Horticulture Hints

Finally Spring is here and we can continue to get our gardens ready for summer splendor. We need to be aware of the weather forecasts, trends and warnings for April and May. If a frost or cold weather is in the forecast, protect your tender plants with mulch, newspapers, light cloth or some type of overnight protection. If the weather is sunny and dry, don’t neglect watering. Most flowers and shrubs need about an inch of water each week and newly planted seedlings especially. They will perish if their roots dry out. It is still okay to fertilize your trees, shrubs and roses. Early flowering deciduous shrubs should be pruned back when they have finished blooming. Here are a few more hints for this month:

* Work lime in the soil around Hydrangeas for pink flowers or aluminum sulphate for blue blooms.
* Keep roses free of aphids and other pests and diseases.
* Pinch off new growth on pines and conifers to keep them compact. * Lightly prune lilacs after they finish blooming. May is the time to feed them with 10-10-10 fertilizer.
* Summer flowering bulbs can be planted this month.
* Promptly remove spent flowers from any plant unless you intend to harvest the seeds.
* Be sure to use pollinator friendly weed and pest control agents.

As you are busily creating and working in your garden landscapes these next few months, please set time aside to attend our Plant America Beautiful Garden Tour on July 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be six or more Mechanicsburg gardens featured including an historic home and estate. Some of the gardens will feature music, wine tasting, and artists in action. The Rosemary House Garden, The Frankenberger Herb Garden and the Ames True Temper Community Gardens will also be featured. The Frankenberger Tavern will be open for tours and our Pressed Flower Designers will be selling merchandise there. The cost of a ticket is $15 prior to the Tour and $17 Day of the Tour. Additional locations will be named at the May meeting for purchasing tickets. Enjoy the warmer temperatures along with the creation of your own summer garden retreats. Hope to see you on the Garden Tour.