A BACKWARD LOOK
BY GLADYS JEURINK
A few weeks ago
I wrote about plants that were new to me this year. That article was
written earlier in the summer and then got laid aside. Now I will share
how a few of them did plus some others, and at the end a couple
were fun. They were about 2-3 feet tall with thick, fuzzy blooms. I took
them to Backyard Farmer one night. If you go to “byf.unl.edu” and
click on flower of the week for August 9, 2007, you can see a picture.
The plants and foliage were not too handsome due to heavy rains, high
heat and gusty winds. A
number of other plants also had to be propped up. This whole season has
not been nice to plants unless it is the tomatoes.
They are in wire cages and I picked the first ones in June. These
were the “Sun Gold”. They are little golden ones I mostly eat while
I am hoeing.
great this summer with their bright yellow heads. You can almost have
any height you want. Prairie Goldenrod (Solidago
missouriensis), our Nebraska state flower, is 3-4 feet tall but Solidago
gigantea may reach 6 feet. Over
a dozen species grow in Nebraska of the wild types but growers have
succeeded in dwarfs as short as 18 inches.
All species are vigorous and will push other plants out.
They do not cause hay fever as they are insect pollinated not
wind. Also the pollen is sticky and does not blow around.
They do send out rhizomes to increase size and some reports of
colonies in the prairie are up to 30 feet across.
They are a busy place with insects looking for pollen and ambush
bugs waiting, plus hungry spiders and tree hoppers.
The little “Pumpkin trees” I
wrote about, looked good when I put them in a vase while the leaves were
green, but they didn’t dry well at all.
Slowly they shrunk and wrinkled, then softened and fell off.
eye” Sumac was gorgeous
this summer with its bright yellow foliage. Supposedly it is not suppose
to send out suckers like its relatives, but it will!! This is only the
second year for mine and there are a number of suckers.
I saved one nearest its parent to enlarge the general size.
The others were easy to cut off but I wonder as years go by how
many I will have.
also called “Wild
Geraniums” did well this summer as a ground cover in light
shade. There are about 300
species, including annuals, biennials and perennials, and are found in
all temperate regions. They
are the true geraniums rather that the “Pelargonium” that most people call Geraniums. Mine have
spread very slowly and never get over 10 inches high. They like moisture
in summer but resent wet feet in winter.
I have never heard of yellow ones but any other color is
available. There are even
bi-colored and striped ones. They were not affected by our “frost
week” in April nor by our boiling time in August.
A ground cover for all occasions.
IS “GREEN MANURE”? These are plants grown with the idea
of returning them to the soil. Usually
they are fast growing plants whose roots will go down deep and create
our passages plus humus. When plowed or dug under, they add organic
material to the soil and increase the water holding capacity.
Some gardeners sow cover crops after they harvest a crop in order
to keep weeds under control in that space.
Many of the plants used are of the “Legume” family that can
affix nitrogen. Digging
them under at their peak of growing adds extra nutrition to the soil.
IS INTENSIVE GARDENING? It is a method or methods used to get
the very most production out of an area of land that is usually small.
Quite often it is done in raised beds to insure drainage, with the soil
built up with compost. The
spacing of plants is as close as possible without interfering with
growth. There is usually a succession of planting. That is, as soon as
the early crop is harvested another is started so the soil is never
bare. In this case several
beds are used so rotation of crops can occur to prevent disease buildup.
A “WEED” is
not a botanical term-it simply reflects a prejudice or opinion. (From
“Enjoying Wildflowers” by Stokes)
TIME TO BUY TULIPS- NOT TIME TO PLANT
BY GEORGE EDGAR
Now is the time
to buy your tulips and daffodils while the selection is good. When
buying tulip and daffodil bulbs, remember that there are early spring,
middle spring, and late spring varieties.
If you want flowers for the whole spring season, buy some of each
kind so you have blooms all season long. Early spring for tulips in
Lincoln is the end of March or first part of April. Late spring bulbs
bloom in early May. If you want a big splash of color all at once, get
varieties that bloom at the same time.
Do not plant
tulips and daffodils now. It is too early to plant your tulips and
daffodils and some other fall bulbs.
The days are too warm and the soil is too warm.
Planted now, they will break dormancy and then may be injured
when the ground freezes.
daffodils, and some other fall bulbs do best when planted at least after
the middle of October as the soil is cooler and the roots start to grow
but the bulb does not break dormancy.
Tulips can even be planted up until the time the ground freezes
hard. I have planted some around Christmas time when we had a mild fall
and the ground did not freeze until after New Year’s Day.
If you buy your
bulbs now, store them in a cool, dry location until time to plant.
Plant them about 8 to 9 inches deep with about a tablespoon of
“Bone Meal” added in the bottom of the hole.
As soon as you finish planting, give the ground a thorough