Summer heat often has us looking for summer shade! Consider creating some shade in your garden by planting Florida Maples, Oaks, Chinese Elms, Magnolias, Crape Myrtles, Bottlebrush…the list goes on! Not only do trees add to the aesthetic value of your property it can help reduce your air conditioning costs. Allow plenty of room for the larger growing trees- well away from foundations, overhead wires and driveways.
Crape Myrtles are popping out flowers all over the place now! There are many varieties (and colors) to choose from. Some varieties like Muskogee (Lavender) grow quite large whereas some are more compact and upright growing like Sioux (bright pink) or Tuscarora (watermelon pink).
Some other popular Crape Myrtle varieties that are often available include Natchez (white), Red Rooster(red), Catawba (light purple) and Twilight (dark purple), Tonto (deep pink),
Always consider your location before planting any tree. Severely trimming Crape Myrtles (or any tree) is not a recommended practice. Look up before you plant!
To assist with Aphid control on Crape Myrtles, use a systemic insecticide or spray with Spinosad or Horticultural Oils. Our staff would be happy to assist if you require advice.
Your citrus trees should have flowered and set some fruit by now. As your citrus tree grows you are sure to experience “leaf miners”- little grey squiggly lines in the leaves. These little critters are harmless for the most part- just causing cosmetic damage however, if you are plagued with them try using Spinosad to control them.
Your trees will start to drop some of the small fruit they have set if they haven’t already done so. This will help reduce the amount of fruit on the tree so you have less fruit but juicy delicious pieces as opposed to more fruit that are “bullets”! First year trees should be allowed to thrive “fruitless” to develop and mature for the following years. Dropping fruit allows the tree to use the available nutrients for the remaining fruit production as well. Do not mulch around citrus trees. If you need to kill weeds around the tree hand pull them. Citrus roots do not like to be covered with mulch as the grafted rootstock can be sensitive to foot rot. Keeping grass and weeds away are equally important for the same reason.
Most deciduous fruit trees should be progressing now too. Peaches, nectarines and blueberries should be ripe by now and your figs and persimmons fruit should be set.
Scout your fruit trees regularly to ward off potential problems early. If you suspect a problem bring in a sample to our staff to help diagnose the problem and assist with finding a solution.
Crops that can still be planted in June include lima beans, okra, peas and sweet potatoes. Most tomatoes will be ripening rapidly now and peppers and squash should be continuing to progress. Be vigilant for pests as summer rains often bring more pests.
Herbs can handle the summer heat but the heavy summer rain can prove challenging. If you have the option of moving your herbs (in containers) to an area where they are less likely to get flattened by heavy rain it would be better for them. Otherwise, just make sure that your beds drain well.