Plant of the Month
Scaevola aemula is an Austalian native that thrives in our hot summers. It is considered a perennial to Sunset Zone 8 but I feel it is more of an annual for us. The flowers are fan shaped, giving it the common name of Fan Flower. They will bloom till frost and work well in hanging baskets and containers. The fleshy stems spread up to 3 feet with a height around 8 inches. We have 4 inch pots of three different colors-blue, pink and white. They are $1.00 off for June. If you are looking low maintenance, long blooming, heat loving flower this is the ticket.
- Scaevola (Plant of the month)
- Rot-Stop (Calcium chloride)
- Wilt-Stop and Coud Cover (anti-transpirants)
- Veg Starts (not herbs)
- Rose of Sharon
- Rhodies and Azaleas
- Blue and Cane Berries
- Bird Netting
Newsletter June 2016
The summer months are upon us and it is time to finish up your summer vegetable and annual planting along with perennials, trees and shrubs. Hot days usually arrive by the end of the month but we are having a heat wave as I write this. Make sure you are watering adequately. Deep soaks less often are better and make more drought tolerant plants by sending the roots deeper. Mulch heavy. Refresh spring pots with some nice summer blooming annuals and perennials. Fertilize your citrus and apply a second feeding to acid loving shrubs like camellias and azaleas. Use anti-transpirant for any planting you do in the heat and you will be surprised how much better your transplants will do. Anti-transpirants form a seal on the leaf surface, cutting down on moisture loss through the leaves (transpiration).
The nursery is full of great plants. We just loaded up on vines, replenished the olives and are loading up on crape myrtles. One thing we have plenty of is Rose of Sharon. These deciduous shrubs are a hardy hibiscus that bloom most of the summer. Our fruit tree and rose selection is thinning out but there are still plenty of grapes and berries. Thinking of putting a vine up? Grapes make great shade on an arbor, are easy to grow and are fairly drought tolerant once established. I read a grape can have roots 8 feet down in 3 years.
Climate appropriate and long summer blooming perennials are a great way to go. These include the huge Salvia family, Russian Sage, Coreopsis, Black-eyed Susans, Agastache, Cape Fuchsia, Gaillardia and Gaura. If you went plant shopping earlier and bought all spring bloomers your yard is not going to have the color you were hoping for. Its a good idea to visit your local nursery in all the seasons so you can choose a variety of plants that shine in different times of the year. Don’t have the time to groom your perennials? Consider more blooming shrubs. There are plenty of spring bloomers and the summer into fall bloomers include Spireas, Abelia, Crape Myrtle, Rose of Sharon, Escallonia, Butterfly Bush and landscape roses.
Last month I mentioned using calcium chloride for disease prevention. I just saw another article about calcium getting tied up in cloudy, humid conditions. The East Coast has been experiencing this. It said you can have drying of foliage and abnormal growth from calcium deficiency. It went on to say that hot, humid conditions can cause the same problems. Well, we are definitely experiencing that right now. Lake County soils are notorious for being calcium deficient. Actually we have plenty of calcium but the ratio with other micro nutrients makes it unusable to the plant. Lime and gypsum can help but a foliar spray can be a better way to go. Did you know that if you really want to find out what you need to amend with you should have your leaves tested? Just because it is in the soil does not mean your plant can access it.
Succulents are all the rage and we have them. Be aware when you purchase that a lot of them are only hardy to 25 degrees and will need winter protection for most of us. These include some of the coolest looking. If you want cold hardy stick to Sempervivens, most Sedums and the Ca. native Lewisia. There are some nice cold hardy Agave, Hesperaloe and Yuccas for you to choose from too. I specially like the Hesperaloe, aka Red Yucca. Perfect for that container in the blazing sun that every thing you have tried has died.
Have you thinned your peaches and apples yet? You might want to see if there are any branches on your plums (like mine) and other fruit trees that are in danger of snapping due to the weight of the fruit. Devise a crutch for it by making a V cradle on a pole. Bird netting can be a pain to put up but you might need it if you want any berries or stone fruit. Cherries and apricots are best pruned after you harvest. Fertilize your stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums,apricots, cherries) this month.
Happy June Gardening,