I have had it! I would like the rain to go away for at least
two consecutive days. Am I sounding unreasonable? How is a
gardener supposed to get anything
done? I know you are all feeling the same pain and I am pretty
sure that in mid-July when it is as
hot as can be and we haven't had rain for weeks we will be
begging for it. But for now, I need the sun. I need to be
outside because that is where I belong. Outside defines who I am
and I can no longer stand underneath an umbrella. Wow - I am
glad to have that off my chest!
The good news, this
weekend is supposed to be dry. If you
haven't purchased your Mother's Day gift yet don't forget about
our local nurseries and garden centers. They have great gifts
that any mom would love. Garden decor, tools, a sharp set of
pruners (I could go on and on). Don't forget that plants make
great gifts too. A tree, a rose bush or a flat of annuals that
you can plant for her or that the family can plant together.
That is what we do here at the Marsh house on Mother's Day, we
spend it outside in the gardens, like it or not.
Happy Mother's Day
to all of you Savvy Moms!
Prevent Black Spot...
With all this wet weather you will need to
establish a preventive spray program for your roses if
they have been subject to black spot in the past. The problem
with fungal diseases is that they have to be prevented - a
fungicide isn't as effective once the problem is noticed. As
always, it is better to buy only roses that are disease
It's Not Too Late!
Do you feel like spring is slipping away from you? Just
a few weeks ago it seemed like we had all the time in the world
to plant. If you're like us, hectic
schedules can make prime planting time slip away. Don't panic!
There's still plenty to do. In fact if you hurry you can still
sneak in the following: lettuce, onions, spinach, beets, chard,
carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, shallots, chives and
that soil temperatures are up it's also a great time to get your
tomatoes and peppers in the ground if you haven't already done
It's that time of year
where outside is the only place to be.
We have the latest in
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When selecting tomato transplants, choose healthy plants without
any blooms. If the tomato plants have blooms or, worse, fruit
before you transplant, pinch off the flowers or fruit. If
tomatoes set fruit before the plant gets large enough - that is,
produces enough leaves - the fruit is small and tasteless.
Removing flowers or premature fruit allows the plant to produce
more leaves that will make larger tomatoes throughout the growing
season. The formula for successful tomato production is quite
simple: Healthy leaves equal tasty fruit.
A Fungus Among Us...
Don't be surprised if you head outside and find a yard full of
mushrooms. Where do these things come from? Although wild
mushrooms tend to make their appearance just about any time in
woodlands they're more likely to appear in lawns following
several days of wet weather which have been preceded by weeks of
dry weather. We've got plenty in
are specialized types of fungi that are important as decay
microorganisms, aiding in the breakdown of logs, leaves, fallen
branches, and other organic debris. This important role of
mushrooms results in recycling of essential nutrients.
In the vast
majority of cases mushrooms are not parasitic on lawn grass and
won't cause any disease problems. Just wait for a prolonged
change in the weather and they will wither and disappear
providing additional organic matter to your soil.
Tip Top Tools...
Here's a great way to keep your gardening hand tools clean
and free from rust. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with play sand.
Moisten the sand with mineral oil or even motor oil. Plunging
your tools into the sand/oil mix several times before storing
them will remove the dirt and leave a protective coating of oil
on the metal surface.
Take A Powder...
A white powdery film on your lawn is likely an outbreak of
(photo). This fungal disease is favored by cool spring or
fall weather, and is common in shaded areas. Kentucky bluegrass
in shady areas is especially susceptible. High nitrogen levels
also favor disease development. Fortunately, while it is not
very attractive, powdery mildew rarely causes significant damage
The Right Height...
To prevent weed germination in lawns, mow
frequently at the tallest recommended mowing height. Weeds
germinate rapidly when turf is scalped by mowing too short or
when it is not mowed frequently enough. Both mistakes decrease
turf density and cause an open canopy that favors weeds. Experts
recommend a range of mowing heights to meet specific turf
activities. Lower mowing heights require more frequent mowing.
Annual grassy weeds -- such as crabgrass -- are especially a
problem on turfs that lack density as a result of poor mowing.
mowing heights for grass types:
Kentucky bluegrass - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
Tall fescue - 3.0 to 4.0 inches.
Fescue/bluegrass - 3.0 to 3.5 inches.
Bluegrass/ryegrass - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
Perennial ryegrasses - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
Creeping red fescues - 3.0 to 3.5 inches.
the month of May is opening night,
Homecoming, and Graduation Day all rolled into one."