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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 – September

    Cut the dead tops of coneflowers, but leave enough for goldfinches to enjoy the seeds.

    Plant cool-weather vegetables for a fall crop: spinach, mustard and turnip greens, radishes, leaf lettuce.

    Start a new lawn of cool-season grass, such as fescue, or refurbish or repair establish lawns.

    Don’t let the soil of newly planted grass dry out. New grass needs about an inch of water per week.

    It’s still warm, so continue to water and weed garden beds as needed.

    Remove dead foliage, spent flowers and other garden debris; replenish mulch as needed.

    Continue to harvest produce, which may be getting a boost now from slightly cooler weather. Keep watering sage, rosemary and other perennial herbs so they’ll be in good shape to get through winter.

    Prepare to bring houseplants back indoors: remove dead leaves, scrub soil from the sides of the pots, treat for insects. Bring tropical plants in before nighttime temperatures dip to 55 degrees.

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June garden tips & tasks

June is the garden’s high season, “the time of perfect young summer,” said gardener designer Gertrude Jekyll. Here are some garden tasks to enjoy during this “perfect” time.

Early in June

Tomatoes do best with consistent moisture as they begin to ripen.

Tomatoes do best with consistent moisture as they begin to ripen.

Summer tomatoes will begin ripening soon. Make sure they receive consistent moisture. Use mulch around the plants to keep them from drying out quickly. Replenish mulch around in all garden beds to help keep plants’ roots moist as the weather heats up.

Tidy up around perennial beds to keep pests and diseases at bay. Clip off faded foliage and remove rotting debris from around the base of the plants.

Deadheading – removing the faded flowers – encourages more blooms of daisies, coreopsis and other summer favorites.

Keep an eye on container plants on the porch and patio.  Containers can dry out quickly in the heat.

Snip the growing tips of chrysanthemums. This encourages new, fuller growth, and delays flowering. Plan to pinch them back again next month, which will encourage them to flower better in the fall.

Middle of the month

Watch for Japanese beetles, and knock them off before they damage your plants.

Watch for Japanese beetles, and knock them off before they damage your plants.

As blueberries ripen, cover the plants with bird netting to keep some of the berries for yourself.

Japanese beetles arrive in summer to munch on many landscape favorites, but traps may only lure more to your yard than they catch. Pluck off any beetles you find, and plunk them into a bucket of soapy water.

Gladiolus and other tall, top-heavy perennials and annuals may have a tendency to flop over. Use stakes to keep them standing.

Consider your garden in summer vacation plans. Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on the weather, and water beds and containers if it doesn’t rain. Be sure to return the favor.

Slugs may be eating holes in your hostas. Place a saucer of beer or yeast mixed in water near the plants to trap them.

Pinch out the tops of basil to encourage it to grow bushier. Don’t allow the flowers to form yet. Even better: use lots of basil to make pesto and other fresh summer favorites.


Late June


Watch for spider mites on roses, and spray them off with a strong blast of water.

Reminder: lawns need about an inch of water a week. No need to water every day; once or twice a week may be plenty. But when you do turn on the sprinkler, water deeply. Morning is the best time to water lawns, perennial, annual and vegetable beds.

Spider mites strike when the weather is hot and dry. On roses, look for them if you begin to see yellow, speckled leaves. If you spot them on roses or other shrubs, blast them with a strong spray of water directed at the undersides of the leaves every two or three days.

Mulch can keep your garden comfortable during the worst of the summer heat. Check your beds, and replenish mulch as needed.

If ferns and other hanging arrangements are under shelter and out of the rain, they dry out quickly in the summer heat. Be sure to provide water frequently. You may need to water every day.

Water spring-planted shrubs and trees regularly to help them through their first hot summer in the landscape.

Enjoy a daily walk around the garden to enjoy the beauty, but also to watch for pests and other problems.


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