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.
"Dead-head" (pinch off the spent blooms) on perennials, annuals and
roses for longer flowering periods
and more and larger blooms.
- Watch for geranium budworm on geraniums and petunias. Besides
the obvious destruction of the flowers, another telltale sign is tiny
black droppings on leaves and the ground beneath the plants. The
most effective treatment is to spray Eight insecticide every
10 days or treat organically with BT.
- Cut flowers for bouquets early in the morning and place the stems
immediately into a bucket of water
to keep them fresh until you are
able to arrange them.
- Drip irrigation really conserves water. Echter's has drip
irrigation kits for vegetable gardens, containers, hanging baskets,
and flower beds.
you are going away on vacation this summer, water all your plants (indoors and out) thoroughly before you leave. A drip system
with an automatic timer will assure you that your plants will be watered
you are gone.
- Container gardens and hanging baskets can
need a lot of fertilizer in a short time. The only practical way
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
Perennials & Roses
grass in perennial flower gardens with Over the Top. It is unique
in that it kills grass without damaging most perennials.
- Fertilize your roses regularly for continuous, large and beautiful blooms. We also have rose fertilizer with
a systemic insecticide for continuous
for insects on all your plants. Control them early.
- Pinch back asters and mums until mid July to encourage branching,
compact growth and extra flowers.
- 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.
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.
Ross netting over your fruit trees and raspberries will help
keep birds and squirrels out of your fruit crops. In addition, bird-repelling scare tape
will be beneficial in protecting your fruit for a while.
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.
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
the hose on top of the mulch next to the plant or under the
mulch. This is the most efficient way to water your
- Harvest broccoli when the buds are still tight and before any flowers
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.
Set your lawn mower blade to 2 Ĺ to 3" to encourage deeper drought-resistant
roots. The longer grass
will keep the ground cooler and require less water. Keep the blades of your mower sharp, since dull blades can encourage
disease in lawns. Make sure the grass
blades are dry before mowing your lawn.
- 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.
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.
- If you suspect spider mites on any trees, shrub or evergreen, you can
do this simple test. Take a piece
of white paper and shake the
branch onto the paper and examine the paper to see if anything is
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.
- 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