Smart Tips: June Gardening Tips from a Professional

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Gardening season is in full swing, with flowers blossoming, vegetables sprouting, and colorful gardens popping up around almost every corner. It’s still a great time to put more stuff in the ground.

Karen Edwards is the owner of Edwards Nursery (11230 Nelson Road NE) in Moses Lake, which has been in existence for over 40 years. Edwards recently offered some tips on adding to the garden in June, or just picking out the plants you already have.

The two main things Edwards says are essential in keeping plants and flowers happy are pre-planning and soil conditioning.

“Some places here have really sandy soil and some have kind of clay soil,” Edwards said.

She said working in organic compost can help draw nutrients around the plant. Edwards said organic products tend to retain nutrients better, keeping nutrients around the plant until it is ready to use them.

Also, she said it was good to get a feel for the kind of overall image someone had when creating their garden. She said people can find something that will add color to annuals and flowering shrubs.

Edwards said she brought people back after buying a bunch of flowering shrubs and let her know she was right in telling them to find something to go with these shrubs which will be green at the start of the season. winter and early spring.

Most importantly, she said, find any plants or flowers that you want to plant. Right now, she said, many gardeners are finishing their first batch of green salads, peas or other early starts. Edwards said a lot of people are still planting tomatoes.

She said that almost any annual flower can come in right now.

“Right now a lot of people are starting to fill their perennial beds with maybe a color or something that will last until later in the season; maybe they put on a calla lily or something, ”Edwards said.

Snapdragons, the cosmos, and a variety of amaranth flower types are just a few of them that Edwards says work well for filling the summer garden. She said many people will put in perennials to replace annuals once they are gone for the year.

She said many gardeners are still planting carrots, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips and things like that, maybe even a second crop of peas or beans. Often times, she said people will plant a second larger bean crop around this time for canning in the fall.

“The main thing is to check how long it takes and when you want to harvest it or if you want something from the start,” Edwards said.

Succulents, according to Edwards, are another variety of plants that provide gardeners with a variety of textures and composition options, while remaining hardy in the dry conditions of the Columbia Basin. Edwards said to think in terms of what is going to be evergreen and what will shed leaves in the winter to keep color all year round.

While he’s on the borderline of late for some larger melons and pumpkins, Edwards said early-ripening varieties should still be able to start safely. She said one solution is to remove a lot of the bloom from the plant and let the energy and nutrients focus on a few rather than a bunch of smaller ones.

Edwards said that a black plastic tarp under the ground can help trap more heat during the day, which can help some plants that might not mature quickly enough otherwise. She said it’s always nice to have a variety of things planted that go well together.

“Around the base of the tomatoes, you can put radishes, spinach, or chard and harvest them while the tomato plant is still growing,” Edwards said.

Often, she said, people put a variety of herbs around their garden, which can really increase variety and color. Herbs, like basil, come in a variety of different flavors and strands, each a little different.

For anyone interested in tree planting, Edwards said the best time to do this is usually in the spring or fall. But, she said, depending on the size of the tree and the conditions, a well-established tree can still do well in the summer with a few extra precautions.

“Make sure you condition the soil and soak it thoroughly, then slowly space your waterings,” Edwards said. “If you notice that the leaves are starting to drop a bit, start watering a bit more. “

Edwards said that proper watering spacing as plants become established can help them retain moisture and prevent water loss. In dry conditions, she said it was a good idea to place wood chips, straw or other absorbent material around the base of the plant to save time on weeding and retain moisture. in the ground.

Spacing the plants, watering and strengthening the roots keep the plant more conditioned to drought conditions, Edwards said.

Edwards said, if possible, it’s always a good idea to water your plants earlier or later in the day to keep more moisture from evaporating from the soil.

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