Playing in the dirt: Tables and turtles and awards, oh my

June 9, 2018 10:00:17 PM

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For regular readers of this column, you may remember that I frequently espouse the benefits of being a member of the Master Gardener organization. This column's headline is an indication of why: On the last day of May, Pine Belt Master Gardeners came to the Lowndes Extension Office and conducted a workshop on salad tables. Participants -- and I do mean participants -- were able to go home with a table of cyprus wood, 3-by-5-by-4-feet, for planting salad veggies. Lots of details could better explain this project, but space here is limited. It was a fabulous experience, and everyone had a great time.  

 

While working at the Butterfly Garden at the Columbus Riverwalk on June 1 with Mona Whitson, we stopped weeding and deadheading long enough to watch a turtle cross the road and head for the little stream that runs through the area. He (or she) was just one example of possible wildlife sightings you can look for if you visit the garden. 

 

And speaking of Mona, she gets a big shout-out, along with Lucy Harpole and everyone else who has taken part in the Butterfly Garden. Our organization won first place in the state competition for best project of the year for it. Way to go, Lowndes Master Gardeners. 

 

Now, for some tips for June 

 

 

 

This month 

 

  • Planting: Plant crape myrtles in bloom to be sure of color. Replace turf in deep shade with ground cover (liriope, ajuga or jasmine). Set out caladiums in shady areas.  

     

    Plant summer annuals such as ageratum, cockscomb, impatiens, marigolds, sunflowers, four-o'clocks and periwinkle.  

     

    Plant tomatoes late this month to insure harvest late into fall. Cherry tomatoes are heat tolerant.  

     

    Choose daylilies now that they are in bloom. Divide and replant iris; cut leaves back to 6 inches after transplant. Plant zinnias and marigolds now for a second crop of flowers. Plant snap beans, lima beans, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and squash. Gladioli planted now will give lovely fall blooms.  

     

  • Fertilizing: Give camellias and azaleas camellia food if not done earlier in the year. Fertilize Bermuda and zoysia grass. Feed tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis monthly with 5-10-10. Fertilize annuals and perennials. 

     

  • Pest Control: Mow lawn in the morning to reduce the chance of starting brown spot (fungus). Remove zinnias with powdery mildew and replant. 

     

  • Pruning: Prune oleander after blooming ends. Pinch dahlias and mums to assure a compact growth habit. Remove blackberry fruiting canes after harvest. Prune new canes to encourage side branching. Faded flowers should be removed from daisies, daylilies and other summer flowers. Prune out dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs. 

     

    Now, go play in the dirt. 

     

    Sharon Carrigan of Columbus shares gardening tips monthly on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.