Is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.
Wendell Berry (quoted from the July 2014 issue of Country Extra magazine)
June, overall, was a month with many days which earned the rating described in James Russell Lowell’s poem which begins “And what is so rare as a day in June! Then, if ever come perfect days…
Of course, we had days which were too hot, too windy, too rainy or too stormy, but overall the month gave us the conditions needed to get our gardens off to a good start.
As with May, there were not a great many insects or diseases to trouble our trees, shrubs or gardens. Some plants as is always the case needed ongoing protection from the various problems to which they are subject. Examples include roses, boxwoods and apple trees.
Of course, weeds are an ongoing problem in lawns, gardens, landscape plantings, driveways, walks, and patios. A WEED BURNER is an item to consider for use on patios, driveways and other non flammable surfaces. Other products leave standing dead weeds; a weed burner kills off the evidence.
Gardens, once weeds are removed, can be protected with a mulch of SALT HAY which not only helps keep weeds down, but also holds moisture in. SWEET PEET, too, is a popular mulch which can be turned in to the soil at the end of the season to add valuable organic matter.
Landscape borders can be protected by pulling weeds present followed by a treatment of TREFLAN, which kills most weeds as they try to germinate. CORN GLUTEN is the natural product to use if you prefer not to use chemicals.
Several products will help kill lawn weeds. ADIOS is the natural product to use. SPURGE POWER is perhaps the product which kills the widest range of weeds. ACCLAIM EXTRA deals with crabgrass and also is labeled to kill JAPANESE STILTGRASS. SEDGE HAMMER kills NUT SEDGE.
NON SELECTIVE WEED KILLERS for driveways, walks and patios include ROUNUP QUIK PRO which contains Glyphosate to kill from the roots up and Diquat to give quick burn down from the top. BURNOUT is one of the natural non-selective weed killers. The 200 GRAIN VINEGAR used by manufacturers and much stronger than that found in the supermarket is not labeled for weed killing, but you who have tried it straight or with one part water, have had success in killing weeds. A little household detergent helps it to stick to the weeds. Neither of these latter two kill roots so may need to be reapplied.
MORE ABOUT LAWNS
Keep in mind that grass is a cool season crop which often goes dormant in summer. If you have a lawn irrigation system, or otherwise have the inclination and ability to water as needed; the equivalent of one inch of rain weekly is all that is needed or wanted by the grass. That one inch will penetrate about six inches to draw the roots down where they help maintain healthy top growth. Overwatering can encourage disease and/or weak, shallow rooted turf. Cut the grass at optimum height of two and half inches, three if possible and never remove more than one-third of the growth at a mowing. The higher the cut, the more likely weeds will be prevented from growing.
Summer feeding normally is not warranted, but if the lawn is irrigated and supplemental feeding necessary, consider a soluble product for quick results or apply IRONITE for extra color and growth.
Mid July is the time to start major lawn renovation. If 50% or more of the lawn is covered with weeds, killing everything is probably the best road to take. If only a few patches are present; kill them and be ready to reseed during the ideal lawn seeding time, which is mid-August through mid-October.
After doing the damage to the roots of grass, the grubs emerge from the soil as beetles and attack just about all your flowers. They especially seem to like roses. Any of a number of sprays will kill them or send them elsewhere. JAPANESE BEETLE TRAPS are popular too, but should be placed away from gardens. You don’t want them feeding on your plants on the way to the traps.
Be sure to have IMIDICLOPRID (MERIT) applied to lawns by mid-month to assure kill of next year’s brood as damage begins in early fall.
MILKYSPORE in granular or powder form is the organic solution for control of Japanese Beetle grubs. One application of powder lasts about 20 years, but often takes two or three years to develop the overall protection required. Granular application is popular, but requires several applications to do the same job. Severe infestations of grubs can be controlled with a chemical application without reducing the effectiveness of Milky Spore, but it will delay its activity.
MOLES are an ongoing problem which can be controlled with traps, poisons or repellents. They enjoy a diet of earthworms as well as grubs, so could be a problem even if grubs have been eliminated.
PRODUCTS ALL GARDENERS MAY APPRECIATE
CAPTAIN JACK’S DEAD BUG is an excellent natural insecticide which can be used on just about all plants for control of most all insect problems.
SERENADE GARDEN DISEASE CONTROL is Bacillus Subtilis, an excellent natural product which controls many diseases on roses, vegetable, fruits, flowering plants, trees and shrubs. It is labeled for use in ORGANIC GARDENING.
SUPER THRIVE and QUANTUM GROWTH are two other products which assure that plants stay strong and healthy. They provide more energy which means quicker growth, larger and healthier plants and higher yields.
GARDEN SAFE FUNGICIDE 3 (3 GARDEN PRODUCTS IN ONE) is a fun fungicide, insecticide, and miticide which ”controls black spot, rust and pow powdery mildew; control aphids, whiteflies and other listed insects (including beetles); beetles); controls spider mites: “The label lists many other insects and diseases. It can be used up until day of harvest and is labeled for use on fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, roses, house plants, flowers and trees. It is OMRI listed and can be used for organic gardening. Its active ingredient is Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil – 70%
EMPLOY triggers a plant’s immune system with a naturally occurring protein called HARPIN. More than plant protection, it’s plant empowerment resulting in strong, healthy plants.
Its label calls it “Biochemical Pesticide that: Suppresses Nematode Egg production; Enhances Crop Growth Quality and Yield and Increases Plant Stamina and Vigor”. It is endorsed and recommended by the American Rose Society, National Gardening Association, National Chrysanthemum Society and others. Use on all plants, indoor and out, including vegetables up to day of harvest.Use at the rate of ¼ teaspoon per quart of water.
HOZON BRASS SIPHON MIXER – This unit is a real time saver. It has been around for decades, but not many people are aware of it. Screw the adapter onto the hose bib and attach the garden hose to it. A tube from it is placed in a bucket of nutrient and as you water your garden it fertilizes it at the same time. It has a backflow preventer, to keep water from getting into the fresh water supply. It is excellent for greenhouse use and in gardens with a hose length of 50 feet or less.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH is an abrasive powder made from mineral remains of single cell aquatic plants. It kills by abrading and dehydrating crawling insects like slugs, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, grasshoppers and fleas.
SIDESWIPE is a long handled tube with an applicator which looks like a paint roller. The handle is filled with GLYPHOSATE (Roundup) and is used to kill weeds growing through pachysandra and other low growing ground covers as well as weeds growing under other evergreens.
MOLE PATROL is an effective killer of moles. Place the pellets in an active run. Moles will find them, eat them and die. CHASE is castor oil which will send them elsewhere. We stock other products, too, which have a following.
BUG & TICK SPRAY For People and Pets protects us when working outside. Mary Larkin, a local person who spends much of her time working outside used an old time fisherman’s recipe as a guide. Containing many oils in a base of Witch Hazel and Isopropyl Alcohol, it protects us from TICKS, MOSQUITOES and GNATS, among others.
A FEW MORE THOUGHTS FOR JULY AND AUGUST
BIFENTHRIN is a product which will control chinch bugs, sod webworms, mole crickets and just about every insect damaging to turf. It also is excellent as a perimeter treatment around the house to deal with ants, spiders and other pests trying to gain access to your home.
MOSS or algae forms on soil which has one or more of the following problems: acidity, poor drainage, compaction and shade. If conditions are really bad, especially in dense shade under a shallow rooted maple, it probably would be best to encourage it and rely on it for the soil cover.
Soil in areas you require lawn need to be corrected. Other areas may be best suited for a groundcover such as pachysandra. We do have MOSS KILLERS if you prefer to control it.
ARS PRUNERS, LOPPERS, SAWS, SHEARS, SNIPS, SCISSORS and LONG REACH PRUNERS are among the finest in top quality professional tools. Engineered specifically for demanding professionals who use tools all day long, they are super light weight, strong, durable and have blades which stay sharp an long time.
FELCO PRUNERS also are top quality tools developed for professionals. Mill River Supply maintains a wide inventory of these products, including spare parts.
GROUNDSKEEPER RAKE is unique among rakes. Its strong stainless steel spring prongs are excellent for use for just about any raking situation. In addition to leaf and grass removal, it is excellent for use on mulch and gravel.
COPPER PLANT IDENTIFICATION TAGS are ideal for identifying your plants
HAVAHART TRAPS will catch unwelcome culprit or culprits sharing your garden with you.
MULCH ANNUAL FLOWER and VEGETABLE GARDENS to a 4 to 6 inch depth with SALT HAY or other organic material, such as grass clipping, straw or SWEET PEET.
SOAKER HOSES are effective for watering and to aid in water conservation.
HONEYCOMB GEL ALL TERRAIN GARDEN KNEE PADS have “feet” to absorb pressure while the gel gives “superior protection and support”.
Continue feeding WILD BIRDS. Not only will you enjoy their beauty, but they will help keep insects under control in your gardens.
WHISKEY BARREL PLANTERS
We have finally found a source of these popular planters. Our previous suppliers no longer have them. Apparently the barrels have been purchased by producers in Scotland to age their whiskey. These make fine, attractive planters and last for many years.
Take advantage of services we offer. They include sharpening, key cutting, tool repair and building things such as bird houses and window boxes.