GARDEN FOR JUNE 23, 2007
There are any number of plants that like constantly wet feet as
well as those who do well in deeper water.
They come in all heights and widths with a great variety of
blooms. Since my ponds are
already overcrowded with water lilies I have been growing various ones
in my mini ponds. Some of
these are animal watering tanks and others were intended for above
ground pools. In previous articles I have written about the most
dramatic plant I have in one of these ponds-the Lotus. Each plant has
its own pool.
My new plant this year is COTTON GRASS, usually listed as a bog
plant but can be with as much as 2 inches of water over its roots.
They are in 8 inch pots on top of bricks so that the top of the
pot is just even with the top of the water.
So far they look good and should grow to 24 inches high with 2
inch cotton heads. They are natives of Siberia and can survive in zone
4. The leaves are grass like with long, sharp tips. I used the water
lily fertilizer tablets when potting. We will see what happens.
Several years ago I was given WATER PETUNIA (Ruella sp) that I
also grow in pots with the tops just even with the top of the water.
They have blue flowers that do resemble those of the wild prairie
petunia, and are sometimes called WATER BLUEBELLS. The Prairie Petunia
is interesting in that it travels and I always have some but not always
where I saw them last. They
do best at the edge of a taller plant.
I am not sure whether the water ones would survive down on the
bottom of my large pond in winter, so I keep them in a pan of water in
the greenhouse to keep their roots wet.
The PICKEREL WEED (Pontedaria cordata) grows about 24 inches tall
with blue flowers on a spike. In
nature they are generally found at the edges of ponds or in bogs. The
stems feel like sponges. One reference book said not to have over 5
inches of water over their roots while another said 12.
I pot them and try not to have over an inch or so of water over
the root. They are listed as zone 4.
Some years they have survived at the bottom of the pond but other
years they rotted. Perhaps
this fall they will go in a pan of water in the garage.
I have some big pans about 4 inches deep that contain enough
water to keep their roots wet at all times.
Their blue is a pure blue one does not find very often.
An umbrella plant and two black leafed TAROS are doing fine after
winter in the garage. (It is insulated and never goes below 35 degrees
LIZARDS TAIL (Sauvrurus cernus) is a fun one with a white curvy
bloom stock (tail?). They can be grown in wet soil or in 2-5 inches of
water. Leaves are heart
shaped and blooms fragrant, about 18 inches high.
One summer I grew CATTAILS (Typha angustifolia) that are 4 foot
tall, and Typha minima (dwarf) about 2 feet tall, in the same white
enamel oblong tub. They had
cattails of 8 inches and 2 inches. Many people do not want the large one
or the still bigger 8-9 foot tall plant in their pond as it will take
over against any other plant. Both
will survive if only their feet are kept wet.
The big tail can be eaten when it is young and tender. They can
also be dipped in oil and after drying and used as torches.
(Lobelia fulgens) has a red bloom 24 to 30 inches high, and is usually
sold as a perennial but asks for partial shade and lots of water. It is
a late bloomer (August) which is good to have, but sometimes burns and
doesnt bloom well for me. So this spring I found some new ones, planted
them on the north side of a pine trimmed rather high. I also created a
dam around several with cement edging blocks.
This way I can fill it with water more often than I water the
other perennials and hope to be more of a success.
Even the leaves are red underneath.
Floating in my bigger ponds are a WATER LETTUCE (Pistia
stratiotes) and a WATER HYACINTH (Eichhornia sp.) that I usually buy
each spring. They both have thick hanging roots for baby goldfish to
hide in. Both are
considered weeds by many as they reproduce so fast. The Hyacinth stems
are thick and spongy and after they crowd a space it stimulates them to
bloom a light blue. Both Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinths are very
frost sensitive and both are impossible for me to keep alive during the
winter. Both are also
banned as obnoxious weeds further south as they can block waterways. I
have never had a lettuce bloom. Unfortunately,
they protect the baby Goldfish too well and I have many too many babies.
frog plops into the water when I go by, but these babies are too big for
him to eat. Sometimes he suns on a log I have in the water and sometimes
on the rocks around the pool edges.
I have even seen him going under the bridge that separates the
two ponds. Later, Dragon
Flies should appear. Usually mine are blue winged and a male will claim
his territory to chase others away while the female will lay eggs in the
pond. They and the goldfish
keep the big ponds free of mosquitoes.
For the tank ponds I get the mosquito dunks, a form of Bt
(Bacillus thuringiensis). The last few years I have found it in 2 quart
jars in a granular form that can be thrown in every 6 weeks. This is
very easy to use.
TO CONTROL GRASSHOPPERS
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 to
inch long. These
stages will occur in mid to late June.
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
organic control use Nosema locustae (Nolo Bait).
NOLO BAIT is 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 2007)