Voted Best Garden Store in Westchester Magazine in 2006
Winner of a Town of Bedford Conservation Board’s Green Award in 2016
I have said many times over the years: As usual the weather is unusual. This year, instead of repeating that statement, I have been known to say: May came in March and March came in May this year. Many days of May were chilly, some were very windy and skies often were overcast. The last few days, however, the temperatures were eighty degrees and higher, and the month ended more like July.
On the positive side, as with the earlier part of spring; flowering trees and shrubs seemed to retain their beautiful flowers for longer than normal.
On the negative side, some of the pest problems became evident as a result of the winter and the unseasonable weather of March. Boxwood Leaf Miner, for example, was seen earlier than in the past and treatment could have been moved up about a month. A late cold snap seriously harmed the flowers of peaches, which may result in a poor crop.
A FEW THOUGHTS FOR JUNE
If you missed the Memorial Day lawn feeding, do it soon. This feeding should carry the turf through the summer. Grass, being a cool season crop often will go dormant in the summer. An irrigation system or a weekly watering may help it retain its color, but you need to be careful not to water so often that roots are encouraged to remain close to the surface where they are more easily killed should the irrigation system break down or if you leave for a long vacation. The ideal is to have the roots at least four inches, but ideally six inches into the soil. This, of course, is easier if the soil is rich in organic matter, and loose enough to hold air and moisture. The higher the lawn is allowed to grow between cuttings, the deeper the roots will be encouraged to grow. Two and a half inches is an optimum height, though higher is even better.
QUANTUM GROWTH is a probiotic which contains live microbes and helps to assure optimum growth of turf (as well as flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs and all growing plants). It’s a bio-stimulant which helps plant foods work in a most efficient manner.
If grubs have been a problem in the past, or if you see beetle activity, you should consider treating the lawn with MERIT (Imidacloprid) within the next month or so. It will be ready to kill the grubs when they hatch in early fall. MILKY SPORE is an organic method of control. It takes longer to become effective, but then is viable for many years.
Watch for other insects and diseases and treat as necessary.
Mill River Supply is called THE Lawn and Garden Store because we stock and sell just about everything you require to start and maintain a beautiful, healthy lawn. We also maintain an inventory of products required to build and maintain productive, attractive gardens. You will find soil amendments, bio-stimulants, plant protection products, hand tools of all kinds, seed starting items, peat and cow pots along with wood and trays. We also have a wide selection of pruners, loppers, saws and other items to care for your trees and shrubs.
If you don’t find what you need, let us know. We probably can get it for you. Our motto has always been; “You have a need. We have a source.”
WEEKS SEED is among the many companies whose seeds we stock. In business since 1964, it is the developer of four world record vegetables. They are: a 197 lb. watermelon, a 4 ft. long watermelon, a 39 lb. cantaloupe and 3 ½ in. peanut. These records were recorded in the 1980 Guinness Book of World Records. “Since then, our world records have been broken by our own customers.”
Suddenly, the demand for the Broadfork has increased. We have had more demand this year for them than all the past years we have been in business. It is only recently that we have found a source of a quality tool at a reasonable price.
I recently watched a video on its use in preparing a garden bed. The gentleman who demonstrated it showed how he first removed the turf, weeds and other things to expose bare soil. He then stationed the broadfork over the soil so the tines would penetrate straight into it.
He pushed it into the soil, stepped on the left side, and then the right side until it reached the full depth of the tines. He then pushed the handle forward, then back to loosen the dirt. He removed the tool, and entered it again a few inches back and repeated the process and continued until he had backed to the end of the bed. His bed was now perforated, aerated and broken into sections.
Having watched the video, and knowing our soils here in the northeast are heavy clay, I feel the process would work well on gardens which have been prepared in the past with such amendments as organic matter plus vermiculate or perlite to create a seedbed.
Then, in future years, the broadfork would be the ideal tool to prepare the garden for the season.
In addition to the long time chemical products for control of selective lawns weeds, natural ones are gradually being introduced. The latest is HALO, a product of ICT Organics. It can be used on cool and warm season grasses, is EPA 25b exempt and Nation Organic Program compliant. Weeds killed include dandelion, plantain, clover, ground ivy, knotweed, purslane, black medic and wild violets.
A gallon treats about 15,000 sq. ft.
For non-selective weed control, 200 grain vinegar has become popular. It is not labeled for the purpose, but those who have used it have had much success. (This is stronger than the vinegar found in the super market.)
Of course, Mill River Supply has other natural products for both selective and non-selective weed control.
JAPANESE STILTGRASS is an ongoing problem. The tiny seeds are easily distributed with
a minor breeze or by our shoes or equipment. Most products which kill crabgrass are now labeled to kill it also.
FEEDING WILD BIRDS
Year round feeding is for our pleasure. Birds generally have enough food in the wild now, but if we encourage them to use our feeders, they will be close to our gardens and help with insect control.
Following is a quote from our 1989 Reminder:
“First, however, we must mention wild birds, the one year-round pleasure. While typing this, I’m watching a chipmunk eating out of the tubular pole feeder outside my window. Actually, he’s sharing this time period with a starling and a catbird. Naturally I prefer the nuthatches, woodpeckers, titmice and other more interesting birds, but these three are enjoyable to watch too. It the pocketbook can
That house was destroyed by fire in 1995. In my present house, the feeders are hanging from the roof of the deck outside my kitchen window. Besides blue jays, they attract a wide variety of birds including downy, hairy and yellow bellied woodpeckers, juncos, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals and, of course, sparrows. For a brief period the beautiful goldfinches spend time at the feeders. Maybe they will stay around this year.
As enjoyable as ponds can be; they also could be a breeding place for mosquitoes and for the growth of algae and other pond nuisances. Small decorative ponds can be made safe from mosquito larvae by using MOSQUITO DUNKS. A fountain or other method to keep the water circulating can reduce or prevent algae and pond weeds.
Larger ponds can be kept safe by stocking with fish and encouraging the natural wildlife, such as frogs and dragonflies. Biological additives also are available to help reduce the algae problem. They remove nutrients by breaking down the organic matter resulting from leaves and grass clippings.
Mill River Supply also has two types of POND RAKES. One will float on the top and aid in the removal of surface vegetation. The other one is designed to remove weeds and other matter from the bottom.
While mosquito born viruses cause major sicknesses throughout the world and must be guarded against. An ongoing problem close to home is Lyme and other diseases passed on to us by the bite from an infected tick. DAMMINIX tubes place along walls, wood piles and other areas frequented by white footed mice will help reduce the likelihood of those sicknesses. Mice use the permithrin soaked cotton balls taken from the tubes to build their nests. They are not harmed nor are the predators which feed on them, but ticks are killed before they can infect us. It’s a good idea to protect the periphery of properties also. Sprays and dry products are available to for the purpose.
Keep in mind that eighty or ninety percent control of pest problems of trees, shrubs, gardens and lawns will usually be enough to prevent major problems. All you need to do is allow one infected tick to bite and you could be in for a long battle back to good health.
DEER can be pleasing to watch it you don’t have plants on which they like to feed or need to frequent the areas where they roam; where it is possible to pick up a tick dropped from them. Probably every homeowner in our area uses some form of deterrent. Sprays and granules, (even MILORGANITE, though not labeled for it), deter browsing. In some heavy deer traffic areas, it is probably a good idea to spray and to provide a barrier of granules. FENCING, of course is the most effective control, but it is important to walk the fence line every so often to be sure trees or branches have not damaged it.
GOOD PRODUCTS TO HELP INSURE HEALTHY PLANTS
EPSOM SALTS (Magnesium Sulfate) helps plants produce chlorophyll. It promotes bloom in roses and other flowering plants. Absorbed through both roots and leaves, it is recommended by rose societies for excellent blooms.
SUPERthrive, 50 in one. The original vitamins-hormones solution, “50 instant BioUsables Normal Pure Complexes from carbon-hydrogen natural organic crystals to save plants from waiting to try to make them”. It has been reported to bring new life into seriously hurting plants.
LAC BALSAM artificial bark protects and helps heal cuts and other tree wounds.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP RECORDS
It is often too late for current season control by the time damage is discovered on our plants. Find out what the problem is and the best time to control it. If it is felt needed, be sure to spray at the proper time next season.
Keep a record of the problem for future reference.
Lawns measurements too should be kept on file so you know how much fertilizer, lime or pest control to use.
AN APPEAL FOR FOOD
“PLANT A ROW FOR THE HUNGRY” has long been advocated by the Garden Writer’s Association. Whatever you plant, plant some extra to be donated to those in need. The following was written by Mimi Edelman of Westchester Growers Alliance: The perfect place to contribute your food is the Harvest Community Project-Neighbors Nurturing Neighbors. Read on:
Remember: Our sharpening service can handle many of your keys. Check with us about repair of tools, spreaders, etc. We can build window boxes, bird houses and? Ask us about your special need.