On Sunday June 6, 2010 from 12:00 to 4:00, Rohde’s Nursery, Animal Allies of Texas, and area Vets are presenting another LOW COST PET VACCINATIONS & MICROCHIPPING CLINIC.
There will be Vaccinations, Heartworm testing, and Microchipping & Registration for Dogs and Cats, along with Adoptions. Only CASH will be accepted and Cats must be in carriers and Dogs must be on leashes.
Rohde’s June Organic Gardening Calendar
We are in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 8a with an annual minimum temperature of 15 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and in Texas AgriLife Extension District 4 (East Region) - North (Dallas).
June 14 Flag Day: Fly you flag!
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress replaced the British Grand Union flag with a new design featuring 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue and 13 red and white stripes, one for each state. Although it is not certain, this flag may have been made by the Philadelphia seamstress Betty Ross, who was an official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy. The number of stars increased as the new states entered the Union, but the number of stripes stopped at 15 and was later returned to 13. Flag Day did not become official until August 1949, when President Harry Truman signed the legislation and proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. In 1966, Congress also requested that the President issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week.
June 19 Juneteenth (27 states)
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is a holiday or observance in many US states to celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. Slavery lasted until the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1, 1863. Texas was a little slow in accepting the abolition of slavery though. Two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to convince Texas to go along with the proclamation. In Galveston, the newly freed slaves held large public celebrations. Why the delay? Excuses range from someone shot the messenger, nobody brought it up, and the Federal Government let Texas have one more cotton harvest. The real problem was, there wasn’t enough troops in Texas to force the issue until Granger arrived.
On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Representative Edwards and others have sought to make Juneteenth a national holiday or observance. Juneteenth celebrations are also held in other countries around the world, including Ghana, Honduras, Japan, Taiwan and Trinidad and Tobago. (Japan? I guess everyone loves a party.)
The word 'Juneteenth' resulted from running the words 'June Nineteenth' together. The “official” food and drink is apparently barbeque and Big Red, at least in Texas. (Also see this site).
June 20 Father's Day
Celebrated on the third Sunday of June. There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.
Sonora Smart Dodd was born in Jenny Lind, Arkansas in 1882. Her family moved to Spokane, Washington where her mother died in child birth when she was 16. She and her father raised the 5 younger boys by themselves. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.
While hearing a church sermon about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Sonora felt strongly that Fatherhood needed recognition as well. She approached the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and suggested her own father's birthday of June 5 as the day of honor for fathers. The Alliance chose the third Sunday in June instead. The first Father's Day was celebrated June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. (Wasn’t that day taken?. My dad particularly liked Big Red too. Cosmic alignment stuff? May be!) The idea of Father's Day became popular and embraced across the nation. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson came to Spokane and spoke at Father's Day services. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the 3rd Sunday of June each year.
Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington in 1974. she died in 1978 at the age of 96.
(And I thought Father’s Day was just another “Hallmark Holiday” excuse to get a card and a silly tie. Also see this site).
(These holiday tidbits came from this very interesting web site).
June 21 June Solstice
First Day of Summer or Summer solstice begins on June 21, 2010 at 6:28 am CDT (Central Daylight Savings Time).
The first day of the summer season is the day of the year when the Sun is farthest north or highest in the sky in the northern hemisphere and the day is the longest. The sun is not directly overhead, but will rise higher in the sky as you move south until you reach the Tropic of Cancer, currently at 23º 26_ 17_ north of the Equator, which is where the sun is directly overhead. Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning, "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.
The latest (May 6, 2010) NOAA ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) Advisory and Predictions, and the humorously titled, “Summary of the (Seasonal Climate) Outlook for Non-Technical Users” for May 20 2010 state:
El Niño should continue weakening to a normal condition in June, and continuing to be normal through the rest of the year. But there’s a 50/50 chance of La Niña conditions versus normal conditions occurring from summer 2010 through spring 2011.
This seems strange to me that the ocean current temperatures that cause these El Niño / La Niña patterns could swing so far the other way, so soon. But who knows. The scientists say they do see below normal water currents welling up a couple hundred meters below the warm surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, that could induce a La Niña pattern.
During April-May-June 2010, there may be above-average precipitation for the southeastern states, while returning to a normal weather pattern for the Northern Hemisphere summer with the end of this El Niño.
For June-July-August period, a little above normal temperatures are favored for the southeast, below normal temperatures for portions of Texas up through the Great Plains and Great Lakes, and above normal precipitation for sections of the Central and Northern Great Plains and the Gulf coast. With the possibility of La Niña conditions increasing through the remainder of the year and through the first of next year, above normal temperatures would occur in the south and southwest and below normal precipitation along the Gulf Coast and Florida.
So to sum up, we should move from a cooler, wetter summer to a normal rest of the year or to a warmer, dryer rest of the year and next, depending on the flip of the coin. If you think you can make more sense of this stuff, read for yourself here and here.
June is in-between the spring and fall planting seasons. Not much needs to happen, but if you are anxious , you can sow cantaloupe, eggplant, large “jack-o-lantern” pumpkin varieties, and watermelon seeds in the middle of June. July is when most of the fall planting normally begins.
You can try sowing tomato seeds now, but transplant them at the end of the month or beginning of July. Tomatoes may not pollinate and set fruit if it’s too hot. Some planting guides say to wait till the middle of July or beginning of august to sow or transplant, to time pollinating during cooler weather. If nothing else, the plants will sit in your garden waiting for the temperature to cool off.
Fertilize your seed starts and transplants each week for 3 weeks or so, with Rohde’s Foliar Juice to get them started. This product contains Manure tea, fish solubles, kelp extract, molasses, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts). Everything a growing young plant needs in a quickly usable form. If you are spraying instead of drenching, do so in the cool of the morning or evening. The plants will absorb the nutrients better as the stomata pores on the bottom of leaves are open then.
Add Green Sense Worm Castings, Green Sense Vegetable and Flower food or Green Sense Rose food to the holes and soil when you plant. Green Sense All Purpose Lawn and Garden fertilizer isn’t a bad choice either. Rock Phosphate mixed into the planting holes is beneficial also.
Side dress plants with fertilizer each month after planting, particularly when they set fruit.
The calcium in our alkaline black clay soil is famous for locking up the phosphates and iron from use by plants. Lining planting holes and side dressing plants with rock powders will concentrate the minerals close to the roots and in a volume the soil can’t grab entirely. Other fertilizers like compost, cottonseed,+- and alfalfa meals can and should be mixed up with soil.
For other fertilizing considerations, Rohde’s carries Alfalfa Meal in 50lb bags. Alfalfa in is a nutritious forage grass used for animal feed. It’s a good organic fertilizer by itself, but it’s fame is that it contains triaconatol, a fatty acid that is a potent stimulant of plant growth. It is included in our Rose Food. Rohde’s also carries Cotton Seed Meal in five pound and fifty pound bags, which is an excellent source of slow release organic nitrogen, the main nutrient in our black clay soil that is usually lacking.
Green Sense Kelp Extract contains a large number of trace minerals plus growth-promoting hormones called auxins, gibberellins and cytokinins which work as potent rooting hormones for soaking or drenching new transplants from 3” herbs to 65 gallon trees. Kelp helps improve seed germination, helps increase storage life of fruits and vegetables, helps strengthen frost resistance in hardy plants, helps strengthen plants to heat stress, and helps build resistance to insects and fungus diseases.
Disease and Pests
Summer heat means spider mite weather. They cause the leaves to turn tan and dry out. Howard Garrett’s contention is spider mites attack only sick plants. Summer heat may stress them enough to make them vulnerable. This is the reason to replace some spring crops with fall crops in July or August. Improper plant hydration is another main cause of vulnerability. Too little watering or over watering where the roots don’t have enough oxygen and rot, both prevent water from moving up into the plant. Squirting them off with a hose may be enough. Don’t spray them off on to something else in your garden though. Howard Garrett says to spray first with garlic/pepper tea and/or Kelp Extract every three days for nine days. Insecticidal soaps would be next thing to try. Plant oils and Citrus oil sprays can be used but only if the other treatments are not adequate. The oils are more likely to harm the plants in the heat and affect beneficial insects. Spray in the evening. If these efforts don’t work and the plants are under proper organic care, they may not be the right plants for the conditions.
Early blight is the other major problem with tomatoes. Leaves will have large yellow blotches starting at bottom and spreading upward, eventually turning all yellow, then drying up and turning crispy. Add corn meal to the soil. Spray with garlic tea and/or corn meal tea. Garlic has an anti-fungal property. Remove affected lower leaves and destroy. Try not to get the foliage wet when watering. Mulch the soil.
Tomato blossom-end rot shows up as dried sunken ends of the fruit (opposite the stems). It is not a disease, but the result of allowing the plant to get too dry. More common to potted tomatoes.
Use a Bt product like Thuricide or Dipel to control any caterpillars from small fruit-eating pinworms to large tomato hornworms.
Tomatoes keep longer if picked before they are fully ripe, when still a little green. This will also help the plant to kept producing in trying to achieve ripe fruit for the continuation of the species. Don’t refrigerate the tomatoes to try to keep longer. They have a major flavor compound that breaks down at refrigerator temperatures. Let tomatoes ripen in the kitchen.
Like most perennial transplants, you can plant perennial herb anytime. Some herbs also do well in pots and mixed in with flowers and vegetables.
We carry over 130 varieties of herbs throughout the spring, summer, and fall. All are not available at any one time. Best to come in and see what we have.
Many herbs will be matured in June and can be harvested. If allowed to flower, some may loose taste qualities, but some flowers are good to eat.
Again, we may not carry all of the following flowers at the same time, but we try to carry what we can get that is appropriate for the season. We also try to carry the unusual you wouldn’t normally find in the mass market stores. You are best off coming by weekly to see what comes in.
Plant warm-season annual flowers. Common ones good in Dallas include:
Amaranthus, Ageratum, Alyssum, Begonia, Candletree, Chenille plant, Copperleaf, Cosmos, Ice Plant, Jacobine, Lisianthus, Marigold, Penta, Periwinkle (vinca), Portulaca, Zinnia
Begonia, Caladium, Coleus, Geranium, Impatiens, Lobelia, Nicotiana, Plumeria
If you’re using annual transplants, small plants without flowers may get established quicker. Pinch off buds and flowers if it has them.
You can cut off old flowers to try to get annuals to flower longer.
Plant summer- and fall-flowering perennials.
Aster, Cannas, Corepsis, Dahlia, Daisy, Daylilies, Dusty Miller, Fall Asters, Ferns, Gayfeather, Gazania, Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Hostas, Hummingbird Bush, Lambs ear, Lantana, Lythrum, Nierembergia, Ornamental Grasses, Oxalis, Plumbago, Purple Coneflower, Rose, Rosemary, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Sedums, Shasta Daisies, Spider Lilies, Summer Phlox, Turk’s Cap, Verbena, Wallflower
Astilbe, Columbine, Crocosmia, Rock Rose
This is the weather for tropical plants. They can be planted as annuals here, or in pots to bring indoors during the winter:
African bush daisy, Agapanthus, Aglaonemas, Airplane plants Allamanda vine, Bougainvillea, Crotons, Dipladenia, Esperanza, Fire bush, Firecracker fern, Ixora, Mandevilla vine, Mexican heather, Oleander (semi-hardy), Pentas, Plumbago, Sansevierias, Trailing lantanas, Tropical hibiscus.
See "Vegetable Fertilizing” above.
Pinch tips of new shoots of tall, lanky plants, partially fall blooming plants, to encourage denser branching to give a bushier plant: Begonias, coleus, chrysanthemums (mums), fall asters, impatiens, and phlox.
Watch for snails, slugs, and pillbugs on hostas, begonias and other tender plants. Treat with baits, traps, Sluggo, copper strips around valuable plants or pots. Garlic-pepper tea spray and pine needle mulch may repel slugs and snails.
Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Planting now will require a rigorous watering scheduling to ensure the root ball doesn’t dry out. Maybe once a day or even twice a day. Test the soil first with your finger down 3 or 4 inches.
Choose plants in containers. It’s too late for bare rooted plants. Smaller container plants can get established faster and grow faster than larger balled & burlapped plants too.
With Crape Myrtles in bloom, now may be a good time to pick these out for planting.
Use Green Sense Kelp Extract drench for it’s root growth promoting compounds.
If you are growing normal hybrid tea, grandiflora and floribunda roses, you also need to begin spraying for blackspot, aphids, and thrips or they will be defoliate. Better to rip them out and replaced with “Earthkind” roses or antiques roses. Earthkind roses are selected for carefree growing, and antique roses are usually more resistant to pest and disease also since they have survived so long. Rohde’s has new rose plants in now. Howard Garrett has an Organic Rose Program you can follow to ensure the best care of your roses.
Prune storm damaged trees and shrubs.
Finish pruning spring flowering trees, shrubs, and vines early this month. They will need time to put on new growth for next year’s blooms. Indian hawthorn, mountain laurel, forsythia, hydrangeas, quince, azaleas, camellias, spirea, flowering or ornamental fruit trees, wisteria, weigela.
Prune aggressive branches that don’t hold to the overall shape of your shrubs. Take out the whole branch instead of shearing if you can. It normally looks better.
Prune climbing rose vines after the flowers expire to allow time for new canes to develop for next year’s flowers. You can take out inside shaded branches that don’t bloom well.
Don’t prune Oaks trees that are susceptible to Oak Decline disease unless there is storm damage. The insect disease carrier, the Sap Beetle, will be active. Immediately cover the fresh cuts with Green Sense Tree Goop to keep the sap beetles away. They will be watching!
Pests and Disease
Plant oils can help control scale and aphids on and other shrubs. Spray in the cool of the evening. Oils can harm the plants in the heat of summer so apply dilutions according to instructions.
Leaf miners make translucent trails on the leaves of Texas red oak and other plants. Some leafminers are sawfly maggots. Bt would not work on them. Oak leaf miners are moth caterpillars so Bt or Trichogramma Wasps should control them, but usually are not a big enough problem to worry about.
Tent caterpillars come out in the spring and early summer. Webworms come out in fall, hence their other name of Fall Webworms.
Tent caterpillars use their web for protection when they are not feeding. They wander out to feed. Trichogramma Wasps early in spring will get the eggs, but not the adults. Dormant plant oils in the winter will get the eggs also. Bt is effective, but works better on young worms. If you can tear up the web with a garden hose sprayer or stick, birds, lizards, and other insects can eat them. Plant oil sprays can work, but require complete coverage which is hard in the top of a tree. Spinosad containing products will work also, but will harm bees if wet. Spray in the evening so it will be dry when bees come out in the day. Spray Bt and Spinosad on foliage around the webs as that will be what they eat first. You don’t need to spray the whole tree. Ordinarily the tree will grow new leaves with little harm to itself when the tent caterpillars finish their life cycle. Just wait them out and release wasps or use dormant oils next year.
If you have cultured pecan or other nut trees and/or fruit trees, we recommend you follow Howard Garrett’s Organic Fruit and Pecan Tree Program. It mainly revolves around the holistic approach of most of the organic program in establishing the best growing condition and health of the plants so they can ward off problems and disease before they start. It’s easier to prevent than cure.
Lawn, Turf Grasses and Ground Covers
June is not a good time for laying sod or plugs, or sowing grass seed without a lot of attention to watering. You will have to water at least twice a day and maybe 3 or 4 times to keep seed moist during 90 degree days.
You can still plant groundcovers and borders, but again, watering will be critical. Frog fruit and horseherb are two native groundcovers that are good for the shade. Try oregano for a border in full sun. Ground covers including horseherb, Asian jasmine, English ivy, Persian ivy, purple wintercreeper, liriope and ophiopogan.
If you did your first fertilizing in March, you should fertilize this month with Green Sense All Purpose Lawn & Garden Fertilizer. We recommend fertilizing every 3 months.
Greensand & Humate will help keep the grass green and prevent chlorosis.
Spread a half inch layer of compost to poorly growing parts of the lawn.
Dry molasses will supply B vitamins, iron, and sulfur along with the quick energy to the soil microbes of the sugars. These sugars specifically feed nitrogen fixing soil bacteria that are free living in the soils and are not associated with plant roots like Mycorrihizal fungi. They will add nitrogen fertilizer to the soil. Dry molasses doesn’t attract ants either. In fact it appears to repeal fire ant and others. Possible due to the increase microbial activity. Ants don’t like bugs in their nests any more than we do I guess.
Watering and Mowing
For regular mowing, set mower to correct height: Common Bermuda 2 to 3 inches, St. Augustine 2 to 4 inches, hybrid Bermudas 1/4 to 2.5 inches, depending on variety, buffalograss 3 inches, fescue 3 inches, zoysia 2 to 3 inches.
The Rule of 1/3: Cut no more than 1/3 the height of the grass blade. If you need to cut a lot of the grass height off, then you must do it in two or more passes, waiting 2 days between passes. This will prevent weakening the grass. Leave the grass clippings in the lawn. This can return maybe a third of the grass’ fertilizer requirement. If the grass clippings clumps up in piles, you are not mowing often enough. Rake up and compost.
Water about 1 inch a week. This will encourage deeper drought resistant roots. Weeds are mostly shallow rooted. Take rain into consideration. Lawns should dry out between waterings though. Time your sprinkler output with flat sided bowels, tuna cans, etc to see how long it takes to deliver 1 inch of water. If your grass doesn't spring back when you walk in it, it may need watering. Rohde’s carries a nice assortment of rain gauges to help prevent you from over watering.
Pests, Disease and Weeds
Use Green Sense 8% Vinegar to spray on weeds and unwanted grass to burn the plants foliage. May have to repeat daily to weaken the plants enough to kill the roots. Best to do during the hotter parts of the day. Adding some dish washing soap (teaspoon per gallon of vinegar) may keep the solution on the plants longer. One to two ounces of Citrus Oil will help weaken the surface of the plants to allow the vinegar to work better. This will kill good plants that catch the spray also, so pulling weeds if there are only a few would be better.
Watch out for lawn fungal problems with the wet weather we are having.
Brown Patch Fungus is usually noticed earlier in the spring and summer. It attacks the grass where the blade attaches to the stolons. The blade dies but not the grass roots. Grass can come back with good treatment.
Take All Patch is affecting the grass in the spring, but doesn’t usually become noticeable till the heat stress of summer kills off the weakened grass. This disease attacks the grass between the roots and stolon. It kills the roots and so the grass too. The grass will not come back, without replacement.
Consider a preventive program with Rohde’s aerating your lawn and treating it with corn meal and or Actinovate. Actinovate is an organic bacteria (Streptomyces lydicus strain WYEC 108) that protects lawn roots from a wide range of soil borne diseases and root decay fungi. Along with a soil test for missing minerals, proper fertilizing, and aeration, this will give you the best control over lawn fungus problems. Remember, you will have the fungus infection long before you see it, and it will more difficult to control.
We also have peat moss to acidify the area around grass roots and stolon at the surface. This is where Brown Patch and Take all Patch fungus occur. The fungus doesn’t do well in acidic soils. Peat moss has little nutritional value and has antimicrobial properties so it will not break down quickly. This is why it is not recommended as a soil amendment or potting soil component unless you are growing very acid loving plants. A half inch is needed. A 3.8 cuft bale of peat moss will cover about a 1000 sqft of lawn. This is a temporary control measure and would have to be repeated every year or two, but can save your lawn until you can get the organic content of the soil up. Quickest way is by applying compost at a half inch every spring and fall, and aerating the lawn and filling the holes with compost. Sulfur does not stay in the vicinity of the grass stolons very long as it is washed away into the ground so it doesn’t work as well as peat moss. Our alkaline black clay is very hard to make acidic because of the pH buffering ability of the limestone base, mostly calcium carbonate, in the soil. Enough organic materials like compost in the soil will adjust the pH automatically to what the plants like. It lowers it in black clay and raises it in sandy soils.
Chinch bugs usually become a problem in the heat of summer and early fall. They are 1/16” to 1/5” long. Adults have black bodies with white triangular marks on their backs. Young are red with or orange with white stripes across their back and cause the most damage. They pierce the grass leaves with a needle like beaks and inject saliva that is toxic to the leaf. I think the slobber must breaks down the tissues for easier slurping. Anyway, both activities kills the grass blade. The bugs don’t usually make as nice of a round brown spot in the grass as Brown Patch but can look more like the irregular spots from Take All Patch or drought damage. To tell the difference, you need to see the bugs. The bugs are found on the border of the brown patch. The classic technique is by cutting the bottom out of a coffee or other metal can. Place into a yellowed patch of grass in the sun, about two inches deep into the soil. Fill with water. If infested, dead chinch bugs will float to the top within five minutes. Chinch bugs should not be a problem in well cared for lawns. They like hot dry stressed grass and can be an indicator of a poor lawn. Proper watering, fertilizing, thatch control, and a health soil microbial environment that has lots of natural predators will control them. A soil fungus, Beauveria spp., will kill chinch bugs in the cool of fall. You may see it as a grayish cottony mass of fungal hyphae. Immediate control is to use D.E. around the brown area or spray with a compost tea, molasses, citrus oil mix like Howard Garrett’s fire ant drench formula (mix equal parts of each, then mix 4-6 ounces to one gallon of water).
As I was preparing this calendar, two people came into the store looking for control of chiggers. They can be a problem in poorly kept lawns like chinch bugs enjoy. Properly watered lawns rarely have them. As a kid, the unwatered alley was where you got them.
Chiggers are barely visible naturally red mites that are normally vegetarians in the soil. Only the larva form wants to bite us. They actually want to bite retiles and birds, but we will do. They like thin skin (like on women and children) areas and in skin folds or protected areas where clothing is tight (they’re snuggly - how cute!). They are fast too. They can go from ankle to waist in 15 minuets. They don’t borrow into your skin, but insert it’s mouth parts on the surface and injects saliva that contains a digestive enzyme that dissolves the skin cells. This is what they slurp up, not blood. They alternate sucking and spitting to dissolve more of your flesh. The saliva is what causes the inching and inflammation, but this also happens because we are not the natural host. Human host chiggers in Asia and Pacific Islands don’t cause inching (is this why they call it Paradise?). They can feed for a few hours before you notice them. If you don’t scratch or wash them off, they can feed for 3, 4 days or longer. They are easy to brush off. If you can’t wash, use a dry towel to wipe them off if you think they are on you. Just don’t get paranoid and carry a towel around with you where every you go.
They are not ambush predators, but hunters. They are always scurrying around. To test for them in your yard, place black or white cardboard, dinner plate, or anything thin with contrast, vertically in the ground. They will run up to the top and conjugate where you can see them easier with a magnifying glass.
Chiggers like the heat. They become inactive under 60 degrees and die at 42 degrees. They seem to occur in patches for some reason, so they are not everywhere.
Immediate control is to dust sulfur around your yard. Put dusting sulfur in a stocking or rag and shake It around. For large areas, we have granulated sulfur in 50 pound bags that you can use in a fertilizer spreader. D.E. will work to control them, but it will kill a lot of other things, good and bad.
To protect yourself powder puff yourself with the bag of dusting sulfur. Deet will repeal them for a few hours, but sulfur works better. In Boy Scouts, we soaked our pants and socks in wettable sulfur in the bathtub and line dried them. This works for a few day. The sulfur stinks though. The clothing optional method removes the tight fitting places chiggers like, but add the places mosquitoes like. Oils will kill them and I’ve read where some people use heavy doses of baby oil or herbal oils to keep them off. But they probably like the slipping around in all that oil. Like wearing lingerie I guess. To each his own.
General Pests and Diseases
Rohde’s carriers the full complement of organic pest and disease controls, for both inside and out. Stop by and see.
For slugs, use ‘Sluggo” bait. We also have copper tape for raised beds and special plants. Also use traps as no one treatment works as well as several different kinds.
See lawn section for soil-borne fungi.
For tomato blight, add corn meal and compost to the soil, mulch good, rotate planting beds, space plants farther apart for good air circulation, use tomato cages to keep branches off the ground. Try Plant Wash to remove spores. Garlic spray will help too.
For other foliage fungal problems like black spot and powdery mildew, we have plant oils, potassium bicarbonate, Serenade, copper sprays, dusting sulfur, Plant Wash.
Isolated cases of aphids can be treated with a strong blast of water, Green Sense Citrus Oil, one of our other selections of plant oils, insecticidal soap, and/or release of ladybugs into the garden. We have these too.
Along with the lady bugs, we also carry green lacewings, and predatory wasp to help control of aphids, spider mites, thrips, caterpillars and other pests.
We have Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis products for control caterpillars.
Garlic sprays will keep mosquitoes away and is an effect fungicide.
Spider mites and grasshoppers like hot dry conditions and hopefully will not be a problem, at least right now.
Grubs are not a problem now. They are not eating anything. They are turning into June bugs that will come out later in the summer to mate and lay eggs. The newly hatched grubs are the grass root eaters in the late summer and fall.
Rohde’s carries D.E. or diatomaceous earth in one, five, ten or fifty pound bags. Use it to control insects in dry environments. It does not hurt earthworms in the soil. Useful in treating cracks, wall crevices, wall voids, and attics to repel insects and deny harborage in these areas. It’s effective against pests that live in close association with humans such as cockroaches, silverfish, mites, ants, houseflies, spiders, bedbugs, fleas and crickets. It’s also effective in controlling aphids, caterpillars, codling moth, flies and ants. In the garden, apply at night or in the late evening to minimize effects on beneficial insects.
If you are spraying anything, protect yourself with goggles and at least a NIOSH N95 approved Respirator Dust Mask. This stuff may be organic but it could be hazardous to inhale. Don’t take the chance.
Other Things to Do This Month
Summer is the worst time for your landscape, but it’s the best time for a VACATION!. While your plants can’t avoid the heat, you can. So what happens to the landscape while you’re fishing, beaching, cruise shipping, mountain climbing, or A/C'ing in Las Vegas? It’s Toast, but wait! Aren’t the kids out for summer? Remember being subjected to child slave labor by your dad when he didn’t want to get out into the heat? It was either mowing yards or a paper route for deposable income when you were 10 years old. Just set up the neighbor/church/relative’s kids into at least watering and mowing your yard while you’re gone. They can even feed your pets and kids, if you left them behind. Just be sure they understand that they get nothing if anything or anybody has expired when you get back. That includes the stupid souvenir T-shirt!
Your landscape will have a better chance to survive if it has been prepared well ahead of time. Drought tolerant plants are important here. Lots of organic matter in the soil and mulching on the soil helps water retention. Properly fertilized plants will insure they are strong. Spraying Rohde’s Kelp Extract with it’s many micro-nutrients, and growth promoters will help the plants survive the stress of summer just as it helps the plants survive the stress of winter. Control any insects problems before you go. Rohde’s Garlic Concentrate and/or pepper tea or cedar oil spray or granules may keep some pest at bay for around a week.
Water very well right before you go. An automated lawn sprinkler or drip system would be wonderful. This would not have to be a permanent system, but quality of equipment would be important for reliability.
Inside plants can be put together in the bathroom to increase the humidity. Now’s also the time to use all those “Ronco Watering Bulbs” you got for the Holidays when your friends found out you were a gardener. You can make home made ones too, out of plastic coke bottles as I remember.
Add mulch and/or compost to bare or thin ground.
Add compost to beds/gardens at least, and to trees, bushes, and the lawn, if possible, to enrich the soil.
Keep bird feeders and bird baths clean and filled.
Have landscape and garden soil tested now to know how to prepare your gardens and lawns for the spring. Rohde’s recommends “Texas Plant & Soil Lab” at 5115 West Monte Cristo Road, Edinburg, Texas 78541-8852, 956-383-0739. They can give you organic recommendations.
Most of this calendar is designed for Dallas, Tx in USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, with a predominant soil type of blackland prairie clay.