~ May 28, 2008 ~
Rabbits, they sure are a pain in the behind. One of our neighbors stopped by while I was working outside and
said, "I read the newsletter this week, not enough information on what to do about rabbits." We spoke
for a while about how our perennials
are being devoured and how irritated we are.
So, I use a product called Liquid Fence. It can be purchased at any garden center or nursery and if you are
willing to be diligent, I find it to be the best deterrent. Diligent is the key word. It comes in a spray
form and has to be applied often. If it rains or you water and it washes off you need to re-apply. The
container will tell you that it is rain resistant but I find that the more often it is applied the better luck
I have. Now for those of you who have never used Liquid Fence, the odor is quite offensive. In fact it
smells down right awful. Read and follow use instructions. Another alternative is to cover the plant with
wire mesh. Although that method is less aesthetic it will certainly help keep those
rascally rabbits at bay.
Who said gardening was supposed to be easy?
I am feeling a little water logged but I am glad that the temperatures have stayed cool. I would like to
enjoy a few weeks of spring weather. Once those temperatures start to rise it seems we also experience a
change in the humidity. Saturday was a perfect example of that. Hot and humid,
reminiscent of August weather.
UGH! It will be here soon enough so for now no complaining.
Yes, you can have too much rain. Recent heavy downpours
have leached fertilizers below the root zone of many of
our vegetables and additional nitrogen
will be needed so rapidly growing plants are not slowed down. If
the color of your plants is pale and
the growth is less than expected, a sidedressing of fertilizer may be in
order. Use a fertilizer that is composed primarily of nitrogen such as nitrate
of soda (16-0-0). Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the plant but about
six inches from the plant itself.
Yew Gettin' Too Much Rain?
Yews have relatively few problems but are especially
sensitive to wet feet. Heavy rains are starting to take
their toll on area Yews. Too much rain saturates soils and
pushes out oxygen. Because every living cell in a plant must
have oxygen (including the roots), waterlogged soil may kill
plants. If your yew suddenly loses branches, or the entire plant
turns brown, check the soil. Low oxygen levels in saturated soil
are probably to blame. Do not over water, and be sure to plant
in well-drained soil. If you must plant in heavy soil, shape the
planting area into a mound or crown the planting bed so excess
water drains away.
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.
We've covered them recently but at the rate
mushrooms are popping up around
area gardens it's worth mentioning again. Mushrooms, often called "toadstools,"
are specialized types of
fungi, and can be admired for their beauty and the fantastic
variety of form, color, and texture. They grow in a variety of
habitats, and generally 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 majority of cases
these fungi are not parasitic to lawns or
gardens and won't cause any disease problems. Please
resist the temptation to eat them. Many varieties of mushroom
are highly poisonous and should be consumed only when absolutely
certain of their safety.
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.
So some of 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.
You should also deadhead petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and
zinnias. This will prevent seed formation and promote continued
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.
"Gardening is a matter of your
enthusiasm holding up until your
back gets used to it"