It is hard to believe but two hours after our house went on
the market it was sold! A big thanks to our realtor,
Christi Clark, who has been a huge help in making this
buying and selling a house process pretty
easy. I am excited about our home's
new owner and truly hope that they will enjoy this house as much
as we have. It seems as if we moved in only yesterday when
Morgan was just a little girl. Of course the boys were babies
when we brought them home so this is the only home they've
known. So many fond memories. Ones that will be cherished for
as if a storm is brewing. With the heat and humidity being above
average for this time of year we seem to be getting some rain
every few days. A good thing. It is always nice to have Mother
Nature help out with the watering. Her water is the best kind.
It seems to make everything grow and look so much better. Let's
hope she continues coming through for us especially once summer
Erupting Soon In A Garden Near You...
This time of year it's not uncommon to have a period of wet
weather followed by some rather
warm early summer temperatures. If you have mulched areas in
your garden, that unique combination is
going to lead to something that's pretty disgusting to look at -
slime mold eruptions. You see, slime mold spores will grow and
expand (at an alarming rate) until they "erupt" over the surface
of the mulch. It's not very pretty to look at but rest assured
it's harmless. Try to scoop it up whole (so you don't
inadvertently release more spores) and dispose of it in a compost
pile or trash can.
Timing Is Everything...
Sometimes the hardest part of growing great vegetables is
knowing when they're ready for harvest. Timing is everything as
they say and that's certainly true for your garden's bounty. To
make your job a little easier we've compiled a list of common
garden vegetables and the guidelines you should follow to
determine if they are ready for harvest. You will find
"When to Harvest Vegetables" in the Features
section of our website.
Itchy, Scratchy, Savvy...
Poison ivy rash is an unfortunate byproduct of working
outdoors for many gardeners. The rash we get from our exposure
to poison ivy (as well as poison oak and sumac) is an allergic
reaction to contact with an oil called urushiol (oo-ROO-she-ol).
All species of poison ivy, oak and sumac have urushiol in their
roots, stems, leaves and fruit. The oil or sap is released when
plants are bruised. For this reason poison ivy rashes are more
common in the spring and early summer when leaves and stems are
tender. The sap may be deposited on the skin by direct contact
with the plant, through contact with contaminated objects such as
shoes, clothing, tools and animals, or as airborne urushiol
particles from burning plants.
you still cling to at least one of the poison ivy myths below.
Now is a good time to set the record straight:
1 - Scratching poison ivy
Not true. Fluid discharged from blisters will not spread the
rash. Well before the blisters form, however, you may spread
the urushiol on your hands to other parts of your body.
2 - Poison ivy is contagious.
Not true. The rash is simply a reaction to urushiol. The rash
cannot pass from person to person; only the urushiol can be
spread by direct contact.
3 - You can "catch" poison ivy
by being near it.
Not true. Direct contact or contact with smoke from burning
plants is needed to introduce urushiol onto the victim.
4 - Once allergic, always allergic to
Not true. A person's sensitivity changes over time, even from
season to season. People who were sensitive to urushiol as
children may not be allergic as adults.
5 - There's no need to worry
about dead plants.
Not true. Urushiol remains active on any surface,
including dead plants, for up to 5 years!
6 - Covering up is good protection.
Partly true. Urushiol can stick to your clothes which you
can touch and spread to your skin later.
Be A Deadheader...
So your perennials have bloomed and they are starting to look
as if they are finished? Hold on a
minute... If you trim off the dead
blooms they will likely bloom again!
I'm talking about roses, bachelor buttons, coreopsis and dianthus
(just to name a few).
Sure, it's extra work (especially
dianthus, it's wickedly time-consuming
to trim all of those flowers back) but
the reward is well worth it once you see them re-blooming. If
you are not sure whether your perennial will bloom again cut it
back anyway to keep a neat appearance in the garden.
also deadhead petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and
zinnias. This will prevent seed formation and promote continued
Not sure what's growing in that lawn of
yours? Our friends at Purdue University have developed a
Turfgrass Identification Tool. With their library
of great descriptions and photos (some that rotate 360°)
you can now confidently identify that
rogue patch of whatever.
If you see what looks like very small
alligator-shaped insects on your plants, don't be concerned. This
is the larval form of the ladybird beetle. The larvae are covered
with spines, about 3/8 inch long, and black with orange markings.
Neither the adults or larvae will feed on the plants but rather
on other insects including aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, scale
insects and the eggs of various other insects. Because those
"other insects" normally are feeding on the plant, ladybird
beetles are considered beneficial.
Heading Off Seedheads...
Cool season turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and
perennial ryegrass are currently producing seedheads - a natural
phenomenon triggered by the current day length. Seedheads are a
nuisance for several reasons:
- They grow quickly
and unevenly detracting from the appearance of a lawn.
- The seed stalk is
tougher than grass blades so they do not cut cleanly except
with the sharpest of mower blades.
- After mowing, the
grass may also appear a lighter green to yellow because of the
exposed seed stalks.
- Turfgrass plants
also expend a lot of energy producing seedheads and turf
density may also decrease slightly as a result.
effective way to control seedheads is through frequent mowing
with a sharp mower blade. Avoid the temptation to lower
your cutting height as doing so will cause the rest of your turf
to suffer as summer approaches.
"One of the small
delights of gardening, undramatic but recurring, is when phlox
or columbines seed themselves in unplanned places."