Posts In: Seasonal Tips
Lantana

Don’t forget about your plants if you are planning a vacation this summer. Install a timer on your drip system. Here is a tip from the Texas Gardener: If your plants are in containers, set the containers in a shallow kiddie pool with a few inches of water. Place mosquito dunks in the water to prevent mosquitos. Another suggestion is to use a plant nanny in your pots and in the ground.

BT

Web Caterpillars


These insect pests produce a web that envelopes leaves near the tips of the branches. They prefer mulberry and pecan, however, webworms will feed on a wide variety of other landscape trees ( Oak) and shrubs.
These pests can be controlled with organic insecticides such as Dipel, Bio-worm Killer or other organic spray products containing Bacillus thuringiensis. B.t. The caterpillars eat it, become sick almost immediately, stop feeding and then die within a few days.

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Hummingbird Feeder

Fill your hummingbird feeder with this recipe from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.

Ingredients

  • Refined white sugar
  • Water
Hummingbird Feeder

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved
  2. Do not add red dye
  3. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside
  4. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator
  5. Change feeders every other day and thoroughly clean them each time to prevent harmful mold growth

Some tips on hummingbird feeders:

  • Hummingbirds prefer red feeders because most of the flowers they feed on have red in them.
  • Pick a spot in your backyard with vegetation no more than 10 to 15 feet away: Hummingbirds feel most comfortable where there’s cover nearby
  • What else attracts hummingbirds to a feeder? Fresh nectar

Source: Good Housekeeping

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Russian Sage

With more than 7 million people participating across the country and 2.5 million acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat, the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife movement is the nation’s longest-running and largest effort dedicated to helping wildlife locally.

The initiative reconnects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities to our nation’s amazing wild spaces by encouraging Americans to plant native plants. From wildflowers to trees, there are small things we can do to provide natural sources of food, water, cover, and spaces to raise young in our backyards and communities.

Anyone can support and protect the future of birds, bees, butterflies, and other amazing animals. 

The National Wildlife Federation is inviting individuals, families, and communities to design a garden space that will enhance the natural landscape and attract wildlife to their great outdoors. 

Here are several easy and impactful ways to participate and start helping your local wildlife: 

Create a Habitat for Your Local Wildlife. Think first of the birds, butterflies, and bees that you can support in your garden habitat. Then select plants that provide the kinds of food they need, such as nectar, berries, or seeds. Plant according to your region, local environment, and conditions, from sunny deserts to shady woodlands.

Think Small. No yard, no problem! For those with small outdoors spaces, select pots and planters that will allow you to plant a selection of blooming pollinator-friendly native plants. 

Plant for year-round diversity and beauty. Wildlife needs food, water, cover and places to raise young all year. Choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year, from native wildflowers to shrubs that produce berries. Evergreens provide year-round cover. Think vertically, too. Incorporate existing large trees and then underplant with smaller trees and shrubs for cover and nesting places.

Plant in Groups. This will result in more color, textural impact, and eye-catching patterns throughout the garden bed or landscape. This technique also draws the eye into the garden and the close plantings will prevent weeds and minimize the need for excess mulching. Clusters of blooming plants are more likely to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Water sources. Adding bird baths or container water gardens help attract a variety of wildlife, from birds to tree frogs.

Certify Your Garden. Celebrate by certifying your garden with the National Wildlife Federation and proudly display a sign! Show why you have designed your yard intentionally to help wildlife and encourage others to do the same. Certifying also spreads the wildlife gardening message to your entire neighborhood.

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Portulaca / Purslane

Summer is just around the corner, and we have the perfect plants to brighten up your garden! With the weather heating up, make sure to check out our tips for gardening this month.

Vegetables & Herbs – Mornings are still a great time to be out in the garden…..late afternoons shortly before dark are also a tolerable time to be out. Check the mulch throughout the garden and replenish any areas where it is getting too thin. Mulch reduces evaporative loss of water from the soil, moderates soil temperatures, and deters weed seeds. Continue to fertilize tomatoes and peppers to promote higher yields and stronger plants. Bird netting is an option to help protect the fruits of your labor! Spider mites can be controlled with water or soap spray and caterpillars can be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

Perennials & Annuals –  Some dependable color options for summer include a variety of salvias, zinnias, purslane, vinca, portulaca, lantana, esperanzas, plumbagos and cupheas. If you are watering your plants with an overhead sprinkler, you may be seeing an increase in diseases of the foliage. Drip irrigation is a better way to go and can help minimize leaf wetness. There are disease-control products on the market. We can provide help in identifying pests and diseases, and in deciding on an appropriate, effective control option.

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Passion Vine

The temperatures are starting to warm up, and so are our crops! Now’s the perfect time to start planting some summer crops for the next season.

Vegetables & Herbs – Warm-season crops are in their prime this month. One mistake new gardeners make is to not harvest vegetables at their peak quality. Left on the plant too long, many will decline in quality.

  • Eggplant can become tough and bitter; green beans stringy and less tasty;
  • Squash and cucumbers become too mature with tough skin and large tough seeds.
  • If you have mockingbirds, squirrels, and other raiders, it may be wise to pick your tomatoes early and allow them to ripen on the kitchen counter.

Fertilize growing crops with a natural, organic fertilizer that not only promotes healthy plant growth but is also good for your soil.

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