Spring is the busiest time of the year for anyone in the Horticulture or Landscape Community.
We received a phone call in May from someone who wanted a cleanup because their yard was overgrown and full of weeds. It had been many years since any work had been done.
They said emphatically that they did not want work that was expensive. That was a difficult statement for this landscape company owner to swallow because of course the opposite of expensive is…cheap. Did they want a “cheap job” done to their yard in the prime time of the year?
We at Winterbloom had an overwhelming amount of work, it being springtime, and would not be able to get to the project until July. They wanted someone who could do the work pronto. I suggested they call one of the many local landscape trucks in their area. They had done that, but all of the landscapers were busy. At that moment, they exclaimed, “Why doesn’t anyone want to help me with my job?!” and hung up!
That caused me to ponder about using the aid of psychology to be supportive in one’s search for help in one’s landscape.
1. If one must call in the Spring for help, say something like, “I will pay EXTRA to get the work done now!”
2. If one really wants a financial deal, wait and call for the work to be accomplished during December through February. That’s when Landscapers are hungry for business, and may be more inclined to charge less.
Summer starts around the 21st of this month, which means that the sunshine is most effective. Sunshine is the food of photosynthesizing plants! On the 21st the sun is close to vertical in the sky during the day, giving the most food possible to the plants. After the 21st it slowly drops from vertical every day. Always remember that no matter what the TV advertisers say, fertilizer is not, and has never been, food for plants.
- This is the best month to plant the warm season annuals—flowers or vegetables: Petunias, Impatiens, Eggplants, Tomatoes, Peppers, Corn, Basil, Cucumbers, etc.
- Mow regularly: set your lawn mower at the highest setting for the rest of the summer until October. The longer grass helps to shade the roots and keeps the grass greener and healthier.
- Keep on top of the weeds. The rainy season is over, and it will soon be less work. You can toss the weeds out in the sunny part of the bed (but only those not going to seed!) and they will dry up by the end of the day and not reroot, like they might in the rainy season.
- Water as needed: one inch per week at least on the lawn, and about half an inch on the shrubs, is a standard rule of thumb.
- Slug bait is still important. Try to use pet-safe bait.
- If it is needed, prune flowering shrubs or perennials after they bloom.
- Check the Rhodies and Azaleas to see if you need to do any weevil control such as nematodes or insect tape. Also, check to see if you have lace bug damage on the leaves. It usually shows up later in the summer. They suck the Chlorophyll out of the leaf cells and make the leaves look hideous. They can be somewhat controlled by a predator called Green or Brown Lace Wings, which may be purchased locally.
- If you want to make your Rhodies bloom more and look neater, it is time to dead head them.
- Check for Aphids and cabbage worms and act, if needed, on veggies or roses.