe tomatoes, pick them while they are still green and allow them to turn red indoors. For best quality, don’t store fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator.

    Make sure spring-planted trees and shrubs get plenty of water during hot weather.

    Keep cutting the spent flowers of annuals so they will continue to bloom into the fall.

    To conserve soil moisture during hot weather, replenish mulch in annual and perennial beds as necessary.

    Begin planning a fall garden. Spinach, lettuces, radishes and other fall crops will mature when the weather turns cool.

    Begin clean-up of summer vegetable beds. Remove any decayed or dying foliage to prevent diseases from taking hold.

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May garden tips & tasks

May is a busy and beautiful time in the garden. Here are tasks and tips to keep you busy this month.

Early in the month

If you haven’t already gotten those warm-season vegetables in the ground, plant them now! Tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, beans, eggplant and other favorites will get off to a fast start now that the weather is warm.

zinnias-1

Set out bedding plants of zinnias and other summer annuals.

Set out bedding plants of zinnias, celosia, snapdragon, begonias, petunias, coleus – all the favorite summer annuals.

Plant plenty of basil in a sunny location to use in summer recipes. Clip and use it frequently, which allows the plants to grow sturdier. Snip off flowers as they begin to form.

Use mulch in perennial and annual beds and borders to keep weeds in check, and to retain moisture in the soil.

Here’s a reminder for mowing: set the mower to cut only about a third of the height of the grass, which results in a healthier lawn. By the way, grass clippings make good mulch, but allow them to decay before you use them on beds and borders.

Mid-May

If the foliage of daffodils, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs has turned brown, cut it down.

Azalea pink

If you need to prune azaleas, do the job shortly after they finish blooming.

If you need to prune azaleas, do it now; don’t wait any longer, or you risk cutting off next year’s flowers, which will begin to form soon.

Watch for aphids that may cluster on tender new growth of plants. Spider mites may find your roses and other shrubs if the weather turns hot and dry. A strong spray of water from the hose every few days will help keep both under control. On roses, especially, concentrate on the undersides of leaves.

As perennials flower and fade, cut the dying blooms. This will encourage the plant to bloom longer.

There will always be unwanted plants (sometimes known as weeds). Pull or dig them out of garden beds before they form seeds. Weeds are easier to root out after watering or after a rain, when the soil is moist.

Later this month

irises

Divide bearded irises after they finish blooming.

Divide hellebores. Dig up as much of the root ball as possible and gently separate the roots. Replant right away, or share with friends (reminding them to plant as soon as possible).

Divide bearded irises after they finish blooming. Cut the leaves to about five inches, then lift the tubers with a spading fork. Separate the rhizomes and cut off damaged portions, then replant the rhizomes close to the soil surface.

Gardens and lawns need about an inch of water a week. If it doesn’t rain, use sprinklers early in the morning. Soaker hoses placed throughout garden beds are an efficient way to deliver moisture to the plants’ roots.

Container gardens dry out quickly in hot weather, so if your “garden” is a collection of pots on the deck or balcony, they need to be watered frequently.

As summer approaches, make sure spring-planted trees and shrubs continue to get enough moisture. Provide about an inch of water a week — by hose or sprinkler if it doesn’t rain.

 

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