Well, it looks as if tonight is our
lucky night. A cold front is suppose to move through and we are
going to get some much needed rain and cooler temperatures. What
a relief! This is certainly going to be a summer to remember. I
heard on the news the other day that is was actually 100˚
in North Dakota. I have a sister who recently moved home (
McPherson, Kansas) from Denver, Colorado. Boy is she having a
tough time adjusting to the humidity and prefers staying inside
where it is nice and cool. Hang in there sis, fall will be here
I too have
lacked the motivation to be outside. Since I have no established
gardens to speak of it has been easy for me to avoid the
outdoors. I must admit that I do miss looking outside and seeing
the color I was used to at the old
house. There is something to be said about being in a nice cool
place but having an opportunity to peer through the window at
the coneflower and black-eyed Susan's
- each enjoying the hot August sun. I am afraid I have had
enough. Time to move on to cooler days and the thoughts of fall.
I hope that Mother Nature will think that it is time to move on
as well. I know from the past
that August can be very warm and even September
as well. Maybe we'll get lucky this year and fall will
come early. That would truly be something to look forward to.
Stink Bugs On Tomatoes...
When tomatoes on the vine develop white, pink or yellow-gold
spots, the likely cause is stinkbugs, according to a Kansas State
University horticulturist. Stinkbugs are the skunks of the insect
world. Like skunks, these shield-shaped insects emit a foul odor
when disturbed, said Ward Upham, who coordinates K-State Research
and Extension's Master Gardener program. "A stinkbug injures
fruit when it uses its mouthparts to probe for food. That not
only affects the tomato's color development but also causes a
whitish ‘callous' to develop under the skin at the wound site,"
Upham said. Typically, the exterior result is an off-color,
cloudy spot. If stinkbugs are feeding heavily, however, the
entire tomato may develop a gold hue, with pinprick-size puncture
wounds in the middle of each of the overlapping spots, he said.
"Unfortunately, stinkbug control is basically impossible. By the
time you notice the spots, the stinkbugs usually are gone," Upham
added. "Fortunately, though, the affected tomatoes are safe to
Garlic is a cook's best friend. Home-grown garlic is
an extra special treat. Making sure your garlic is harvested
correctly is simple but important:
should be harvested when the foliage begins to dry. Using a
garden fork or shovel, carefully dig the bulbs with the foliage
still attached. Dry the garlic on an elevated wire screen or
slotted tray in a warm, well-ventilated location for 3 to 4
weeks. When properly cured, cut off the dry foliage ˝ to
1 inch above the bulbs, trim off the roots and brush off any
loose soil. Place the bulbs in a mesh bag and store in a cool
(32 to 40°F), dry (60 to 70% relative humidity) location.
Properly cured and stored garlic should keep for 6 to 7 months.
Time To Divide Iris...
There's some very rewarding summer work to be done right now.
It's time to divide your irises. After 3 to 5 years of growth
irises will become crowded and should be divided so they don't
starve each other for soil nutrients. Here's a few simple steps
to get the job done:
- Cut the leaves
back to one-third their length.
- Dig the rhizome
clump with a fork or spade and wash the soil off with a hose.
- Cut the rhizomes
apart so that each section has at least one healthy fan of
leaves and firm, white roots.
- Discard soft
rhizomes and any older leafless rhizomes toward the center of
- Plant the
divisions 12 - 18 inches apart in shallow holes in a sunny
- Water immediately
and again in ten days if rain is scarce.
these steps now allows adequate time for the divisions to get
established before winter and also reduces the chance of frost
heaving in late winter.
During summer it is especially
important to take care when applying pesticides.
If rain has been scarce, make sure you
take the time to water your plants several hours before applying
pesticides. You see, drought-stressed plants have less water in
their plant tissues and the chemicals that enter the leaves will
consequently be more concentrated. This in turn can lead to an
unwanted burn-like condition on the leaves.
A Perfect Pear...
Unlike some crops, pears are usually best when ripened off
the tree. You don't want to wait for the fruit to turn yellowish
before picking. Instead, harvest pears when the color of the
fruit changes from dark green to lighter green and when it is
easily twisted and removed from the spur.
When fruit on fruit trees starts getting
bigger the stress on tree limbs can be substantial. So much so
that your trees may need some extra support to prevent limbs from
breaking. Here are some support suggestions from K-State
- Wooden Props
- Use one-inch thick boards to prop up limbs. Cut a ‘V’ on the
top edge of the board on which the limb will rest so that it
doesn’t slip off. Long, heavy limbs may need a prop in the
center and another near the outer part of the limb.
- Belt Webbing
- A 2-inch, plastic, belt-like material can be tied to a
heavily loaded limb, then to a large diameter limb above for
support. Where a large limb is used for support, it is good to
have it supporting limbs on opposite sides so the weight is
- Taping -
Other solutions include wrapping a tape or belt material around
the tree in a spiral to prevent limbs from bending until they
break. Heavy twine may be used, but
it should be removed when the fruit is picked or soon after so
it does not cut into the bark on the limb.
Orange And Dusty?
Have you discovered an orange dust
clinging to your shoes
after walking through the lawn?
You're not alone.
Rust diseases attack all turfgrasses, but are most often
found on susceptible Bluegrass, tall fescue ryegrass and Zoysia
in late August and early September. Unlike some other turf fungi,
this particular fungus (Puccinia), can do serious damage
resulting in thinning and winterkill.
The best protection is healthy turf management,
including proper levels of
fertilizer, watering, and mowing at the
recommended height (normally 3 inches at
this time of the year). Avoid night watering.
An application of fungicide may be
helpful before the turfgrass enters winter dormancy. The most
commonly suggested fungicides for rust control are products such
as chlorothalonil (Daconil) and triadimefon ( Bayleton). As
always, apply following label directions.
"Green is the fresh
emblem of well- founded hopes. In blue the spirit can wander,
but in green it can rest"