Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for June 15, 2016

Public Garden Lecture Addresses Twin Topics

<!–
–>

The Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Public Garden Lecture Series is presenting a special gardening program Saturday at Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Educational Center in Oglebay Park.

A two-topic lecture begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. There is a charge to attend.

Credit cards can be used for online registration at www.oionline.com. For cash or check registrations, send an email to jkb3359@aol.com. Walk-in participants are welcome Saturday, but registration is limited. For more information, call Jacquie Bartley, 304-243-4950.

The lecture begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, with coffee and light refreshments available between 10:45-11:15 a.m.

Laura Deeter will be presenting “It’s Your Garden” and “Continual Color Without Continual Hassle.” She returns to the area as a result of her popularity with followers after presenting an animated program at the 2015 Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Wheeling Gardening Symposium.

Her lectures are animated with great energy and gardening information. On Saturday, she plans a lighthearted romp through the “rules” of garden design and color.

“It’s Your Garden” is a fun twist to garden design. “Learn about the ‘rules’ of garden design and then how to break those rules to create a modern, pleasing and ultimately fun garden. The garden of YOUR dreams,” Deeter said.

“Continual Color Without Continual Hassle” will explore the science of color theory as well as many tips and tricks for how to combine plants to ensure the garden has interest all year.

Deeter said, “People want flowers for their color, pizzazz and pop in the garden. Yet the staggering number of plants in garden centers often confuses gardeners on how to go about getting more than simple seasonal color.”

Deeter earned a doctorate in horticulture from The Ohio State University. Currently, she is a full professor of horticulture at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. She was awarded the Agricultural Technical Institute’s distinguished teacher award in 2005 and 2013. She also was awarded the Ohio State Alumni Association distinguished teacher award, the Perennial Plant Association academic award and the American Horticulture Society teaching award.

She travels extensively around the country speaking on a variety of topics ranging from taxonomy and nomenclature to shade gardens design, color and specialty gardens and plants. At home, she gardens on .1 acre with her husband, two children and two dogs, 80 pink flamingos and counts her 300 species of perennials as dear friends.

The Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Public Garden Lecture Series is presenting a special gardening program Saturday at Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Educational Center in Oglebay Park.

A two-topic lecture begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. There is a charge to attend.

Credit cards can be used for online registration at www.oionline.com. For cash or check registrations, send an email to jkb3359@aol.com. Walk-in participants are welcome Saturday, but registration is limited. For more information, call Jacquie Bartley, 304-243-4950.

The lecture begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, with coffee and light refreshments available between 10:45-11:15 a.m.

Laura Deeter will be presenting “It’s Your Garden” and “Continual Color Without Continual Hassle.” She returns to the area as a result of her popularity with followers after presenting an animated program at the 2015 Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Wheeling Gardening Symposium.

Her lectures are animated with great energy and gardening information. On Saturday, she plans a lighthearted romp through the “rules” of garden design and color.

“It’s Your Garden” is a fun twist to garden design. “Learn about the ‘rules’ of garden design and then how to break those rules to create a modern, pleasing and ultimately fun garden. The garden of YOUR dreams,” Deeter said.

“Continual Color Without Continual Hassle” will explore the science of color theory as well as many tips and tricks for how to combine plants to ensure the garden has interest all year.

Deeter said, “People want flowers for their color, pizzazz and pop in the garden. Yet the staggering number of plants in garden centers often confuses gardeners on how to go about getting more than simple seasonal color.”

Deeter earned a doctorate in horticulture from The Ohio State University. Currently, she is a full professor of horticulture at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. She was awarded the Agricultural Technical Institute’s distinguished teacher award in 2005 and 2013. She also was awarded the Ohio State Alumni Association distinguished teacher award, the Perennial Plant Association academic award and the American Horticulture Society teaching award.

She travels extensively around the country speaking on a variety of topics ranging from taxonomy and nomenclature to shade gardens design, color and specialty gardens and plants. At home, she gardens on .1 acre with her husband, two children and two dogs, 80 pink flamingos and counts her 300 species of perennials as dear friends.

The Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Public Garden Lecture Series is presenting a special gardening program Saturday at Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Environmental Educational Center in Oglebay Park.

A two-topic lecture begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. There is a charge to attend.

Credit cards can be used for online registration at www.oionline.com. For cash or check registrations, send an email to jkb3359@aol.com. Walk-in participants are welcome Saturday, but registration is limited. For more information, call Jacquie Bartley, 304-243-4950.

The lecture begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon, with coffee and light refreshments available between 10:45-11:15 a.m.

Laura Deeter will be presenting “It’s Your Garden” and “Continual Color Without Continual Hassle.” She returns to the area as a result of her popularity with followers after presenting an animated program at the 2015 Ohio County Master Gardeners’ Wheeling Gardening Symposium.

Her lectures are animated with great energy and gardening information. On Saturday, she plans a lighthearted romp through the “rules” of garden design and color.

“It’s Your Garden” is a fun twist to garden design. “Learn about the ‘rules’ of garden design and then how to break those rules to create a modern, pleasing and ultimately fun garden. The garden of YOUR dreams,” Deeter said.

“Continual Color Without Continual Hassle” will explore the science of color theory as well as many tips and tricks for how to combine plants to ensure the garden has interest all year.

Deeter said, “People want flowers for their color, pizzazz and pop in the garden. Yet the staggering number of plants in garden centers often confuses gardeners on how to go about getting more than simple seasonal color.”

Deeter earned a doctorate in horticulture from The Ohio State University. Currently, she is a full professor of horticulture at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. She was awarded the Agricultural Technical Institute’s distinguished teacher award in 2005 and 2013. She also was awarded the Ohio State Alumni Association distinguished teacher award, the Perennial Plant Association academic award and the American Horticulture Society teaching award.

She travels extensively around the country speaking on a variety of topics ranging from taxonomy and nomenclature to shade gardens design, color and specialty gardens and plants. At home, she gardens on .1 acre with her husband, two children and two dogs, 80 pink flamingos and counts her 300 species of perennials as dear friends.

Article source: http://beta300.theintelligencer.net/uncategorized/2016/06/public-garden-lecture-addresses-twin-topics/

Officials look at revamp options

In the future, when motorists and pedestrians enter Greenwood they’ll be greeted with large signs serving as gateways to the city and pass decorative landscaping on new medians as people walk along wider sidewalks.

If the city is going to revitalize old town and downtown Greenwood, then the two main thoroughfares leading residents and motorists to it have to be revamped with an updated, welcoming look, officials said.

In October, the city hired Rundell Ernstberger to complete a downtown revitalization study to suggest projects that could enhance the look of old town Greenwood and further the city’s efforts to turn it into a shopping and dining destination.

Several months in, the study was expanded to include Main Street from U.S. 31 to Graham Road, and Madison Avenue as far north as County Line Road, bringing the total cost of the study to $90,000.

The study is a part of Greenwood’s efforts to revitalize downtown by creating a blueprint for the city to follow in the coming years. The ideas include widening sidewalks so pedestrians can walk to shops and restaurants can add outdoor seating. The study includes ideas for decorative lighting and signage near downtown and where small “pocket parks” or courtyards can go along sidewalks and trails connecting city parks to downtown Greenwood.

This week, city officials got their first look at some of the ideas picked by the study committee and were asked for their input. Along Madison Avenue south of Fry Road, the study proposes medians to separate the north and southbound sides of the road with landscaping such as trees with larger sidewalks on each side of the street.

As motorists enter Greenwood along Main Street from I-65 and Madison Avenue at County Line Road, large pillars or structures made of stone or brick will welcome residents and visitors into the city while smaller signs or gateways will greet them as they enter downtown.

On Main Street, buffer zones, or an area of grass or landscaping, are suggested between the road and the sidewalks. Landscaping will be used to help manage storm water as well, Rundell Ernstberger project planner Adam Peaper said.

And along both Madison Avenue and Main Street, bike lanes in the road or sidewalks large enough for cyclists and pedestrians are suggested.

“We want to incorporate as many users as we can — bikes, pedestrians and cars and the potential for a rapid bus transit line — with downtown being a unique destination for the community,” Peaper said. “From a connectivity standpoint, as well as the general (look) of the downtown corridor, (we’re) looking at opportunities to create sidewalks and medians, making it more aesthetically pleasing.”

The finalized study that will include detailed suggestions won’t be completed until later this year. The cost for the proposed projects, where the funding will come from and what work should be done first is not yet known, project assistant Kevin Steinmetz said.

Article source: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/local_story/Officials-look-at-revamp-optio_1465962961

Landscape envy

Director of Derby Public Works

Article source: http://www.derbyinformer.com/news/opinion/landscape-envy/article_42cb2d0a-3255-11e6-9d33-8b2b37f63077.html

John Svara: Your body remembers for you

I’ve been thinking about the phrase “muscle memory” lately. What does it mean? Why is it important? What information is stored within our bodies, and how did it get there?

For me the answers are tied up with things I learned mostly from my dad. Knowledge of tools, of their uses and cautions. In memory there are the things themselves, but also ideas about them: the workpiece on the anvil, the hammer which makes it ring, the glowing taffy-like iron pulled from the forge. The horseshoes which result well-formed, ready for service, and those others, poorly struck, or sintered and spalled when left too long in the fire.

My dad, Jim Svara, didn’t teach me smithing, but he did show me how to use a number of other tools. I don’t remember exactly when it happened with most of them, but one exception is the bicycle. I’m pretty sure it was the summer of 1977, on a basketball court near our home in Greensboro.

I’d been riding a purple Huffy with a banana seat and training wheels for a while. On this particular Saturday morning my father carried a crescent wrench and removed my trainers. Then he gripped the back of my seat with one hand and ran, pushing me forward, correcting my lean. There may have been falls, surely there were tears, but by lunchtime I was riding free. My dad had let go, and life would never be the same.

A bicycle is a democratic tool, useful for delivering newsletters and newspapers, for getting close enough to a sit-in to do some sitting in, as my father did, back in the day.

He uses a bike, daily, to measure, map, and seek to understand and improve his adopted home town of Durham. And for 50 years he has ridden in tandem with my mother, maybe not as fast today as when they were newly wed in 1965, but every bit as joyfully, I would think.

A bicycle is a tool for joy, a tool for transport. It requires balance, especially on start-up, but also demands faith in certain physical objects and principles: the twin hubs with their gyroscopic insistence on steady forward motion, resistant but responsive to direction from the rider. The transference of impulse from brain to legs to pedals, gears, wheels, pavement. My father guided and impelled me at the beginning, but on that summer morning in 1977 I discovered that the simple machine I rode, by the force of my will and the strength of my legs, would make me my own travel agent.

Your body remembers for you. In its muscles and synapses, its scars, its narratives. At least, until it ceases to remember.

A bike, and how to ride it, are just one set of the tools and skills which I learned from my father. He taught me a little or a lot about photography, carpentry, sports, landscaping, and limericks, and instructed me in the use of the devices of each. Later there would be other masters, teachers, other forms of equipment, both physical and otherwise; I’ve long made a habit and a study of apprenticeship. Master, apprentice, tool: it’s a model for education that goes back to the beginning of each of our lives, to the beginning of all human life.

You never forget, once you learn, how to use many of the tools you encounter in life. A bicycle is the classic example of this truism. Your body remembers for you. In its muscles and synapses, its scars, its narratives. At least, until it ceases to remember. Life is a continuous process of learning and forgetting, after all, over and over, one holding sway for a time but eventually always sharing the biographical stage with its shadow.

What’s important is not the equipment with which we’re born. It’s the capabilities we acquire along the way, how we put them to use, for as long as we’re able, and how we pass them along. Each of us is our own storehouse of knowledge, our own library of Alexandria in miniature. Acquire all the tools, all the skills, all the understanding you can. Never stop. But don’t horde what you’ve gained. Share it, as much as you’re willing and able, until that library burns or breaks or topples down, as it will.

Trust that others will do the same.

Dad, and to all the dads, and the masters, and the teachers, male, female or otherwise: Happy Father’s Day.

And thank you.

John Svara lives in Durham. To see more of his work go to www.formandflaw.com

Article source: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/dn-opinion/article83089422.html

Andra Stefanoni: Garden tour may inspire landscape lovers | Local News | joplinglobe.com

PITTSBURG, Kan. — As a gardener, I believe there’s no better inspiration and motivation than getting to peek — or, if you’re able, to just flat-out stare — at another person’s garden.

So gardeners, rejoice. On Saturday, you’ll have the chance to stare at five Pittsburg gardens as part of the every-other-year Zone 6 Garden Tour. Now in its eighth year, the self-guided tour is open to the public for the cost of an $8 ticket, or $7 in advance. Tickets are available from garden club members, In the Garden, Van Becelaere Greenhouse, Paradise Mall and Carla’s Country Gardens. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free, but strollers and pets are not allowed.

Once upon a time, our place, Woods Edge, was included on the tour. Recent months have seen it fall out of shape, though, as we’ve gotten busy and the rains have nurtured a jungle. Inspiration and motivation are just what we need.

The Zone 6 tour will offer diversity, from the lush estate of Ken and Debbie Brock at the southern edge of Pittsburg to the backyard “test plot” garden of John and Michelle Harrison, who own In the Garden.

Those who tour may do so in any order they choose. There will be a Zone 6 guidebook free to all ticket holders.

The book’s descriptions are as follows:

• The Brock garden is parklike; visitors will tour it while driving their winding lane past flower beds and over a bridge that crosses a stream. White birch trees are reminiscent of the white aspens of Colorado, and a lake pavilion provides a place for visitors to stretch their legs.

• The garden of sisters Susie and Babs Tims, on just over an acre, is near Pittsburg State University and often sees them entertaining friends, family, and students of the two longtime teachers. It includes a custom-designed patio, a stone fireplace, archways, rock gardens and a pergola, as well as perennials, annuals and even a cactus garden. Visitors also will get to see their Route 66-themed garage, which includes a room dedicated entirely to “The Wizard of Oz.”

Story continues below video

• The garden of Susie Drenik is eclectic and is, as she says, a work in progress. It includes raised beds for her vegetables, which she shares with family and friends and preserves to enjoy each winter, as well as a water feature and many varieties of plants that attract birds and butterflies.

• The garden of Larry and Ann Boler is now a place of quiet respite for the couple, who tore out a great deal of overgrowth to open their yard and make it more welcoming. With shade trees, gently curving paths, a stone fire pit, a small fish pond, birdhouses and feeders, it’s a comfortable place, they say, to read, nap, relax or visit with friends.

• The Harrison garden allows John to try out “one of everything,” he says. At its height around the Fourth of July, more than 75 varieties of perennials will be in bloom. The garden includes Japanese maples, redbuds and hydrangeas, as well as areas for his children to play.

Garden tour organizers are encouraging visitors to also check out other opportunities to see landscaping throughout the community, including at Immigrant Park and Miners’ Memorial, Europe Park, Trail Head Park/Watco Trail, the PSU Veterans Memorial amphitheater and the PSU campus, none of which require tickets.

They also encourage visitors to check out the newly expanded Pittsburg Farmers Market, which will be open 7:30 a.m. to noon that day at 11th and Broadway; tickets for the tour will be sold nearby starting when the market opens.

 

 Andra Bryan Stefanoni, a former Globe reporter, now works as a freelancer. She lives in Pittsburg, Kan.

Article source: http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/andra-stefanoni-garden-tour-may-inspire-landscape-lovers/article_0c5498f4-2b15-59bf-a000-d3825d9c118d.html

AgriLife Extension, Myer’s Park team up to tout Earth-Kind principles

Park is venue for world’s most extensive Earth-Kind research trials  

By: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Steve George, 972-540-2019, s-george3@tamu.edu

Dr. Greg Church, 972-548-4232, gtchurch@ag.tamu.edu

Judy Florence, 972-548-4792, mpec@collincountytx.gov

MCKINNEY – Myer’s Park and Event Center not only provides a beautiful backdrop for a variety of public and private events, it is also the venue for the most extensive Earth-Kind research and demonstration trials anywhere in the world, said Dr. Steve George, Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service landscape specialist, Dallas.

The Earth-Kind trials on perennials and annuals at Myer’s Park provide a beautiful backdrop for tours and photography. Couples have also been married in the garden. (Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“Earth-Kind testing is currently taking place in multiple states throughout the U.S. and in five foreign countries, but the largest of any is here at Myer’s Park near McKinney,” said George, creator of the Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management System. “Earth-Kind landscaping uses research-proven techniques to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment while preserving and protecting the environment. Here at Myer’s Park, there are Earth-Kind trials being conducted on annuals, perennials, grapes, herbs, shrubs, ornamental grasses, tree-form crape myrtles and vegetables.”

George said the objective of Earth-Kind landscaping is to combine the best of organic and traditional gardening and landscaping principles to create a horticultural system based on real-world effectiveness and environmental responsibility.

“Earth-Kind is a registered trademark of the Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service,” George explained.

He said Earth-Kind landscaping principles have been used since the 1990s. They encourage water conservation, reduced chemical inputs and less landscape waste entering landfills.”

The park, which covers more than 158 acres, features The Landing and Pole Barn event venues, a show barn, stall barn, gazebo, pond, the Collin County Farm Museum, an amphitheater and award-winning gardens.

“At Myer’s Park we are testing 42 annual varieties and 111 perennial varieties, as well as 40 herb varieties, nine grape varieties, 25 crape myrtle varieties, 17 shrub varieties and 10 grass varieties, plus various vegetables,” said Dr. Greg Church, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Collin County. Together, Church, George, park personnel, Collin County Master Gardeners and others worked to build and maintain the park’s several Earth-Kind test plots.

The parks test plots include the Earth-Kind Perennial Research Garden, Earth-Kind Annual Research Garden, Earth-Kind Herb Research Garden, Earth-Kind Grape Research Garden, Earth-Kind Crape Myrtle Research Garden, Earth-Kind Shrub Research Garden, Earth-Kind Vegetable Research Garden and Earth-Kind Ornamental Grass Research Garden.

The Earth-Kind perennial Research Garden is a collaboration of Myer’s Park, AgriLife Extension and others. (Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The perennial and annual research gardens, as well as those for herbs and grape varieties, are located near the park office, while research and demonstration plots of shrubs, crape myrtle, vegetables and turfgrass have been established elsewhere throughout the park.

“We are very pleased with our relationship with AgriLife Extension and the Collin County Master Gardeners,” said park manager Judy Florence. “They have helped us beautify our park with these gardens and do most of the work toward their upkeep. Many people come to the park just to see the gardens and learn more about how they were created.”

Church said the annuals and perennials are being tested for their ability to perform with little or no maintenance.

“In our annuals and perennials research we are looking to identify attractive, sturdy plants that do well with minimal watering and little to no chemical input,” Church said. “For the shrubs and crape myrtles, we are also looking for varieties that grow in such a way as to require little or no pruning. In all our trials, we are looking for varieties that remain healthy and perform well while conserving water and eliminating the need for fertilizers or pesticides.”

Florence said the perennials research garden, which was established in 2010, is very popular among those getting married.

“We have a lot of weddings at the park and people enjoy using the gardens as a backdrop for their wedding photos,” she said. “We’ve also had several couples get married in the garden.”

The design for the perennial garden and adjacent gardens was developed by Church for aesthetic purposes and to keep within the practical necessities related to his research.

“This is a concentric circle design broken into four different sections with each quadrant being a research replication,” he said. “There’s one of each of the plants in all four sections, but they are placed randomly within each section.”

Earth-Kind vegetable trials are among the additional types of research being done at Myer’s Park. (Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Church said to prepare the soil for planting, it was tilled to a depth of 6-8 inches, and three inches of compost was added, then re-tilled. After the varieties were planted, three inches of hardwood mulch made from shredded tree limbs and branches was added around the plants and to cover the soil of each section. He made similar soil preparations and replications at the other test plots.

“Earth-Kind is the epitome of low maintenance,” George said. “For example, if you are growing a woody plant that lasts a hundred years, with Earth-Kind you only add compost one time in 100 years and work the soil one time in 100 years. From then on you just mulch.”

According to Church and George, Earth-Kind also conserves a great deal of water.  Compared to the typical homeowner using overhead irrigation, they estimate that after its establishment year supplemental irrigation in the Earth-Kind Perennial Research Garden was reduced by 96 percent.

Rainwater harvesting is also emphasized in Earth-Kind landscaping and gardens. For these gardens, two 500-gallon tanks capture rainwater from a section of the  park’s Collin County Farm Museum roof for use in irrigation.

Recently, about 20 individuals from George’s Earth-Kind Landscape Design and Management School  toured the park’s many research and demonstration plots, seeing firsthand how to apply Earth-Kind principles.

George holds these landscape design schools each year in Dallas and other Texas cities. The two-day course consists of an in-depth classroom program and outdoor laboratory session, plus a personalized 1.5-hour landscape design consultation.

Attendees of Dr. George’s landscaping school get a firsthand look at Earth-Kind  table grape trials at Myer’s Park. (Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“We like people to come to the garden to look at the plants, see what they like and get an idea of whether the plants will work for them when they are at a mature size,” said Diane Sharp, the 16-year Collin County Master Gardener and project lead who coordinated the recent tour.

“Having a closer look at these plants really helps with plant selection for your own landscape,” said Ed Waldrup of Plano, an Earth-Kind landscape design course attendee who took the tour. “But the real secret is in the composting and preparation of the soil.”

“The amount of information I have gotten toward applying these landscaping principles, as well as having Dr. George help me develop my own home landscape design, has been incredible,” added Louise Pontius of Coppell, another landscape course attendee and tour participant.

Others who toured the gardens also had praise for their beauty, design and the extensive amount of research being done.

“This is a great place for people to come and look at a lot of different research trials and a lot of different plants,” Church said. “Here they can learn about the plants and Earth-Kind principles and see how they can be successful if they replicate this approach.”

-30-

Article source: http://today.agrilife.org/2016/06/14/agrilife-extension-myers-park-team-up-to-tout-earth-kind-principles/

Traveling introduces different gardening techniques (Garden Talk)

By Andrew J. Baril

Dear Birmingham readers, I’ve been on vacation for the past week, so I’m writing this from Eugene, Oregon.  Traveling does a lot of different things to a person. First, for me, I don’t like people going through my things, so the TSA workers are my adversaries (just kidding).  No, the flights from Birmingham to Portland through Dallas went just fine, but upon touchdown in Portland my eyes were opened to a cornucopia of color.

As a forester, I first noticed the trees.  Flying into Portland from the east my plane was officially in Washington, north of the mighty Columbia River.  As I looked out the window to the south, I saw trees!  Hemlocks, firs, pines, and spruces cover the lower slopes of Mt. Hood, while the top is still covered in snow.  As the plane descended through the clouds, I was able to see the city from above.  Portland is known for its roses and right now they are all in bloom.  After finding my daughter, she took our party for a tour.  As we drove through the downtown district roses were everywhere.  Along with the roses, people have planted numerous species of annuals and perennials.  Various flowers, grasses, forbes, ornamental trees, and native trees are arranged to produce a beautiful palette.

After eating lunch, we drove the two hours to Eugene.  Along the way, I was entertained by the Agriculture of the Willamette River Valley.  Oregon State is the Extension University in Oregon, so I was viewing their signage of clover, fescue, and mint fields along the highway.  Upon arriving in Eugene I saw something I had never seen before; a homeowner had completely removed all of their grass and replaced it with flowering plants.  It looked wildly beautiful.  It was snakey yet inviting.  I was trying to imagine how it would fit into a Birmingham neighborhood.  As I walked the downtown blocks, I saw this repeated again and again.  I began to consider the ‘time’ invested is this form of landscaping verses our traditional lawn, shrubs, flower bed mix.

In our traditional “Southern” landscape the yard is basically grass with shrubs and flowers as accent pieces.  This new “Oregonian” style yard was completely flowers.  If it takes me one hour to cut my grass each week, I’ve got 26 hours invested in mowing the yard for the six month period from April to October.  If I have a lot of sidewalk space I will have to add in the edging time too, although it might be done biweekly instead of weekly (let’s say 30 minutes, 13 times a year for 6.5 hours).  During that time, I will probably shape my shrubs twice at five hours each shaping.  Finally I come to my flower beds.  Each spring we gardeners eagerly jump into our flowerbeds to rid them of last year’s dead flowers and the weeds that grew during the winter.  While this maybe a major undertaking, it normally only takes a day or two around our work schedules.  Also depending on the annual/perennial flower mix, the time will lengthen should I plant more annuals and shorten if I allow perennials to dominate the bed. Let’s imagine two ten hour days to work the beds.  In total, I might have 63 hours invested in my landscaping.  Landscaping the Oregonian way eliminates the grass, but increases the flowers.  For this new landscaping, I will zero out my mowing and edging, but increase my flower beds by one day.  Now I only have 40 hours invested in my landscaping, but a lot more color.  It’s something to consider.

Garden Talk is written by Andrew J. Baril of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture Environmental Center, which is based at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This column includes research-based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama AM and Auburn Universities.  Email questions to ajb0012@auburn.edu, or call 205 879-6964. Learn more about what is going on in Jefferson County by visiting the ACES website, www.aces.edu/Jefferson or checking us on Facebook and Twitter. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama AM and Auburn Universities), is an equal opportunity employer and educator.  Everyone is welcome!

Article source: http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2016/06/traveling_introduces_different_1.html

Gardening Tips: Keep an eye out for disease

May diseases that affect plants are spread by water droplets the hitting leaves. This may be caused by rain or even your watering habits. If you water gardens with sprinklers or stand with a hose and spray the foliage, there is more chance for diseases to spread.

You can’t control the rain, but you can deliver water to the roots of plants rather than soaking the leaves. Also, water in early morning so foliage has a chance to dry before strong sun hits it or early evening, so that foliage doesn’t stay wet overnight.

It is much easier to prevent disease than cure it, so keep an eye out for the start of problems and catch then quickly. You can also take note of plants you have that regularly have the same problem.

Use the correct fungicide early to prevent the disease from taking hold. You can even use lime sulphur as a dormant spray in early April before leaves emerge. This treatment will kill some of the over-wintering disease spores that are on the plant.

There are three main fungicides available in Ontario: copper sulphate and sulphur are powders that when mixed with water are sprayed on leaves and stems; Natria is a liquid, broad spectrum fungicide that protects plants from many common fungal and bacterial diseases.

It is made from a unique strain of Bacillus subtillis, a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil. It prevents and destroys disease but is not harmful to beneficial insects, pets or wildlife.

Natria can prevents powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf spots, botrytis blights, grey mold and anthracnose and can be used on a wide range of plants. This is the product to use on roses, garden phlox, bee balm, geraniums, petunias and more. 

It is also safe for edible crops, such as cucumber and zucchini, right up to the day of harvest. This is the fungicide that thousands of farmers use to grow disease-free fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Right now, examine trees in the plum family for the disease black knot. It is very evident on branches as a swollen, black mass of tissue. Prune out as soon as you notice by cutting eight inches below affected areas.

Dip pruning tools in rubbing alcohol between cuts to help prevent the spread of disease. Bag and discard diseased branches or burn them. Spray the remaining plant with copper sulphate to help control this problem. Next spring, use lime sulphur as a dormant spray.

Also keep an eye out for the destructive disease Fire Blight. It can hit many in the fruit family, including Mountain Ash. In the early stages of infection, blossoms appear water soaked and gray-green but quickly turn brown or black. Generally, the entire flower cluster becomes blighted and killed.

The most obvious symptom of the disease is called the shoot blight phase, which first appears after petal fall. The leaves and stem on young, succulent shoot tips turn brown or black and bend over into a characteristic shape similar to the top of a shepherd’s crook.

Small droplets of sticky bacterial ooze often can be seen on the surface of these blighted shoots when the weather is warm and humid.

Under favourable conditions, shoot blight infections will multiply and continue to expand down the stems, causing the tree to appear scorched by fire. Shoot blight infections can expand beyond the current season’s growth into the older supporting wood, causing dark sunken cankers to form.

There is no cure for fire blight and the best way to deal with the infection is to remove infected stems and branches. Use the same pruning and discard method as outlined above with Black Knot.

Unfortunately, if Black Knot or Fire Blight gets in the main trunk of a tree, the entire tree will have to be removed. Early detecting and control is important.

Article source: https://www.sootoday.com/columns/gardening-tips/gardening-tips-keep-an-eye-out-for-disease-312484

Gardening tips from a local expert

As the fear of a late frost fades with each warmer day, gardeners are starting to fill their yards, patios and decks with colorful veggies and flowers.

Staff horticulturist Betsy Kelson has been working at Jared’s Nursery, Gift and Garden in South Jeffco for 19 years. Referred to as the “expert,” Kelson has some gardening tips for those looking to get green this season.

1. Know your last frost date

“In April, people get real excited about their first garden or are new to the area, and we have those few beautiful 70- and 80-degree days, and they think it’s time to plant,” Kelson said. “Oftentimes they need to be reminded that the 10th to the 15th of May could be the last frost date; you really need to wait until that for certain things.”

That doesn’t mean you can’t get started.

“You can still plant pretty much anything that would go in the salad bowl; lettuces, the spinaches, the kales, the things like that. So they leave here usually pretty excited knowing they can get started, just not with the top 10 vegetable, which is the tomato,” Kelson said.

2. You can start now

“People come back from vacation and they think they’re behind, and in some cases they probably are,” Kelson said. “They can’t be growing tomatoes from seed; they’re going to have to buy plants, and they should look on the tags or ask a lot of questions and find out which ones have the shortest growing season.”

Multiple tomato varieties have short seasons and can be planted now, but peppers need a longer season, and it’s likely too late for them.

“The good news is, if they think they’re behind in cucumbers and zucchini, those are only 55- or 60-day plants from seed; they don’t even have to worry about trying to find plants,” Kelson said.

3. Repurpose shade cloth for hail protection

“They get it all planted, and then they hear that ‘tink, tink, tink’ on the roof, and then they rush out to cover it,” Kelson said. “Instead of using them to protect folks from the sun, with all these shade cloths that you can put over your plants, they find that they can be repurposed as hail netting for their vegetable gardens.”

4. Don’t ignore the rising temperatures

“Watering in the morning before they go to work is probably going to be better than hoping it’s not too hot when you get home and find things kind of all droopy,” Kelson said. “You want to water thoroughly; you want to see the water coming out the bottom of the pot, so that you know that it has gotten through the whole root system and not just the first inch.”

5. Consider container gardening, but don’t forget fertilizer

“A lot of folks are doing container gardens. There are still a lot of folks living in condos where they don’t have outdoor space, they have balconies, and so there is a lot of container gardening going on,” Kelson said.

“They know that they need to water, but because there’s no extra soil like in the ground for the plants to get nutrients from, they’ll have to fertilize regularly. And that’s probably something new for the folks who have been in-ground gardeners, that now they’re converting into container gardeners. So a month from now, the plants they buy from us start to look a little weak or they’re not flowering as well anymore, so we usually recommend that you fertilize once a week.”

6. Don’t overreact to insects 

“Within the last two weeks, the insects are here,” Kelson said. “So the thing that catches people’s eye first is the sucking insects; the aphids, because they can see them; they can see that there are hundreds of them. And the first thing they want to do is do something. And a lot of times it’s just hosing them off. I mean that’s the simplest, especially for the organic gardener. And if you see lady bugs around, then definitely just hose the plants off, try and get the aphids off and let the ladybugs catch up with their devouring.”

7. Late-season crops mean goodies in the winter

“Once September comes, they can go back to putting in the late salad stuff: the lettuces, the spinaches, more onions, garlic, some of your cool-season crops for the September-October time period,” Kelson said. “Most of the cool-season crops are less than a month from seed to harvest.” 

Article source: http://www.columbinecourier.com/content/gardening-tips-local-expert

Early summer gardening tips

All the rain we’ve had sure has been nice. My gardens are as lush as a jungle and I imagine yours are too. This is the time of year when many of us are doing things like dividing plants, creating new beds and planting a second round of some vegetables now that it’s getting too hot for arugula and delicate salad greens. It’s also the time to tackle some of the challenges of the season. Here are some tips that I hope you find helpful.

First, though, I’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of you who came by and donated seeds to the Little Free Seed Library after my last plea for seeds. We’ve never had so many seeds to share, and because of that I’m going to leave them out there for a while longer than usual. So come on by and help yourself.

Spotting spittlebugs

Ever notice how you walk around the garden and it looks like somebody horked up a loogie on a plant? That gross foamy mass is actually the creation of spittlebugs (Philaenus spumarius), and there seem to be a lot of them this year for some reason. Fortunately, they don’t do much harm. Even a huge infestation will cause little more than some distorted leaves. Nymphs, which emerge in April or May, create the foam to protect themselves from predators, who will no doubt be disgusted by their spitty living conditions. There’s only one generation of these critters per year, and the adults leave plants in favor of grassy areas pretty quickly. Still, if the spitballs bother you, you can blast them with the hose or toughen up and pick the nymphs off the plants by hand.

Dividing plants

Now is a great time to divide perennials. But if, like me, you dig up more than you can plant or give away in a reasonable time, save them the indignity of drying up on the driveway by “heeling” them in. To do that, just find a temporary spot somewhere in the garden where you can plant them temporarily and keep them watered. If you want to divide spring-flowering bulbs, go ahead and do that after the foliage has faded.

Protecting fruit

Looking forward to harvesting strawberries and raspberries? So are the birds. If you want to protect your fruit, try placing netting over your plants. Make sure it is secure at ground level because the little devils will happily go under rather than over if they can.

Planting and harvesting vegetables

It’s been a great year for spinach, mustard greens, lettuce, radishes and other early vegetables. But now that the weather is warming up, it will soon be time to replace them with something else that can take the heat. I like to fill that space with herbs (seed or seedlings), heat-tolerant lettuce and various types of kale and chard. Zucchini and other summer squash should be harvested with the fruits are about 6 to 8 inches long. Let round varieties grow to about 3 to 7 inches in diameter.

Scouting plants to buy

Yes, of course our gardens are full of plants. But that doesn’t stop us from keeping our eyes peeled for new plants we’d like to buy. I set my sights on adding more roses to my garden this year, and on the advice of rose breeder and horticulture professor David Zlesak, I bought a ‘John Davis’ climbing rose. Hardy to Zone 3 (we are Zone 4) this pretty, old-fashioned-looking rose has pretty pink blooms and grows to about 7 feet tall. I’m going to train it on the same fence where David Zlesak’s own rose, Above and Beyond™ (Rosa ZLEEltonStrack), is currently in full bloom.

David spent years working on Above and Beyond, which has gorgeous semi-double, apricot-colored flowers that bloom earlier than many roses. Also hardy to Zone 3, it can be grown as a shrub or climber and plants are resistant to fungal diseases. Featured on our south-facing fence, that rose has stopped more people in their tracks this year than probably any other plant in our garden.

Check out Meleah’s blog: www.everydaygardener.com for more gardening tips or to email her a question or comment.

 

Article source: http://www.southwestjournal.com/voices/everyday-gardener/2016/06/early-summer-gardening-tips/