Summer gardening’s here and only 12 weeks till fall

We Dig Chemainus July edition

July is upon us, how does your garden grow? Summer is here and in just 12 weeks it will be fall! Enjoy each week, day, hour and minute. Start on Canada Day with a walk-about in your garden.

Planting day was extraordinary, though a little damp. A good thing, as it’s hardly rained since. A total of 21 volunteers came out and 2,000 plants hit the ground and seem to be thriving. The weeding sessions began June 26 followed by a social time. Come join in the fun.

What grows when fed, but dies when watered? Fire! Be careful this summer, watch out for watering restrictions and cigarette butts.

We Dig – Do It Now Tips

• Fertilize lilacs with a ‘flowering’ (15-30-15) fertilizer

• Prune weigelia, mock orange and other flowering shrubs

• Divide and replant bearded iris every three to four years

• Dead head annuals and perennials regularly to encourage flowering

• Cut faded delphiniums to ground level to stimulate a second bloom

• Dead head and feed roses

• Remember to water trees and shrubs using a watering can if necessary. Check hanging baskets and planters daily, as they dry out quickly.

• Fuchsias need plenty of water and protection from hot sun and cold night

• Keep baiting soil for slugs using an environmentally safe product

• Sow late vegetable crops. Remove old and decaying leaves. Stake and support plants as required.

• Continue to sow lettuce, peas and leeks

• Stop cutting rhubarb so the plant can store energy – keep it well watered

• Dead head annuals to keep them blooming

• Spend some time checking plants for pests and treat before they multiply

• Feed foliage, add a little liquid fertilizer to a water spray

• Snap wisteria and grape vines at joint near tip

• When picking berries it is just as important to remove mouldy berries as to pick the good ones

Did you know…

…the flower of the month is larkspur; pink represents fickleness; white – happiness; purple – first love

…your birth flower for July is the larkspur and the water lily?

…the yam is actually a type of sweet potato?

…yams are related to grasses and lilies and the sweet potato to morning glory?

…the word ‘peach’ or malum persicum means Persian apple?

…planting used plastic forks with the tips showing above ground keeps animals away from your plants? (and gives plastic a purpose)

…that four ounces of cola (any kind) poured on the soil at the base of azaleas boosts blooming?

Pick of the Month – Larkspur (delphinium consolida)

Larkspur is an ‘annual’ delphinium with finer textured foliage, blooming in July. A highly poisonous plant; new growth and the seeds contain the highest amount of toxins.

Grows three feet tall and is loved for its tall spires of flowers. Works well as a dried flower.

AND … why shouldn’t you tell a secret in the garden? Because the potatoes have eyes, and the corn has ears!

Chemainus Communities in Bloom will meet on Tuesday August 20, 7 p.m., Steeples Activity Room. New faces are always welcome!

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