High Temperatures Affect Tomato Production

With the week’s high temperatures, watch for tomato fruit set to be delayed.  This is because pollen dies when temperatures reach 85 degrees F. or higher.  Dead pollen means flowers don’t get pollinated and unfertilized flowers will fall to the ground, resulting in reduced production. Gardeners often want to know if hand pollination will help…

Now What?

If you are like many of the Metro area readers your landscaped has been attacked by the Japanese beetles. Now what do you do? Plants are stressed and one of the first things we think of doing is “feed” the plant.  So we reach for our favorite fertilizer and give our plants a good “feeding”. …

When Treating for Japanese Beetles Isn’t a Good Idea

Those pesky Japanese beetles have broad appetites!  They feed on roses, trees, perennials, vines and even our vegetable plants.  Knocking them into a pail of soapy water is certainly a satisfying (read vengeful) way to keep their numbers down.  But when their numbers are overwhelming, it’s tempting to look for an insecticide to stop the…

Tigers, Trumpets, Turks Cap – Oh My!

There are hundreds of plants that have the common name lily.  I like to refer to plants in the Lilium genus as garden lilies or true lily.  These are perennial plants that grow from underground bulbs that can be planted either in the spring or the fall.  They are a great addition to any full…

IPM: An Ounce of Pest Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Perhaps the right question to ask is not about what to spray but about how to prevent the problem in the first place, and to take the advice of Ben Franklin that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  It’s a philosophy we call Integrated Pest Management. The secret is planning ahead, instead of waiting for problems to present themselves.

The Rest of the Family

This week the Gesneriad Society will host their National Convention in Omaha.  What is a Gesneriad?  Well if you have ever grown the lipstick vine, guppy plant, florist gloxinia, flame violet or Cape primrose you have grown a Gesneriad.  Oh, yeah – ever grown an African violet – they are one too.  Gesneriaceae is a…