IT IS JUNE. Everyone has a pretty garden with pretty flowers.* I want one!
CAN I PLANT NOW?
Not for free. Only if you buy potted annuals or perennial plants with big root systems in cans at the nurseries. So for a few thousand bucks, you can have flowers, bushes, vines, tree with a few days of easy work in JUNE. (Dig a hole, pour in PLANTING MIX, top it off with your annual, spreading roots a little to not stay in one tight bundle.)
But you're not at HOME DEPOT now. You are at the FREEBIE GARDENING WEBSITE. So my idea is you start composting now, Everybody's green trash barrel, dry leaves, lawn mowing grass collection. COMPOST it with manure and start planting in AUGUST or SEPTEMBER with cold tolerant plants (if you have no heavy freeze). In colder areas, with a real winter freeze, snow on the ground you gotta START in SPRING! Then, you can do A HUGE GARDEN with absolutely no money. But Summertime? That's really hard. A GENIUS gardener would have a hard time now. WHY? It's oven baking hot out there! Soil is parched. You'd have to buy a truckload of fine humus, (Mushroom factories give away a truckload every three weeks!) and you must plant canned, store plants with an already huge rootsystem. Costs THOUSANDS! Well, if you buy from a mushroom factory, they have to give away their soil every few weeks. You can get truckload of great, black, moist soil if you have your own truck. However, even when you start small seedlings in the bed made of that devils food cake, the sun will toast em! Plants develop solar moxie only when they are a foot high and a few months old -- not as seedlings! Like the annuals you can get at HOME DEPOT. Walmart. And hey so they can get the SHELF ATTRACTIVENESS, these stores let their growers put a LITTLE FLOWER on them right now. That's no good. It'd be like having a thirteen year old with a big rack. Just to get sales.
So, start in September, after the heat dies down. If you have no freeze in winter time, then there are scores of different COOL WEATHER plants and what is called 'biennials' that can get planted after heat diminishes. These hardy customers "live over" in zones 9 and l0, tolerate even the 37 degree coldest nights folks call winter in Florida, Texas and California and they bloom all winter long and bloom even better in SPRING.
Many bulbs, annuals, Perennials and Biennials "winter over" just fine. Google up lists of 'cold tolerant' that is the search term. Biennial, another search term. Do it for vegies and for flowers. I'm in California. As we have no fierce freeze here in the 9 and 10 zone we learn a certain set of rules. AVOID JUNE THRU SEPTEMBER is our MAIN RULE. Then, all you do is water daily! DEAD OF WINTER we can do any gardening we want, ditto autumn and spring. But in other states, colder states, you can only garden in a greenhouse in cold, gray weather..
I'm in California We warm states get this wonderful second spring in SEPTEMBER. That deadly heat isn't there in "AUTUMN" SEPT-APRIL, we have SPRING again, a full six months. So in summer, we'uns concentrate on building soil now with compost, with our neighbors' garden clippings, especially grass. I trot their green barrels right over to my compost pile which is along front driveway, do it all winter long. Add chicken poop to it, from the local egg farm. If I had a truck, I'd go get mushroom soil from the GIVEAWAY those factories do. Los Angeles has compost giveaways at several sites. By Spring the person who'd availed himself of all these fountains of 'stuff' would have l00 bags of rich soil. If you'd purchased that soil as potting soil, it would cost 800$.
Then in SPRING, you edge your beds with lumber, stones, whatever you can find, drystack my favorite... and you fill those raised beds with your devils food cake compost and plant free seeds (other gardeners, neighborhood plants,) and cuttings. Few of us can start any cuttings in JUNE under net, in shade or using the usual ad hoc nursery system of Four poles, a painters plastic tarp. Staplegun. Sunny southern side of house, right next to a warm wall. GREEN HOUSE. That works Sept to APRIL but not now. WHY? Cuz a.) it's too damn hot under any tarp, the air itself bakes cuttings dead. You'd need a misting system, hourly puffs of damp and b.) CUTTING MATERIAL is too tender in summer, eveyrthing's growin' like mad, the cuttings are 'soft'. You need slightly hardened off scions to replicate stuff.
Sure, all the great plants are growing like mad right now, making drool hang from your lip like the beautiful butterfly bush, spires of fragrant purple puff that makes the best cutting flower! Or like night blooming jasmine but the problem is all these are 'soft and tender at the tips, YOU CANNOT make cuttings to replicate right now. Unless you grab mid stem, take off tops and pray well. I remember Martha showing us how to do that with roses, and put glass bells over them. Hey, a bell would become an oven in CALIFORNIA's JUNE! The San Fernando Valley is only green cuz we pay LA 40$ a month per house for water. WATER ALONE. This is really a desert here!
But In autumn when that tender growth hardens off, you can start cuttings in flats or pots. I do it off the ground so I won't get slugs! Create divided ping pong tables on south side of house under dappled sun/ shade of fruit trees, and do cuttings all autumn. Bright shade is what I have there. Rooting hormone made of crushed willow twigs soaked in water keep the freebie thing going.
In September of this year we can start our garden with these cuttings & with Perennials and Biennials which are handled the same way. By that I mean planted in autumn, they do some flowering in spring but better is their second year. Best is their third!
What you want to do now is start the soil. Start compost piles. Collect everyone's yard clippings all summer, their cut grass. Autumn leaves, too. Striate it with chicken poop from local egg farm. My supermarket had local eggs in boxes with some guy's name on it, I phone, went over with buckets.
Talk to local gardeners, watch what they're doing, get clippings you can root. Read --- the local paper has a gardener with a website, he's a great resource. Read gardening books and mags at library. And at the 99c store, start buying that 17c a package seed for annuals, perennials and biennials. Read the seed packages carefully and see what timing they suggest and what kind of plant you have. TIMING IS EVERYTHING.
NOW, that leaves one kind of plant group you may be able to plant in JUNE if you have a deft hand. Summer ANNUALS! Annuals are usually planted after all danger of frost is gone. MARCH 21st to end of APRIL. They only have one year so they rush to complete their job fast. Heat may not deter them as much as say, BIENNIALS which live two years and are slow starters. PERENNIALS live for a dozen years. If they are small, and perhaps you started them in flats in spring, you'd have to set them out on a cloudy day and net tarp them for a week, watering daily. Remove tarp on another cloudy day and water daily. Make sure the soil in the bed is ace.
But in this June heat, YOU CANNOT plant anything unless you have table in bright shade meaning tall trees, and spray the entire area fifty feet high several times daily to cut the wilting heat. Turn those trees into a refrigeration grid.
Most certainly you cannot plant it directly in the ground as snails, sow bugs eat almost everything small and tender. (If you have possums you will not have a snail on the property! Love those beasties! You can find sow bugs yourself by turning over rocks and branches and paving stones. ) What doesn't get eaten? The exception is prickley baby squash plants. So you can try tomatoes and hope for a long autumn without freezes. Try squash, gourds, if you use shade cloth you can start babies at the height of summer. (Oh hey, gourds mate with pumpkins and you can ruin your seed so keep gourds l00 feet from edible pumpkins.)
Get plastic flats at the nursery. Fill with the best soil possible. SUPER SOIL is the best brand, kellogs is junk will kill your plants as will most bagged soil and SUPER SOIL is cheaper than all of them. Best is mushroom soil a truckload dumped anywhere on your property and then bucket carry to beds, or wheelbarrow if you have wide paths. BEST is Make your own humus. That takes six months but it's the best stuff to use. All your garden kitchen waste, (and take neighbors' green cans' dump wholesale on your compost pile nearest front of house.) wet down for six months until it's a mountain of worm full soil. Hit egg farms to get raw chicken compost which they love to give away. Use old pingpong tables, cut into four quarters, add legs , tarp wood then set the sown flats on those tables under trees in dappled shade. Pure sun would fry the seedlings.
Sterile soil mixtures just don't do right, I find. You need real humus. Flats do leak soil so every week I lift flat, spatula up the worms and humus, put back on top. Now, you've got these seeds in your flats. Keep everything high on benches or tables. I cut a ping pong table into FOUR SEPARATE TABLES! Put legs made of lumber on the edges that didn't have them. That is for growing seeds/flats.
I set them in semi shade or dappled sunlight as babies don't like full sun. The important thing is that Snails cannot get up there. Problem is cats can and they sit on flats. So stick lots of sticks in them. sticking up like a palisade. THAT MAY deter a cat that wants to lie down on your flats! Mine do! I do that in spring in beds when I sow, also.
Few of us have a cat problem. Most of us have a SEASONALITY problem. It is blasting hot now in JUNE. You have a real hard time starting little wee tiny seedlings in a blasting hot oven, won't you? SO, you must keep them in semi shade, on tables away from snails, and HOSE down the whole area in morn, daytime, repeatedly to keep all branches of trees, moist to keep humidity in the air or AIR blasts them even if sun doesn't. BUT you cannot spray leaves of trees after 4 pm because they will mold. Apricots, peaches, nectarines, roses, squash all mold if damp when sun sets.
While it is difficult to next to impossible to start babies NOW, it is possible. DEFINITELY not out in beds, in sun. But in flats, up on tables, in semi shade, dappled sunlight, like lanai with bamboo roof, like under a tree, on a table, MAYBE/ YOU MUST keep humidity around them daytime ONLY. Any humidity post four pm invites WILTING thru microbial ferment on them. Damping off it's called.
As you plant each packet of seed in the flat, read up on that flower in a garden mag or catalogue or book. They give you tricks for each plant! All plants are different.
BECAUSE depending on what kind of plant it is........... the procedure changes! BIGTIME. You may get lucky, grow them to adolescence, no direct sun, plenty of moisture in air and in root system by day, no moisture whatsoever at night. (as hot dark places invite mold.)
BUT ANOTHER danger day comes when you transplant your adolescent plant to the ground. You must TENT THEM WHEN YOU TRANSPLANT TO GARDEN. Get a torn sheet, staple it to four sturdy stakes to give them milder heat/sun. Keep it on as long as you can. Cats will be enthralled so keep them in the house with AC on or they'll tug at the sheeting.
Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, mother of 4, grandmother of 6 and Career Astrologer (to the stars of Hollywood.) Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! & HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also HOW TO LIVE on A NICKLE, The FRUGAL PAGE.* Anita is at email@example.com ). Get a Free natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic!
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