I have never seen die-back in spirea like I observed this spring. However, most have recovered and are blooming beautifully. I want to remind you to shear those flower heads off after that first flush of blooms and the new growth will give them a fresh look for the rest of the season.
If you have noticed medium-sized white butterflies floating around in your garden, they are the source of the green worms in broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and similar brassica crops. Rotenone dust has been the common treatment for years; however, I recommend diapel as a dust or spray because it is both organic and nontoxic to bees and anything we can do to protect our bees is imperative.
Broccoli has been a very happy grower in my garden this year. Cool and wet conditions have given us a great harvest. I need to remind you to check the plants every few days to harvest the heads, large or small, to keep those plants in production. If the buds develop into yellow flowers, the plants will soon stop producing. If you keep at it, you will have fresh broccoli until hard frost.
Summer squash and zucchini are another crop to keep up harvesting. The fruits seem to grow to huge overnight. Six to eight inches long is the ideal size for zucchini.
If you are growing cauliflower, tie the tips of the largest leaves together to cover the head so it stays white. If exposed to the sun, the head will turn yellow and have a bitter flavor.
Roses are just finishing their first flush of bloom for the season. If the variety you have is labeled self-cleaning, you can ignore the old flower heads because the plant will abort them and redevelop new buds without any pruning. The Nearly Wild and Knockout series are in that category. Usually it is obvious because the stems don’t develop rose hips (seed heads). However, if your variety does have the rose hips, cut the stem back to the first or second five-leaflet leaf to encourage a new stem of flower buds. Often the three-leaflet stem will just produce a blind stem of leaves.
This is also a good time to give those rose bushes another shot of systemic fertilizer/insecticide to encourage and protect that new growth.
Summertime vegetable, flower gardening tips
Know it and grow it
Geroge Bonnema, Luverne