Ciscoe’s Tips of the Week:
– Harden off tomatoes by leaving them outside for increasing amounts of time each night to get them ready to plant next week.
“If you stick tomatoes in the cold and tell them ‘Buddy, you’re on your own,’ they freeze their little leaves off and turn purple,” says Ciscoe. Even worse, they might not produce one tomato.
If you leave them out later each night, Ciscoe says they’ll do pretty well when you finally stick them in the cold ground.
“They grow like wild banshees,” says Ciscoe. “The only problem with this plan is you don’t get any sleep.”
– Prune Rhododendrons and other spring blooming plants as soon as the flowers fade.
– It’s warm enough now to plant out tropical annual flowers such as geraniums, fuchsias, impatiens, zinnias, marigolds, lobelia etc. for use in containers or in mixed borders.
“Now I think we’re pretty safe to stick those babies out and have some fun, do some great containers, put them in the garden,” says Ciscoe. “Ooh La La.”
– Thin the apples, pears etc., on fruit trees before the fruit is the size of a nickel. Cover apples with apple maggot barriers available at some nurseries and online.
Ciscoe says panty hose footies work well, too.
“Pull off all but the biggest one in the bunch, and then you stick the little panty hose footy right over the apple so it’s well covered. The panty hose footy grows with the apple and you won’t get any apple maggot all.”
Warning, you may get odd looks from the neighbors.
Ciscoe’s Tips of the Month for May
– Prune spring blooming shrubs as soon as the flowers fade, and add an organic all-purpose fertilizer.
– Mix in a handful of bone meal and a cup of organic vegetable food when you plant heat loving vegetables.
– Plant exciting new varieties of perennials, trees, shrubs, and annual flowers.