Now is the time to . . .

Garden Update
Week of June 27, 2022
Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

Now is the time to...

Put down grub control to manage grub damage in lawns. The end of June/beginning of July is the window to complete this task, when grubs are small and more easily managed. 

Stop using herbicides to manage nutsedge.  Nutsedge has tiny growths at the end of roots, called nutlets, that will begin growth when the parent plant is killed, making for even more plants. 

Move potted violas and pansies to a shaded location to continue to enjoy their blooms, especially when spent blooms are removed.

Begin fertilizing outdoor potted containers with a ¼ strength fertilizer solution. Slow-release fertilizers that come prepackaged in potting mixes are waning now.

Remove the lower leaves on tomato plants to decrease the likelihood of droplet splash inoculating leaves with soil-borne pathogens.

Treat the lower stems of zucchini, squash, and pumpkin with an insecticide to thwart the squash vine borer from entering stems. Be certain to use an insecticide labeled for use on edibles.

Deadhead perennials and annuals to keep the flowers coming, making people and pollinators happy!

“Herd” swallowtail caterpillars by planting extras of the plants they like best—dill, parsley, and carrots to name a few.  If the caterpillar is feeding on one of the plants designated for your consumption, then gently snip the leaf the caterpillar is on and place it carefully amid the plant that is designated as “theirs”.

Complete any final tree and shrub pruning. April, May, and June are the ideal months to prune woody plants, giving pruning wounds ample time to create wound response tissue before winter.

Be on the look-out for bagworms on evergreens and deciduous plants. As bagworms grow, their feeding damage becomes more severe. The bags can be hand-collected and placed in a bucket of soapy water. If bags are too high to reach, use Bt, spinosad, or Sevin to coat foliage, making leaves toxic to the caterpillars as they feed.  Insecticides work best when caterpillars are small.

Irrigate lawns in the early morning hours to prevent water loss due to evaporation.  The best time to water outdoor potted plants, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens is in the early evening. When watering fruit trees and vegetable plants, keep the hose end/watering can close to the soil to prevent droplet splash, to hinder fostering disease development.

Discover more horticulture articles on the Trees, Plants and Insects page.

Yellow Nutsedge

Photo:  Yellow Nutsedge