The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 8, 2013

Gardeners keep busy in June

By Linda McKnight Pickens
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — June is a transition month for gardeners as spring-blooming perennials finish flowering and summer perennials, as well as warm-season annuals, flourish.

This is a busy month for gardeners, and here is a partial list:

• Fertilizing — Annuals should be fertilized monthly with a balanced fertilizer, preferably water soluble such as Peters or Miracle Grow. I use a hose-on applicator, but you can measure the correct amount on the label per gallon and mix in a bucket for applying. The hose-on system is better, in my opinion, because it is sprayed on the leaves and soil, which is beneficial to the plants.

Roses should be fertilized monthly with one cup of granular 10-20-10 by lightly tilling in the fertilizer and then watering.

Bermuda should be fertilized at the rate of one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. It will take five pounds of 20-5-10 to obtain one pound of actual nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate is 34 percent nitrogen and will take three pounds to give one pound of actual nitrogen. The schedule for bermuda is to fertilize three to five times per season beginning late-April, then May, June, August and September. Do not fertilize fescue in June, July or August. Seeding of bermuda grass should be completed by the end of June.

• Mulching: Mulching your flower beds is highly recommended. It keeps the soil temperature lower, reduces weeds and reduces the need for water. I have some Grade A cedar mulch, but there are others such as pine bark and cypress. Organic mulch is preferred over artificial mulch.

• Spraying: Spray roses weekly with Funginex or similar fungicide and also spray after a rain. Watch for bagworms on junipers and evergreens and, if present, spray with Sevin or Orthene sprays. Red spider mites become more active and destructive during hot and dry weather. To check for these pests shake a branch or stem over a sheet of white paper. Tiny crawling specks mean you have an infestation. Kelthane is no longer available, but you can spray them with Diazinon or Orthene sprays, several times, usually about 10 days apart.

Crabgrass and nutsledge is best controlled by post-emergent chemicals. I use Image for nutsledge and 529 MSMA Weed Killer on crabgrass. There are others. You can apply either of these with a hose-end sprayer or spot treat with a tank sprayer. Both also come in a pre-mixed spray bottle. Spray early growth for best results. Well-established grasses are more difficult to eradicate and take more applications.

It is better for the environment to use as little pre-emergent and herbicide as possible. Do not use it if it is not necessary.

• Weeding: Hand weed your flower beds frequently. Hand weed the most unsightly weeds in your lawn.

• Watering: With our ongoing drought, water your beds twice a week or as needed. Water trees and bushes deeply. Applying water directly on the soil is much better than over-head watering. Watering your lawn too often causes shallow root growth, which is not good.

• Mowing: Mowing heights for fescue should be tall — 3 inches — and bermuda, should be 2 to 21⁄2 inches tall. Consider not bagging the grass to retain valuable nutrients for the soil.

Pickens is a member of Garfield County Master Gardeners.