WILL IT LIKE MY
Every year I try to grow something
I have never had before but
This spring I
have a new purple lilac, not supposed to grow over 5 feet tall and
blooms in the spring, rests in the heat of summer and then blooms again
in the fall. I planted it
between several Caryopteris (Blue Spirea) that bloom in the fall.
The blue and purple should go well together.
The Lilac (Syringa species) name is Bloomerang.
On the front
parkway are the
In the backyard
are plants from seed under lights that are called “Pumpkins On A
Stick”. They are very tiny for pumpkins and actually an eggplant with
little (2 inch) orange pumpkins on the stem.
In my gray
garden are some new Horehound plants (Marrubrium vulgare). Like others
these plants are gray and fuzzy only about 18 inches tall.
Their description says they grow in sunny, dry, stony wasteland.
warned me to avoid mints but last summer I found some short ones with a
little red to their foliage and they did quite well along one of my
paths. This spring something
reddish was coming up in an area about 4 feet square.
I do have several kinds of hoes if needed.
This is my
second year for two huge pots of Blueberries.
In the fall I added a generous amount of granular sulfur to the
potting soil to give it a winter to alter the pH to an acid level.
This spring, after being buried in snow all winter, the plants
are covered with small blooms so perhaps I will have fresh Blueberries.
I used pots because it should be easier to maintain a lower pH there
than in a space in the garden. This approach required getting low bush
these initials or the term Integrated Pest Management all the time in
garden magazines and articles but do we practice IPM? My own definition:
“Use for my benefit anything to make the plants look better, but do as
little harm as possible, while combining water used and the amount of
rain and humidity so it is not wasted, and combining “good” bugs to
keep the “bad” ones under control.”
To some people
it means no pesticides. To
other it means using them as a last resort.
IPM means to look at your entire yard to see if you have a
problem and how bad it is, then deciding what will do the most good and
the least harm. For example,
how many eaten leaves can you stand.
Then you need
to identify the enemy. If you have Mites, spraying with an insecticide
might not be the best method. As with bacteria becoming resistant in
people who take antibiotics too often, so to some of the bugs in your
yard may become resistant to a pesticide. You need to learn as much as
you can about the enemy such as how long does it live, and are there
enough of them to do a great deal of harm. Plants will grow new leaves
if the damage from an insect or disease is not too bad.
You will need to know the life cycle to know when it is more
likely to be harmed if at all. For
example, if you spray an adult scale the pesticide will slide right off
that umbrella type covering, but spray a baby scale that hasn’t
developed that covering, and it will be fatal.
How about eggs?
Will your pesticide get through the outer covering? What about the
beneficial insects? Remember your pesticide spray can’t tell the
difference. My Cup Plants get what looks like an overwhelming infection
of Red Aphids every spring but if I have seen a few Lady Bugs around and
do nothing, in two days the Ladies and their hungry offspring have
cleared my plants.
kill all the Aphids with your spray-what happens? Some minor bugs now
have a breakfast plant free of competition and will move in. Many times
you need to do very little.
Mites like hot
dry weather and like to drink juice from Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Hibiscus,
and number of others. You will notice the leaves look a little speckled
so put a white piece of paper under a leaf and tap it.
Mites will be those little specks of dust moving around on your
paper. A good hit with water will do a good job and you won’t kill the
good bugs in the neighborhood.