neighborhood garden for juNE 20, 2009



by gladys jeurink


          If you would like to have a water lily but don’t want to dig a pond, it is possible.  You can find an above ground pond of almost any size.  Nurseries have half whisky barrels and a liner to fit.  Farm stores keep stock watering tanks of many sizes that work very well.  Put them in a fenced backyard so the neighborhood kids can’t fall in, and you are ready to start.

          Smaller ponds like these are harder to keep under control but they are fairly easy to drain to clean up the water.  Mosquitoes love these ponds as they don’t like moving water but there are “dunks” you can add which will kill the larvae without hurting plants or fish.  Choose a sunny spot if you want blooms.  Lilies require at least six hours of sunlight a day.  They will grow in less but won’t bloom very well.  If you place it near a tree you will be fishing out leaves quite often-but it is easy as you can reach all the way across your pond.

          If you want water plants but you don’t want a water lily, there are many plants to pick from.  Most don’t need to be under water.  They just want their feet wet.  In one tub in my front yard under a south window, I have some cattails and a black leaved Taro.  In a big black three legged pot there is an umbrella plant that gets 6 feet tall.  In an old wash tub lives a water petunia that blooms most of the summer.  All of these plants cannot freeze and live, so I take babies each fall and put them in small pots, and sit them in pans of water about an inch deep, and keep them inside.

          You can put fish in any of your containers that have enough water, and they love to eat any mosquito babies that arrive.  Guppies do very well but goldfish in my yard make food for coons that like to go fishing. Therefore, I have fish only in my large ponds containing cement blocks with hollow centers in which the fish can hide.  They are also in two feet of water with straight sides so coons can’t wade in and fish. 

          Added pleasures to a pond are dragon flies.  They come in blues and greens and blacks and lay their eggs in you water.  I have a toad house but so far no toads.

          In general, water lilies grow in proportion to the size of the container they are in.  One of my containers has a blue tropical (there are no blue hardy lilies I know of) and it will fill the pond. If it were in a lake it would be as much as 4 times larger.  I have a friend with an old white bathtub with legs she uses for lilies.  It is backed up by a rock wall and partially surrounded by container plants.  The white makes the colors of the lilies outstanding.

          When October comes I take the lilies off their blocks, cut their leaves off to prevent rotting, and drop their pots to the bottom of the pond.  Any of the hardy container plants are also put in the bottom of the pond and plants and fish spend the winter outside with a heater to keep a hole in the ice.  If you don’t have fish, hardy plants will survive in the bottom of the pond without a heater, as long as the pond is in the ground and at least 24 inches deep.

Copyright 2009





Now is the time to begin control of grasshoppers.  Large adult grasshoppers are difficult to control with insecticides due to their size and decreased susceptibility to the insecticides.  The best time to control grasshoppers is during the 3rd and 4th instars when they are ½ to ¾ inch long.  These stages will occur in mid to late June.

Recommended active ingredients for products designed for grasshopper control in and around the yard and garden are bifenthrin, carbaryl (Sevin), Acephate (Isotox), Malathion, and permethrin (Eight). These may need to be re-applied on a regular basis.   

For organic control use Nosema locustae (Nolo Bait).  NOLO BAIT contains “nosema locustae” spores sprayed on wheat bran which can be spread around the yard and garden and is non-toxic to humans, livestock, wild animals, birds, fish or life forms not closely related to grasshoppers.  Death will begin to occur in 3 to 6 weeks.  Re-apply bait every 4 weeks until end of summer.

Copyright 2009





Always read the label and Always follow THE MANUFACTURERS SUGGESTED RECOMMENDATIONS.”


          This quote can not be attributed to any one person as I hear it quite often from many experts. Protect your plants, the environment, and yourself.

Always read the label on any product before using in the garden, on the lawn, on trees and shrubs, on your houseplants, etc.

Always follow the label directions. If the label says mix 2 ounces in a gallon of water, do not put in 4 ounces. If the label says apply 5 pounds per 1000 square feet, do not put on 10 pounds per 1000 square feet.

          Protect your plants, the environment, and yourself.

Always read the label

and follow label directions.