*Tulips benefit as 1/3 of their reserves are consumed in seed production. However, you might want to forego deadheading to take advantage of volunteer seedlings. Tulipa clusiana, T. sylvestris, T sprengeri will all self-seed.
*Daffodil hybrids rarely produce seed and do not need deadheading. However, the following produce seed: Narcissus bulbocodium, N. Mite. N. poeticus recurvus, and minatures Little Gem and Little Beauty.
*Allium drummondii also self sow.
*Your flower beds to improve soil texture and preserve moisture.
*If it does not rain, water your tulips and daffodils weekly.
*Roses need to be watered once/week all growing season. Give them 10 gallons of water, 5 gallons for minis. Do not water every day. Roses prefer to get a good drink all at once.
PHENOLOGICAL PLANT AND PLANT PESTS
*A useful tool for successful gardening is an insect calendar. This will tell you what bugs are typically active in each month. But, we all know that with changing weather patterns, plants are sometimes blooming either earlier or later. So, an even better way to monitor insects is with phenological plants. These are indicator plants: their bloom time coincides with certain insects in the environment. (April is the approximate month of bloom in parenthesis.)
Eastern Redbud/Dogwood blooming (April) equals: Pine sawflies which strip the needles of pine trees. Cut off infected branch tips, or spray with insecticidal soap, Sevin or Orthene now, and again in June and early August.
Boxwood psyllids, (sapsuckers): leaves are puckered and cup over each other like cabbage. Gobs of white, waxy threads and honeydew appear on the leaves.
RX: spray with dormant oil or a foliar systemic (Orthene).
Boxwood leafminers. Yellow-orange blisters or “mines” (tunnels or trails) appear on the leaves.
RX: Spray with Orthene when you see pin holes on the undersides of leaves. Or, spray with dormant oil in spring and fall.
Boxwood mites. RX: spray with dormant oil in spring and fall.
Lacebugs suck sap from the underside of leaves. As the leaves lose chlorophyll, they appear speckled or blotched. Black spots (insect excrement) are seen on the undersides of leaves. Lacebugs target azaleas, cotoneaster, pieris, rhododendron and sycamore trees. Different species attack specific host plants only. Cotoneaster and azaleas planted in full sun are the most affected. Lacebugs have 4 generations per year.
RX: spray the underside of leaves with insecticidal soap, horticulture oil or Sevin starting in April and every few weeks.
I've mentioned dormant oil and insecticidal soaps above. Here is some information that you should know.
Make a 2% solution: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
Don't spray wet foliage.
Spray when humidity is low.
Dormant oil will dissolve the waxy blue coating on trees such as blue spruce.
Good for aphids, scales, mites, psyllids.
Good for insects, mites.
Spray when humidity is high.
They work better when you combine them with ½ the recommended rate of a systemic insecticide (Orthene).
I highly recommend purchasing either, or both of these excellent reference books:
The Ortho Home Gardener's Problem Solver and Southern Living's Garden Problem Solver.