Below are some June tips and hints from The University of Tennessee Gardens:
Just because it's almost summer doesn't mean it is too late to plant annuals. Plants such as sunflowers, zinnias, Mexican sunflower, cosmos, basil and dill can still be direct-seeded.
Bats can be an effective way to control insects. One big brown bat can eat 3,000 to 7,000 insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
During the hot summer months, mulch can be especially useful for conserving water. Consider mulching your vegetable garden as well as your ornamentals. The mulch not only helps conserve moisture, but it prevents the splashing of water thereby reducing the spread of disease. It also adds organic matter to the soil and prevents many weeds.
The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering. This time is when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
To keep squash, cucumber and bean plants abundantly producing, harvest them frequently.
Water your plants in the morning, to conserve water and reduce evaporation. Frequent, deep watering is better than frequent, shallow watering, since deep watering promotes deep root growth. For best results, deep-water trees and shrubs once or twice a week and flowers two to three times a week. Most plants need one inch of rainfall per week. Pay attention to how much falls from the sky and water accordingly. If you have an automatic irrigation system, consider installing a rain sensor that adjusts for rainfall.
Powdery mildew is also more likely to be a problem when we are receiving abundant rainfall.
Restricted-Use Pesticide Private Applicator Recertification
As most are aware by now, this is a recertification year if you use restricted-use pesticides. There will be a recertification class offered on Monday evening, June 5, at 6 p.m. in the Magnolia Room of the Warren County Administrative Building. Cost is $25 (checks payable to Warren County Extension) and the class lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Please note this class is only for those who currently have a valid restricted-use private applicator card. If you have never been certified or if your card is currently expired, please call us at the Extension Office and we will be glad to set up an appointment for you to go through initial certification process. Please remember all cards expire Oct. 21, 2017. If you are unable to attend the re-certification class, there will be more opportunities before the deadline.
Fruits of the Backyard Field Day
If you’re searching for fresh locally sourced produce, what could be more local than your own backyard? Tuesday, June 13, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture experts will show you how to make the most of your outdoor space and reconnect with your food sources at the 10th annual Fruits of the Backyard Field Day. The event takes place at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Spring Hill and is absolutely free. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with formal presentations starting at 9:30 a.m.
Arrive early so you can tour the trade show and educational displays. Among the displays are booths offering plant diagnostics and insect identification. Visitors are well to bring specimens for identification.
This year the three educational presentations will cover the backyard production of honey, tomatoes and apples. Each presentation is led by a university expert with years of experience studying the best practices for each crop. Visitors are sure to pick up great tips on how to produce homegrown goodness even in small spaces.
At the conclusion of the presentations, all guests are invited to participate in an open panel question and answer session. The panel will include all speakers, plus additional UT specialists. Area farmers will also be on hand to answer questions throughout the day in the educational displays area.
Fruits of the Backyard concludes at 12:30 p.m. For more program details, visit http://middle.tennessee.edu or call (931) 486-2129.
The Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is located on Highway 31 just minutes south of Nashville. Take exit 53 from I-65 and follow signs to Columbia. The AgResearch and Education Center is on the east side of Hwy 31.
Contact: Heath Nokes, UT-TSU Extension Warren County, 473-8484, firstname.lastname@example.org.