The following is by Linn County Master Gardener Claire Smith:
Over the road and across the highway to the garden center I go. The car knows the way, never to stray……………….. I told myself I already have enough plants for this year. Can gardening be addictive? Unfortunately I read somewhere that June is the time to walk around the yard looking for bare spots or drab areas that could use a little sprucing up with annuals. And June is still prime time for planting annuals whose duty is to mask those early blooming perennials and waning spring bulbs. I‘m going scoot out of here early in the day, returning quickly and maybe nobody will notice. Morning is the best time to plant anyway, ahead of the hot daytime sun. Nobody will discern me watering the new plantings daily because the hanging baskets get a drink daily and the container plants every other day. My potting soil didn’t have fertilizer in it, so I’m going to try a starter solution of fertilizer when I introduce these new plants into the landscape. The next task is weeding, also a morning chore. It keeps me out of the hot daytime sun. Do you agree that weeding is a bother? Not many folks enjoy it. Pesticides limit weeds but also discourage bees, butterflies and birds. Our Creeping Charlie is so aggressive. Hopefully, a pesticide will slow its pace, but a layer of hardwood mulch is an alternative to commercial weed killers.
Grooming beds certainly dresses them up. Deadheading, – removing fading flowers – improves a plant’s appearance and encourages continual bloom. I bought a pair of good garden shears this spring. They sure make a clean cut. I’ll remove the flower buds or flowering stem back to the first set of leaves.
Participating in an exercise class several times each week keeps my doctor happy, but playing in the dirt is certainly therapeutic. The dog and I and sometimes a cat or two could just spend hours and hours in the gardens. Flower or vegetable gardens each create a soothing no worry-be happy atmosphere.