Spring and Summer Tips for Tillers

Spring and Summer Tips for Tillers
By Shirley Williams, Master Gardening Consultant

The weather is improving and we're all spending more time outdoors. Here are some helpful tips for your yard and garden for the late spring and summer months.


- Blossom end rot on tomatoes is caused by a lack of calcium and uneven watering. Add lime or Epsom salts and keep plants mulched to keep soil moisture more even.

- To make tomatoes ripen sooner, root prune a 12" diameter around plants after their first fruit is medium-sized.

- Ferti-lome Crabgrass, Nutgrass & Dallis grass killer will kill nut sedge without killing the lawn. Apply twice, one week apart in hot sunny weather.

- Catnip, garlic and fleabane are insect repellants.


- Help your cabbage by planting sage, mint, thyme and rosemary nearby.

- Thoroughly water newly planted trees and shrubs once a week.

- Fertilize container plants every two weeks with a water-soluble solution.

- Keep weeds from making seeds now, which means less weeding next year!

- After July 4, do not apply fertilizer to trees and shrubs. Fertilizing later may cause lush growth that is more susceptible to winter kill.


- Lawn mowers and trimmers are the most common culprits for tree injuries. Consider eliminating grass by tree trunks, using mulch around the base instead.

- Keep your lawn healthy and it will keep you healthy. A 5,000-square-foot lawn produces enough oxygen for eight people every day. Grass also absorbs pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. In one year, a one-acre lawn absorbs hundreds of pounds of pollutants, including those blamed for acid rain and the greenhouse effect.


- Save some tree prunings for staking tall and floppy perennials next summer. They look more natural than commercial wire or plastic stakes and cages.

- Or use tree prunings to make a rustic edging. Suckers and young branches that bend easily work best for this. Cut the prunings to the desired length and bend them into arches. Then dig both ends of the branches into the soil. For a more decorative look, overlap the feet of the arches. Finish off the look by weaving long branches through the middle of the arches for extra support.

Distributed with permission from The Garden Forum, Official Publication of the Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri, Inc.