Do It Now
Perennials: Deadhead roses; prune climbing roses after bloom. Fertilize hybrid teas. Deadhead yarrows and perennial salvias to lateral buds for repeat flowering. Pinch culinary herbs frequently to prevent flowering.
Flowers: Pinch leggy petunias to induce flowering. Keep all annuals deadheaded as flowers fade. Cut flowers last longer if they are cut early in the morning. Carry a bucket of warm water and dunk the cut right away. One tablespoon of chlorine bleach for each quart of water in a container will extend the life of the cut flower.
Vegetables and fruits: Mulch vegetables if you havenâ€™t done this already. Continue replanting row vegetables, first improving the depleted soil with compost and rotate the crops. Keep the soil moist for the germinating seeds. After harvesting the last asparagus, apply a good dose of manure to the bed.
Fertilize rhubarb now with well-rotted manure. To avoid spreading disease, do not walk or work among bean plants when they are wet. Thin carrots when they reach finger size and steam the little ones with a bit of butter. Beets also make a delicious preseason vegetable using the whole plant for a healthy dish.
Trees and shrubs: Finish deadheading rhododendrons by carefully pinching off old flowers. Finish pruning lilacs. Examine the undersides of andromeda and azalea leaves for lacebug presence and call your county Cornell office for treatment suggestions. Prepare to take softwood cuttings and have these supplies on hand: sharp sterilized knife, potting soil in clean sterilized pots and hormone powder.
Lawns: There has been ample moisture for the lawns. Make sure the wet grass clippings are not matting down the grass and causing rot.
Houseplants: Strong sunlight can burn foliage of houseplants inside or out.
General: For the most part, we had a cold wet spring, so these recommendations may need to be saved for a week or two.
â€” Susan Henry