Last Wednesday was the first “official” day of Summer. Actually, meterologists consider June 1 as the first day of summer. Astronomers consider June 20 (or 21/22 depending on the year) as the first day of summer based on the position of the earth to the sun.
It’s the longest day of the year. Every day, after that, will be a minute or two shorter until the Winter Solstice. On that day, all locations inside the Arctic circle will experience 24 hours of sunlight. Antarctica, on the other hand, will experience 24 hours of darkness.
Our ancestors—Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic—welcomed the solstice with huge bonfires because they figured the fire would take energy from the sun to get them through autumn.
Some traditions believe that jumping over a fire brought good fortune—don’t try this at home.
As a gardener, summer means that I’m just beginning to appreciate the bounty of my summer garden. My annual flowers are in full bloom; I’ve gotten a handful of green beans and one baby squash—even two cherry tomatoes! But that first slicing tomato seems like it’s taking forever…
I’m keeping an eye out for squash bug eggs about now and I’ve already rinsed a few aphids off my Knock-Out rose. I’ve got Japanese beetle traps ready to put up in the back corner of the yard to lure them away from the rose and crape myrtle in the front yard.
By the way, be sure to have beetle traps on hand because Japanese beetles show up soon. The traps work by means of a “lure” that attracts beetles, so be sure to place them at the OTHER side of the yard from what they’re going after. If a few do show up on some of your plants, spray with Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. It’s a good organic product. So is Neem Oil. Be sure to spray about 8:30 at night to miss as many pollinators as possible—bees and butterflies go home just before dark.
Remember if you’re having a problem in your yard, we’re always here to help.