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Your A-Z Summer Gardening Guide

Enjoy Our A-Z Summer Gardening Guide!


A is for Allium - Perennial Allium have finished blooming and it is time to cut them back.  Try spray painting them for festive decor. Leave them in the ground for the 4th of July or bring them inside to be used as a cut flower. Photo and infor courtesy of Ellis Hollow.


blossomendrot-1B is for Blossom End Rot - Do your tomatoes look like this? This is a common problem with tomatoes and happens for two reasons. Read more about prevention and solutions by clicking here.

C is for Color - What's in bloom now? Most perennials are making big statements in the summer. For long lasting color, choose perennials with long bloom times. Adding just a few to your landscape will create a big impact. Good options are Gaillardia (blanket flower), Nepeta (catmint) and perennial geranium (creanesbill).

D is for Diversification - The loss of so many lovely Ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer and the current impatiens blight highlights the importance of diversification in the landscape. By using a large variety of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals in your landscape you can minimize potential damage and increase the beauty of the landscape. Read more here.

E - Echinacea - Commonly known as coneflowers, Echinacea are summer starts in the perennial garden. They pop, sizzle and shine in every shade of white, yellow, red, pink, orange and even green. These are easy to grow and care for. They are cheerful, bright and FUN! Try some of our favorites including, Milkshake, Red Knee High, Fatal Attraction, Guava Ice and more. Click here to see images of coneflowers we typically stock.

F is for Feed - Keep your plants fed this summer. Annuals need a boost to keep blooming at a super powered pace. We recommend Bloom Enhancer. Simply mix with water and use every two weeks when the plants are fairly dry. This product is our secret weapon for creating big, bright blooms.

G is for Grass - July is the time to apply your thrid application of lawn fertilizer. Watch for grub damage and continue spraying for weeds as needed. The Barn has created a FREE lawn guide which outlines monthly care and problem solving.

Free Lawn Guide

H is for Heat -  River birch trees respond to heat by dropping leaves.  Birch lose moisture through the leaves, so they will drop a portion of them as a way to conserve moisture.  Keep them watered when it gets hot!

I is for Inventory - Summer is the perfect time to make a plant inventory. Avoid staring at a small green sprout next spring as you wonder, "Now what was it I planted here last year?" Grab a notebook and your camera and document your new and existing plants. Highlight items to move, replace or split when the time is right. A historical record of the garden prevents mistakes!

J is for Japanese Beetles - Ugh, Japanese Beetles have made their way into your yard. These pesky beetles can wreck havoc, chewing up plants and veggies alike. Linden, raspberries, veggies and fruits seem to be favorites. The good news is there are a variety of solutions to get rid of them. The simplest is also perhaps the most tedious. Just remove and squash them, Yikes! Cover high risk plants with nets or pick up traps. For bad infestations, The Barn has a variety of products, including organic options, for these annoying pests.

K is for Kit Kat Nepeta - Kit Kat Nepeta or catmint, is a beautiful summer blooming perennial that is a favorite because the deer dont like it and butterflies do. This is a low maintenance plant. Tip from the Pros: Cut it back and fertilize after it blooms and it will re-bloom again in late summer/early fall.

L is for Lemon Grass  - Lemon Grass is an all natural mosquito repellant. Pick up some lemon grass and put it in a pot on your deck. Not only does it grow big and make a great addition to the decor, it will keep the mosquitos away. Click here to lean more on our Pinterest Page!

M is for Mildew - Powdery Mildew is a big problem this year. This disease is a fungus casued by damp conditions. It is most commonly seen in veggies, phlox, honeysuckle, black eyed susans, asters and roses. But this year it is popping up everywhere. It isn't so much the amount of rain as the lack of heat and sun. Plants and soil need time to drain and dry off. We recommend "thinning" shrubs and perennial beds to increase air circulation and letting your plants dry out between waterings. However, we have a variety of traditional and organic products that can prevent and control powdery mildew. Prevent with Bayer 3in1 which can be applied in early spring. If powdery mildew is currently popping up on plants, try Bonide products for edibles or Infuse for perennials.

N is for Native - Native plants continue to grow in popularity and even made it onto our Top Gardening Trends for 2015 list. Native perennials provide food and habitats for wildlife and are easy to grow, hardy and often drought tolerant. Visit our garden center this summer and we will help you choose the perfect native plants for your garden.

O is for Organics - Going organic is becoming more and more popular. Using organics is inexpensive, easy to implement and most importantly - they work! Some of our favorite brands include Dr Jack's Dead Bug for organic pest control and Bonide products for a variety of disease controls. This summer, try Espoma's organic Summer Lawn Revitalizer and reap the rewards of a healthy lawn, safe for kids, dogs and neighbors.


P is for Pollinators - There are few things more enjoyable than watching the butterflies flit around the flowers. Bees are critical for healthy gardens, blooming plants and the food supply. Create a safe haven for these important and lovely insects by planting shrubs, annuals and perennials that provide water, food and habitats. Click here to read more about plant suggestions.

Q is for Quercus - As American as apple pie, the Oak Tree is a symbol of our oak-national-treegreat country. Plant an oak tree and enjoy their unique majesty. At The Barn we stock a variety of locally grown Oak Trees, including Burr, Chinkapin, Red Oak, English, Burr, Shumard and Swamp White. Learn more about these varieties by reading about them in our Plant Finder.

R is for Raspberries - It's almost raspberry time! Don't forget to take a look at your raspberry patch to see if you can begin harvesting. Prune out suckers and old canes. This will allow fruit bearing canes room to breathe and will encourage a better harvest. Consider mulching with a pine soil amendment to provide nutriets and acidity.

S is for Stone - Natural stone tops the list of summer projects. Adding a natural stone wall, walkway, or patio is a valuable addition to any home. Our landscape division excels at masonry and stonework. Take a look at our stone portfolio. Are you a DIYer? Pick up natural stone at our garden center and enjoy creating a beautiful landscape.

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T is for Tomato - This cool damp weather is not doing any favors for the tomatoes. Stay patient, mid and late summer sun will help bring them to abundance. Until then, maintain their water level and keep them fed with Tomato Tone. 

U is for UGLY – Deadhead!  Make yourself a promise this month. Deadhead for 5-10 minutes at least once a week and you will see a drastic change in your annuals. Geraniums, Marigolds and Salvia top the list of annuals that require more frequent deadheading. If you dont remove the seed (the dead flowers) the plant will believe it's job is complete and give up producing new blooms. Daylilies, impatiens and millionbells will self dead head.

V is for Veronica - Veronica is "the tall, purply spike plant" - people describe it to us this way all the time. Wonderful choice for interest and color.

W is for water - Rain, rain go away! We all totally agree! But just because we have gotten more than our fair share of rain, doesn't always mean your plants have received enough. Keep an eye on new plantings. Often the run off prevents the rain from reaching the critical spot - the new roots trying to establish themselves in the soil. Placing a hose on a slow trickle right at the base of the tree or shrubs is the best way to get moisture to the right place.

X is for Examine plants regularly - Watch your plants! Take 15 minutes a week to walk the yard and look for potential disease and insect problems. Nothing is worse than noticing a problem when the damage has already been done.

Y – Yellow Leaves - Chlorosis is characterized by yellow leaves with green veins.  We see it most often on oaks, red maples, magnolia, and birch.  The "root" of the problem is our alkaline soil.  It binds up nutrients essential to the tree such as iron and manganese, the tree becomes deficient of these nutrients which effects the production of chlorophyll.  Now we are going to take you back to high school biology...  Chlorophyll is what makes a leaf green, when there is an insufficient amount of chlorophyll the leaf turns yellow.  But more importantly, chlorophyll is what feeds the plant, so when the plant is lacking chlorophyll is isn't being "fed" properly.  The solution is Ironite.  It contains the nutrients the tree is lacking (iron and manganese) to help the tree green-up.  But additionally, it contains sulphur to correct the alkalinity of the soil.

Z is for Zinnia – For reliable big summer color, use Zinnias. They require full sun and planted in mass in the landscape makes a huge statement.

There you have it! Enjoy the summer, Enjoy the Garden!!


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