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Green Thumb Tips

Echterís Plant Doctors are available during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
 
Flower Gardens
"Dead-head" (pinch off the spent blooms) on perennials, annuals and roses for longer flowering periods
and more and larger blooms.
Want some color in a shaded area? Try begonias, impatiens, coleus, ivy geraniums, fuchsia, or lobelia.
 
Stake your tall blooming flowers like gladioli, delphiniums, and cannas to keep the flowers showing and upright.
 
Do you live in the foothills or mountains? We grow a crop of flowers for you late season gardeners.
 
Drip irrigation really conserves water. Echter's has drip irrigation kits for vegetable gardens, containers, hanging baskets, and flower beds.
 

Container Gardens
Container gardens and hanging baskets can need a lot of fertilizer in a short time. The only practical way
to get enough fertilizer to them is with a water-soluble fertilizer like Jack's Classic Blossom Booster.
Top off your planters and container gardens with a half-inch of Mini Nuggets bark mulch to help keep in
the moisture.

Perennials & Roses
Prevent rose and perennial diseases like powdery mildew from taking hold by using a systemic fungicide before the problem appears. Once those diseases appear it is very difficult to control. Bee balm, phlox, columbines and lilacs are some of the plants prone to powdery mildew.
Control grass in perennial flower gardens with Over the Top. It is unique in that it kills grass without damaging most perennials.
 
Shade your patio with perennial vines including trumpet, honeysuckle, clematis, Engelman ivy, wisteria
and silver lace vine. Even grape vines work well to create a shady spot.
 
Fertilize your roses regularly for continuous, large and beautiful blooms. We also have rose fertilizer with
a systemic insecticide for continuous insect control.
 
Too much shade? Echterís has many shade-loving plants. For perennials try ferns, hosta, forget-me-nots, lamium, astilbe, violas, columbine, hellebores, bergenia, lily of the valley, and many more. 
 
Use Mini Nuggets mulch or red cedar mulch in your flower beds. They will retain moisture and retard
weeds from emerging.
 

Vegetable Gardens
Avoid overhead watering when tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn and other vegetables that need pollination are in flower as the pollen may be washed away, resulting in fewer fruits.

Remove the Season Starters from around your tomatoes, peppers, etc. before the weather turns hot.


Mulch your annual flowers and vegetable garden after the soil has warmed. Use Mini Nuggets bark mulch
for the summer and then till it into the ground this fall to improve the soil structure.
   
All vegetables should be harvested early in the morning when it is cool, especially lettuce, spinach, herbs, peas, and beans.
 
Pick edible pod or sugar pod peas when the seeds are barely visible for best quality.
 
Continue fertilizing with a high phosphorus (the second number) fertilizer. Corn is an exception; it prefers
a bit higher nitrogen (the first number) in the analysis.
 
Trellis your vining cucumbers, squash and small gourds to make more room for other vegetables. Trellising also improves air circulation and keeps the fruit off the ground.
 
Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems to get water directly to the plantsí roots. You can either lay
the hose on top of the mulch next to the plant or under the mulch. 
This is the most efficient way to water your gardens.
 
Harvest broccoli when the buds are still tight and before any flowers open.
 

Lawn Care
Those impossible weeds like bindweed, dandelions and thistle in your lawn can be controlled with
Ferti-lome's Weed Out or Weed Free Zone. These are the most effective weed killers you can buy.

If you fed your lawn in April, it's time to put on another application of fertilizer before the summer heat arrives. 
A slow release fertilizer is a must for this time of year.
 
You can use your grass clippings either as mulch in your garden or in your compost pile. Clippings have valuable nutrients. If you used a weed killer over your whole lawn, don't reuse the clippings from the
next mowing.
 
The best part of the day to water our lawns is early morning while it is still cool and use a low-angle sprinkler that puts out large water drops for your lawn watering. This will reduce water loss due to evaporation. Use a sprinkler that fits the area to be watered to avoid run-off onto the sidewalk,
driveway or street.


Trees & Shrubs
Container-grown trees, shrubs, roses, and perennials can be planted anytime during the summer. Planting early in the morning or in the cool of the evening reduces the stress on both the plant and the planter.

Protect your trees and shrubs from grass trimmers. The best way to protect these plants is to eliminate
the grass directly around the tree, encircle it with weed barrier fabric, and cover the fabric with bark or
rock mulch.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs and ornamental trees after they have finished blooming. Prune only the spent flowers of lilacs. Lilacs set their flower buds for the next year very soon after flowering, so do not prune into the branches.
 
Spray your ash trees for the ash sawfly and aphids. We have sprayers that reach 30 feet, and can take care of these pesky insects early. Prevent re-infestation for one year by applying Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Systemic Insect Drench with a watering can. This will also protect your ash trees from the deadly emerald ash borer which reached Colorado in 2013.
 

Water Gardening
Once the temperature of your pond reaches 65 degrees, it is safe to set out tropical water lilies. Place water lily fertilizer tablets into the soil of your pots.

Water hyacinths and water lettuce are nature's floating filters. They help oxygenate the water and keep algae growth down. Algae can also be controlled by a floating barley straw bale in the pond.
 
If you donít have room or donít want to dig a hole in your ground, you can still have a water garden. Use
a large non-draining ceramic pot to create a small water garden. Add a couple of water plants and you
are all set.
 

Houseplants
Aloe plants are not only decorative, but also practical. They have a wonderful healing sap for rashes,
cuts, burns and sunburns. Just break a stalk open, squeeze and apply. Keep an aloe plant among your houseplants.


Wildlife
Change the water in your birdbaths weekly and clean your bird feeders to prevent diseases.
   
Home
Praying mantis eat many different insects.
 
To control mosquitoes, drain all standing water, no matter how small the amount, including rain gutters, plastic sheeting, pipes, drains, trash cans, saucers under pots, etc. Change the water and clean your birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in stagnant water. Use Quick Kill Mosquitoes or Mosquito Plunks in your ponds and fountains to kill the mosquito larvae. These controls do not harm fish, birds or water plants.
 
 
 

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