It's A Weed Thing...
Weeding, a never-ending job. I seem
to be doing a lot of that lately waiting for our project to
begin. It's funny, weeding is one of my favorite pastimes. Many
of my friends, including my husband think I am crazy. I think of
weeding as therapy. Just me and the weeds. No discussion just
constant motion. My body often aches after a full day of weeding
but it is the kind of ache that make me feel good. An
accomplished sort of ache. I believe it is one of the many
traits I inherited from my father. He too can spend hours
sitting in one place, weeding as if there is nothing else more
important to do. Crazy but true!
Speaking of weeds,
I hope that all of you Savvygardener's have called
Missouri Organic to order your mulch. Mulch is a key
component to every good garden. It helps
suppress weeds, helps the soil to retain moisture and
helps to protect plants from fluctuating temperatures. So if you
have not had time to mulch your garden
beds don't wait any longer. Visit our feature article
All About Mulch so you can
read more about the benefits of mulching.
The kids are almost
done with school. Where has the year gone? Summer is right
around the corner. I hope you find some time to spend in the
garden and if you are feeling stressed and need some relief, try
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 2.5 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.
Dull 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.
"Love of flowers and
vegetables is not enough to make a good gardener. He must also
Eugene P. Bertin