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Ciscoe’s Tips of the Week: Time to prune your lilacs

"If you let your lilacs go to seed, they don't produce as much the next year," says Ciscoe. (AP Photo)

Ciscoe’s Tips of the Week:

BONUS TIP: It’s time to really start watering your lawn if you don’t want it to go dormant.

Ciscoe says it really only needs a good, deep soaking once per week. If you do skip water and your lawn goes dormant, it’ll thin out and you’ll get more weeds.

If you keep your grass taller and thicker, you’ll get fewer weeds because their seeds need direct sunlight to germinate.

Sow the seed of heat loving vegetables such as cucumber, corn, beans, squash, and pumpkins directly into the garden as long as soil temperatures remain steady above 55 degrees. Add some Organic and Natural Smart Start planting Inoculant fertilizer to the soil.

Prune lilacs after they finish blooming to increase flowering the following year and to control size. Remove spent blossoms by cutting back to a pair of leaves further back down the stem.

“If you let your lilacs go to seed, they don’t produce as much the next year,” says Ciscoe.

Lilacs only bloom on last year’s growth, according to Ciscoe, so you don’t want to mow them over.

“A lot of people plant a lilac that’s in bloom when they buy it and then they don’t bloom for 15 years. They’re the most frustrating plant that I’ve ever met,” says Ciscoe.

Shear heathers and heaths as soon as they finish blooming to encourage fuller stems, and more attractive plants.

Prune conifers such as junipers, cypress, pines, arborvitae etc. Avoid removing more than 1/3 of the foliage per year, and resist the urge to turn junipers into balls and doughnuts.

“That’s plant torture! I don’t think there’s such a thing as a dwarf Douglas Fir,” says Ciscoe.

Ciscoe’s Tips of the Month for June

Keep roses blooming by feeding a mix of organic rose food and alfalfa meal. Remove spent flowers.

Remove aphids by blasting them off with a powerful spray of water, or use a natural insecticidal soap.

Apply 1 inch of water weekly to lawns, and mow every five to seven days.

Click here for Ciscoe’s Plant of the Week!

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