Yard & Garden Notes

Here’s Leif’s Yard & Garden Notes for June 24th. Check out Leif’s articles every weekend in the Saturday Northfield News in the Home and Garden Section (Sec. C) of the paper.

The last two weeks we have had quite a few questions asking what kind of trees were showing off beautiful large white blossoms. Japanese tree lilacs have once again fulfilled their role as an early summer provider of plenty of flower power at a time when spring flowering perennials and shrubs are fading out, and annuals are just beginning to put on their first massive flushes of color. An added treat had been the intense fragrance that Japanese Tree Lilacs can send through a large area of the landscape.

Sometimes wind storms or birds or insects can damage or break the central leader stem of a tree. If this has happened to one of your trees just as it was getting nice, or during its period of establishment, don’t despair. Carefully bend a side branch up alongside the damaged central stem, and tie it to the stub in several places, like a splint. Over the next 12 to 18 months, it is likely that the side branch will take over as the new central leader, adding stem thickness, and setting in place in its new vertical position. There will be a job in the trunk, but over time this will be less and less noticeable as the trunk grows in thickness!

Want lots of summer color at a very low cost? Annuals are still available in good numbers and a bargain prices. Grab some pots and high quality potting mix and pot up a bunch of annuals. Let your creativity flow, creating different combinations. Timed release fertilizer beads in a well drained growing mix, combined with dilute applications of water soluble fertilizer once a week will give you mountains of moveable color to grace patios, walkways, steps and other nooks and crannies in the landscape.

Keep planting a row of green beans every 7 to 14 days through mid-July to keep a nice supply of these healthy, delicious, and easy veggies coming all the way into mid-fall.

Don’t be afraid to container grow vegetables. With lots of people living in condos and townhomes, this might be one of your few options to be able to continue the pursuit and enjoy the fruits of the garden, even when you don’t have one. You might be surprised what you can produce for the table out on a balcony, deck or patio. An added benefit is that with a high quality soil less growing mix of peat, pine bark and perlite, weeds in your mini-garden will usually be very few compared to native field soils.

Plant Spotlight: Impatiens. These prolific bloomers are one of my all time favorites in the summer gardimpatiens.jpgen. Easy to grow, and versatile in fairly sunny to somewhat shady locations, impatiens with a good moisture supply and regular light fertilizer applications will provide non-stop color right to first frost. Remember that they actually do not like heavy shade. Impatiens perform best in locations with mixed sun and shade. To promote heavier blossom set, try to avoid episodes of dryness.