I had a couple of readers email me with some interesting
thoughts about me being completed with my present garden. I must
say that I agree with them to some degree. I don't really feel
that a garden is ever complete. If we were to live in
this house for another 10 years there would still be plenty of
things I would change. I believe that I am a constant gardener.
A gardener that believes that there is always room for one more
plant or one more "secret garden". However at this particular
time I am proud of the work that Kevin and I have accomplished
and we both look forward to starting fresh. I also hope that
whoever buys our house will also continue to work on the present
bones of our landscape. Maybe there is another constant gardener
out there just looking for gardens like ours. We're keeping our
about all of those beautiful peonies in bloom? I don't believe
that there is a flower as beautiful as
the peony. Oh, and did I mention my
love for its fragrance? I can smell
them now as I write about them. My dad cut some from his garden
to share with me and the whole house smells of peonies. They are
special peonies, transplanted from my grandmother's garden to my
dads. So I get the pleasure of knowing how pleased my
grandmother would be that I am enjoying her peonies and then
there is my dad who is proud as well. Generation gardening.
Fingers On Pines...
We have had so many problems on pines that
people are starting to suspect anything out of the ordinary as a
possibly serious condition. For example, pines in flower look
strange close up and people start to suspect a disease is
attacking their tree. It is usually the male flowers that draw
notice. Pines are monoecious; that is they have both male and
female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers appear as
multiple "fingers" that come out all around the stem near the
end of a branch. The flowers are tan to brown and often curl
somewhat. Shaking the branch will release a cloud of pollen if
the flower is mature. Female flowers look a little like
miniature hand grenades and are formed on the tips of some
A bountiful vegetable patch requires thinning when crops are
grown from seed. Be aware that vegetables behave like weeds when
they are overabundant.
Overcrowding among root crops causes
poorly formed roots. A good thinning program will:
- Reduce the
competition among seedlings for soil nutrients and water.
- Promote better
air circulation around the plants thereby reducing the chances
of disease development.
- Ultimately make
higher yields possible.
For a list
of common garden vegetables and recommendations for their spacing
Zoysia lawns are finally looking good all around the metro. Now
that they are greening up and growing you will want to make sure
you do the following:
- Reduce thatch
layers from zoysia by verticutting or core aerating.
- Sod or sprig
zoysia lawns to fill in bare areas.
- Fertilize zoysia
lawns with high nitrogen to promote green up and summer
- Mow zoysia to 2
to 2½ inches tall.
It's that time of year
where outside is the only place to be.
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When you see ants crawling on your
garden plants, look closely for aphids
as well. Some ant species protect
aphids, moving them from plant to plant and even taking them
underground into the anthill for overnight safety
(seriously!). The ants do this
to ensure a supply of honeydew, a sugary water substance secreted
by aphids, on which ants feed.
Vine Crop Villains...
Savvygardeners need to be vigilant for the two most
destructive insect foes of vine crops - the cucumber beetle and
the squash bug. Cucumber beetles, like most vegetable insects
must be controlled early to prevent damage to the seedling and
transmission of diseases like bacterial wilt. Planting a trap
crop, applying neem oil soap and using row covers are effective
non-chemical methods to manage this insect pest. Squash bugs can
be repelled with insecticidal soap in addition to garlic and
Many species of boxwood are attacked by the boxwood leaf
miner, whose activity becomes very noticeable in mid spring.
American boxwood is particularly susceptible. Blister like orange
spots are a sign of the larvae of this insect, which hides
between the leaf surfaces and feeds there until it emerges. The
adults, orange in color and gnat-like, are easily controlled with
a pyrethroid insecticide. Heavier infestations should be treated
with a systemic insecticide containing imidacloprid.
Blade Equals Brown Blades...
Have you ever noticed your grass turning
brown at the tips several days after mowing
A quick look under the mowing deck might explain it all. Chances
are, your mower blade is not sufficiently sharp. A quick visit
to the local hardware store will fix the problem for about $5.
sharpen your mower blade several times each season. It's even a
good idea to keep a spare blade on hand.
That way you always have a sharp one.
gardener made the mistake of wanting rewards at once, and she
smiled to recognize the failing in herself. But recognition
didn't stop her from pursuing what she wanted."
~ Rosie Thomas