ago I bought two JACK FROST BRUNNERA to put in a shady corner.
I found they like damp soil all the time or they droop or the leaf
edges brown and dry up. To keep this dampness, but not wetness, mulch
several inches deep kept them happy. This spring I had some new babies but
Two years ago I
planted seeds of annual “LADY IN
RED” SALVIA in the back yard. They
bloom late in a brilliant red so last year I planted their seeds out in
the parkway and again had a red blast of color. So this spring I waited
for them to come up in front as I had dropped the seed stems back down,
but nothing happened! The first of August small plants came up thickly in
the back yard in the COREOPSIS! They bloomed merrily away until frost.
Does this mean their seed needs to rest a year? There is still no
sign up front but I will watch closely both places next spring.
It is fun to have a surprise take over the space used by tired COREOPSIS.
Have you noticed the squirrels
chewing on more “things” than usual? They have eaten part of a trellis
up near the top. The
Every year I
must have a banana plant. This
year it was above the roof of the shed.
Some of its leaves were 8 feet long and 2 to 3 feet wide. Usually
new babies come up right next to the mother plant that I cut off and take
inside. This year it didn’t
do that. BJ, my garden helper,
suggested we cut it off just above the ground, dig it up, and put it in a
tub in the garage with the other garage dwellers. That was quite a job as
it is 12 inches across but has shallow roots, which helps. I will let you
know what happens this winter and next spring.
In other years I have left the stump in the ground and by spring it
is a big slimy juicy mass.
This was the
summer of powdery mildew!!! BEE
BALM (Monarda), ZINNIAS, and TALL
PHLOX were the worst for me. Our humidity was constantly high and we
received an above average of rain. I
have had my plants for many years so they haven’t benefited from the
work being done to produce resistant strains.
If you buy new plants, try to find the resistant ones.
Any shade will encourage fungous on PHLOX.
Air circulation is also important so if the clump is thick, it needs to be
thinned out. Spacing clumps at least 2 feet apart to let air move around
the plant helps prevent the disease.
The above is a
good example of why you should not overhead water or water in the evening.
Both practices keeps the leaves damp, and fungal spores love those leaves
that are left damp overnight. There are fungal sprays but read the label
to be sure your plants are on the list.
Some organic gardeners use 1 tablespoon of horticultural or
all-seasons oil in a gallon of water. Others use 1 tablespoon of baking
soda and 1 tablespoon of dish soap (not detergent) in a gallon of water.
While still others find insecticidal soap does the job.
During a season like 2008 one would need to use it at least every
10 to 14 days.
is it? Do you want to grow something not rated for our zone 5? There are
many things that can make a microclimate in any yard, especially an older
one with shrubs, neighbor’s houses and fences. These help to create a
warmer, drier, shadier, wind protected or wetter spot that varies a good
deal from the rest of the yard. Plants come up earlier and live longer on
the south side than on the north. Take
a walk around your yard at different seasons as well as different times of
the day to help you decide what to plant and where.
A microclimate then is a smaller area in a larger one with a
different environment. For example, a low spot gets cold first plus being
wetter. West sides burn plants easier and dry out faster than east sides.
Check out the microclimate of your yard.
So what is a
cutworm? They can be green, gray, or brown and unless you look for them
you probably will never see one as they hide during the day.
They chew through the stems and you find your plants down.
If you have been bothered before, put something around that stem a
little above and below ground. If
your plant stems will not be too fat, cut both ends out of an ordinary can
and push it down into the soil. Some people with large stem plants such as
tomatoes, use #10 cans that large quantities of vegetables come in, or
coffee cans. Many restaurants will be glad to give you there extra #10
cans or save them for you. Use the same way as the smaller cans.
The new plastic coffee containers are not as easy to work with but
it can be done. My neighbor has a pole in his garden that he slides the
cans down during the winter to save for next year. Cutworms usually are
active in spring only. The
adult is a small moth, laying its eggs where its offspring will find food.