~ May 14, 2008 ~
Coming Up... My Weekend
Another week has gone by and the only thing I have been able to do outside is
mow. Haven't planted a darn annual other than the pansies that are all so
happy with this wacky spring weather. This is my weekend. I have cleared
my schedule specifically to shop, buy and plant. We will take some pictures
so you can see what I've come up with. I am going to plant more tropicals
this year. I am even contemplating putting some in the ground. I know
they won't survive our awful winters but I can't resist them any longer.
There are so many varieties to choose from, each with something special to offer.
I am tired of the same old thing. Here's to mixing it up!
I have noticed many irrigation systems watering daily in and around our area.
A couple of things to remember. One - we have had sufficient rainfall to date.
Second - over-watering is bad. It is bad because it is wasteful and costly.
Your lawn and gardens need only an inch of rain per week. If you water frequently for short periods your
lawn, trees, shrubs, plants, etc... become trained to feed from the top of
the root verses going down into the soil to find the moisture. Be savvy and water deeply and only when needed.
It is cooler today. The temperature is a mere 63 with the wind blowing from the north.
Warmer temperatures and maybe a chance of rain in our future. A great time of the
year to be a gardener.
We're Cookin' Now...
If you are a cook as well as a Savvygardener one of the great
joys of summer is stepping outside to pick or cut fresh herbs for
preparing a fine meal In addition to their obvious use in
foods herbs are great additions to most gardens because they are
generally pest resistant, smell great, and many are a joy to
Conveniently, most herbs have similar growing habits and requirements.
Because their essential oils are much more concentrated under
cool growing conditions you will want to locate them in a cool
but sunny area which receives at least 4 to 6 hours of full sun
each day. Areas exposed to the morning sun are better than those
areas with mid-day and afternoon sun.
If you didn't start any herbs from seed buy some healthy looking plants
from your favorite plant source. However anise, coriander,
dill and fennel aren't too fond of being transplanted. Sow
their seeds directly in the garden.
For a list of over 30 herbs and specific details about growing them check
Growing Herbs in our Feature Article section.
Winning By Thinning...
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.
Here's 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.
Getting Antsy About Aphids...
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
Miners Not Allowed...
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.
Remember to 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.
"When I am alone the flowers are really seen; I can pay
attention to them. They are felt as presences. Without
them I would die. Why do I say that? Partly because they
change before my eyes. They live and die in a few days;
they keep me closely in touch with process, with growth,
and also with dying. I am floated on their moments."
~ May Sarton