The weather has changed drastically this season from hot to cold, from cold to hot and everything in between. It has been a roller coaster for plants and insects alike. Overall, most insects are coming out 2-3 weeks earlier than normal. This means that you may start to see damage to your plants sooner than you would normally apply your insecticides and preventative care measures. Here are some tips to help keep ahead of the insects and keep your plants beautiful all year.
Apply a well balanced fertilizer to your plants to help push out new growth. Holly tone fertilizer is great for evergreen shrubs and trees as well as hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons. Compost is a great addition to your garden beds. Whether this be store bought or from your own bin. Top dress your plant beds with this organic fertilizer to help condition your soil for many years.
Insect and Fungus Control
Insects have been out earlier than anticipated for many homeowners. Roses have been eaten by sawfly and leaf miners have caused some damage to boxwoods. Black spot has already made an appearance on some roses in the Columbus area. Make sure to apply soil drenches to your roses. There are many products such as Bayer 3 and 1 that fertilizes as well as provides fungicide and insect control. Apply merit based granular fertilizers to your beds to deter grub damage on new perennials. Make sure to walk around your property and check your plants weekly. It is easier to catch insects early before too much damage occurs.
Water is crucial to the survival of plants in the landscape. Most plants need about 1″ of water per week. This basically translates to: You should water your plants about 1 time per week with no rain fall. As plants establish some can go longer than others with no water. Some plants such as macrophylla hydrangeas need water much more often even in less heat. Keep an eye on your plant material. If you see droopy leaves it may be time to get the hose out.
Weeds can become a nuisance when they overtake your beds. Some sporadic weeds however are not an issue for normal plant growth. Check your beds for weeds weekly and pull weeds as necessary. It may be easier and safer to just pull unwanted plants rather than spraying with round up or similar chemicals.