Greetings to our Friends and Fellow Gardeners!
We hope you enjoyed the Independence Day weekend and that you were not inconvenienced by our having been closed on July 4th. We needed a vacation day ourselves. Mikl and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week by taking a few days off and visiting the Denver Botanic Garden, as well as their mountain park at Mount Goliath, an area that features very ancient and picturesque Bristlecone Pine trees, as well as an extensive rock garden of high-altitude native flowers. Here’s a taste of what we saw.
We also paid a visit to our favorite foothills wildflower meadow, where we found a staggering profusion of elegant Sego Lilies (Calochortus nuttalii) – by far the most dazzling display of them we had ever seen! Also lots of Prickly Pear cactus, Yarrow, Bee Balm, Mexican Hat, Gaillardia and others.
Meanwhile, back at the home place, I knew I couldn’t tend a vegetable garden this year, so my friend Sequoia sowed a buckwheat cover-crop for me – so beautiful in frothy white bloom! The bees loved it, too. I had also allowed a big patch of parsley to go to flower (it’s a biennial, blooming the second year). It attracted lots of lady bugs, tiny wasps and other beneficial insects – just what I needed to keep the aphids down in the nearby ornamentals.
What’s Blooming in July
When I drive around, I notice what’s blooming in front yards and commercial landscapes. Right now, if I see any blooms at all, I see roses, Russian sage, daylilies, Echinaceas, Black-Eyed Susans, lavender and hollyhocks. And while these are excellent plants, the July-blooming plant palette for our area is much wider than that. Take a look at our list of ‘What’s Booming in July’ at https://www.harlequinsgardens.com/plants/whats-blooming-in-july/ to see how you can add more color and interest to your midsummer garden.
You CAN plant successfully in July
Here are some tips for successful summer planting:
Don’t plant more than you can care for.
For the first few weeks, mark new plantings with landscape flags so you can easily see which plants need to be checked often.
Check new plantings every day.
New transplants will take a while to expand their root systems, so water them as if they were still in their pots.
Plants in 4”, 1-gallon, or larger pots have larger and deeper root systems and won’t dry out as fast (but it IS possible to establish plants from 2.5” pots, too).
Apply mycorrhizae to the roots and the backfill when planting. Mycorrhizae greatly increase the plant’s ability to take up water.
Dig a large planting hole – both wide and deep.
Fill the empty planting hole with water, wait for it to soak in, then proceed with planting and backfilling.
Water plants thoroughly
Apply Compost Tea.
Plant in the evening or on a cloudy, relatively still day.
Erect temporary shade for new plantings – row cover fabric, shade cloth, other removable barriers to block wind and mid-day and afternoon sun.
We’ve got lots! Beautiful hardy roses that succeed in Colorado. Many that are hard-to-find varieties. Neonicotinoid–free. Mostly in one and two-gallon pots, easy to plant.
All of our 2014 Botanical Interests seeds are now on sale for 40% off. Buy them now to get a head start on next year’s vegetable, herb and flower gardens. Botanical Interests is a wonderful local seed company, based in Broomfield, offering a wide diversity of excellent quality seeds. Their packets feature a treasury of information and gorgeous botanical illustrations by local artists.
While the unusually generous soil moisture and cool spring has, for many of us, made this a great year for plants, it has also turned out to be a great year for insects. No need to panic, though. Harlequin’s has been practicing non-toxic pest management for 22 years, and we offer an excellent selection of organic pest-management products, including a superior Neem spray from India that acts as a safe insecticide, an insect repellent, and a fungal control (note that 90% of chemical fungicides have been found to be carcinogenic). We also offer Green Cure and Actinovate, two other highly effective organic fungicides.
Mikl’s #1 go-to all-around non-toxic insecticide is PureSpray horticultural oil, also on our shelves.
We also carry a great line of OMRI certified pest controls by the Pharm company, including Veggie Pharm, which even knocks out the ravenous blister beetles that attack Clematis, and Garlic Pharm – repellent to flea beetles.
These non-toxic formulas are not as strong as toxic chemical insecticides, so 2 or 3 applications may be necessary to control difficult pests.
Nolo Bait is a non-toxic biological control for grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. It contains spores of a naturally occurring parasite which infects the grasshopper, reducing feeding, and later causing death. It is completely harmless to other insects, bees, wildlife, pets, people, plants and soil. Nolo Bait is most effective when the grasshoppers are still small. Begin using when you see about 8 hoppers in a square yard of your garden or field. You should see a 50% reduction of population in 3 to 4 weeks, and the effectiveness improves if applied 2 or 3 years in a row. We will receive this year’s Nolo Bait any day now.
The Daily Camera’s ‘Boulder Gold’ award competition is here. Voting in the Retail or ‘Shopper’s Paradise’ category will begin soon. Please visit their website in about a week and vote for us for Best Nursery/Garden Center, Best Tree Nursery, and Best Green Products/Services. Thanks to you, we have won first place in the latter two categories for the past 2 years! Please help us win again this year, and add Best Nursery/Garden Center too!
Thank you for your continued support and friendship!
Eve & Mikl Brawner and the amazing staff at Harlequin’s Gardens