Flowering Plants for the August Garden

When it comes to August’s garden, many gardeners, plant enthusiasts and landscapers are willing to skip the month entirely because of the challenge posed by the seemingly few plants that provide interest during August. I’d like to challenge that notion, mainly because August is a perfectly fine month of frost-free weather and why not make…

The Dreaded Japanese Beetle (Again)

Despite winter and spring conditions that we hoped could thwart them, the Japanese beetles are at it again. They fall on us as we mow beneath trees, eat our hard-won fruits as they multi-task, and drown in the dog’s water dish.  Here are some important considerations: ▪Japanese beetles do lay their eggs in the soil. …

Yellow Nutsedge

“What is this grass growing in my flower bed?” is a question I hear quite often now.  Rolling the stem between my fingers quickly determines this isn’t grass at all but the infamous yellow nutsedge.  Sedges are grass-like perennials that have triangular shaped stems.   If they grew at the same rate as turfgrass, many lawn…

Herbicide Drift

A tomato plant sample was brought in today with curled stems and cupped leaves. Under-watering and fungal diseases were a few of guesses as to the wonky foliage while truly the blame lies with herbicide drift.  Drift occurs when desired plants receive an accidental dose of herbicide.  Depending on the herbicide, damage to vegetable plants…

Mulch and Hot Weather

Mulch is an aspect of the landscape that doesn’t provoke much thought. Wood chips or rock? Landscaping fabric or not? The reality is that the right kind of mulch, applied to the proper depth, has a BIG impact on plant health, especially during the heat of summer.   Root function stops when soil temperatures reach…

The Best Way to Remove Problem Trees

Seedling trees come up in the oddest places, and in some cases, totally unnoticed.  In the neighborhood I drive through, I observed a mulberry tree growing up through a shrub rose.  The mulberry thrived, gradually completely shading out the rose.  Eventually the rose owner noticed the mulberry and tried to remove it, resulting in the…

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach leaf curl is prevalent this spring.  The fungal pathogen, Taphrina deformans, causes leaf puckering and unusual coloration, with bright red, yellow, lime green, or a combination of all three colors on one leaf.  Infection occurs at bud swell and bud break, when spores, overwintering on twigs and buds, infect emerging leaves. The distortion of…

Growing Asparagus

Cooks love the earliness that fresh asparagus provides. Gardeners love it because it’s perennial and relatively worry-free. If you’ve not grown asparagus, this spring would be a good time to plant a few crowns to find out for yourself just how easy it is to grow. Asparagus can be started in one of two ways….

Vegetable Gardening 101

Nothing provides greater satisfaction than to grow your own food. It’s also really easy to start, with a small investment in some seeds, a few transplants, and a container or plot of land. A basic requirement in vegetable gardening is a clear understanding that there are cool season vegetables—those that grow and produce best when…

Managing Weeds in the Garden and Lawn

Weeds may be our least favorite topic but still one of the driving forces behind phone and email questions right now, with “How do I kill…?” leading the discussion. Weed identification may seem immaterial, after all, the consuming focus is to be rid of the pesky plant, but in reality, this should always be the…