There is much beauty in the late spring gardens of the central San Joaquin Valley.
- Sometimes gardeners need to accept a small amount of pest damage to plants.
- Instead of trying to kill insects, learn which ones are beneficial and protect them by avoiding use of synthetic insecticides.
- Water and mow lawn. Set mower blades higher to shade out weeds and keep roots cool.
- Pinch new growth on flowers and shrubs to encourage a compact shape.
- Prune azaleas, lilac, camellias, deciduous magnolia, dogwood, Indian hawthorn, spirea forsythia and flowering quince as they finish blooming.
- Fertilize, fall planted shrubs and ground cover, remembering that a little used more often is better than a lot at one time.
- Do not over fertilize. Excessive fertilization leads to contamination of waterways and excessive plant growth that requires more water.
- Plant annuals and perennials for spots of seasonal color.
- Perennials: yarrow (Achillea), dianthus, plant from seed.
- Bulbs, corms, tubers: gladiolus.
- Fruits and vegetables: beans, snap beans, potatoes, corn.
- Tree, shrubs, vines: Toyon (Heteromeles).
- Annuals: floss flower (Ageratum), Artemisia, strawflower (Helichrysum).
- Annuals and perennials: yarrow (Achillea), alstroemeria, snapdragon (Antirrhinum), dianthus, fringe flower (Loropetalum).
- Bulbs, corms, tubers: brodiaea, amaryllis (Hippeastrum).
- Trees, shrubs, vines: violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma), Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis).
- Fruits and vegetables: artichokes, beans.
Things to ponder:
- Do a special container planting of red, white and blue flowers to celebrate Independence Day on July 4.
- Thin vegetable seedlings started outside last month.
Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at (559) 241-7534. Prepared by Judy Parker, Fresno County Master Gardener.
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