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Archives for July 7, 2017

GARDENING WITH THE MASTERS: July tips for summer plant maintenance

Ornamentals

♦ If your hosta and azalea stems have a white powder covering them, it is probably the waxy coating of planthopper insects. They don’t do much damage, but can spread diseases. Spray with garden insecticide if unsightly.

♦ Lamb’s ear tends to have their lower leaves die after a heavy rain. This forms ugly mats that will rot stems and roots. Pull away the yellow leaves to keep up airflow.

♦ Fertilize crape myrtles, butterfly bushes and hydrangeas with 1 tablespoon of 10-10-10 per foot of height. http://extension.uga.edu/publications/files/pdf/B%201065_3.PDF

Fruits and Vegetables

♦ Before you spray an insecticide on your vegetables, check the label. Each insecticide has a waiting period after application before you can harvest.

♦ Although tomatoes are self-pollinating, they need movement to transfer pollen. If it is hot and calm for several days, gently shake plants to assure pollen transfer and fruit set. Hot temperatures can interfere with blossom set.

♦ Water stress in sweet potatoes can result in cracked roots. A potassium deficiency causes long, slender roots. Too much nitrogen reduces yield and quality. http://extension.uga.edu/publications/files/pdf/C%201014_1.PDF

♦ Most fertilizer recommendations are for 100 square feet, so keep your garden’s square footage a simple fraction of that. For example, a 4 X 12 foot garden is exactly 50 square feet and would require exactly one half the fertilizer required by a garden of 100 square feet.

♦ Okra pods get tough if allowed to grow too large. Pick regularly.

♦ Mulch strawberries heavily to help protect them from heat and drought.

♦ The time of day vegetables are harvested can make a difference in the taste and texture. For sweetness, pick peas and corn late in the day; that’s when they contain the most sugar, especially if the day was cool and sunny. Other vegetables, like lettuce and cucumbers, are crisper and tastier if you harvest them early in the morning before the day’s heat has a chance to wilt and shrivel them.

♦ Start a fall crop of brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale indoors. Outdoors, sow pumpkin, beans, squash, cucumbers and crowder peas. Plant carrots mid-month.

♦ Pick squash regularly to keep up production. If the vines wilt, check the base of the stem for “sawdust.” This means the plant has squash bores in the stem. Remove infected plants (thus removing the bores) and plant new seeds. It is good to change your planting location to hopefully prevent the new plants from being attacked.

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♦ Sunflowers are ready to harvest when the back of the head turns brown.

♦ Keep an eye out for tomato hornworm. They can do enormous damage overnight. They also attack Nicotiana. When you see damage, check under leaves and stems to find them. Hand pick to dispose of them.

♦ Don’t plant all your beans at once. If you stagger the plantings every two weeks you will have fresh beans longer. Soak bean seeds overnight before planting for faster germination.

♦ Use bamboo poles to form a large teepee-like structure. Use twine to create a trellis though all but one section of the teepee. Plant pole beans along the twine. Watch the beans grow into a house that kids love to play in. The section that was not tied with the twine is the entrance to the bean teepee.

Miscellaneous

♦ If you keep your houseplants indoors all summer, keep them out of the draft of the air conditioner. Plants react to an air conditioner’s cool air in various ways. Some drop their leaves, others don’t bloom well and some fail to bloom at all.

Article source: http://www.tribuneledgernews.com/lifestyle/gardening-with-the-masters-july-tips-for-summer-plant-maintenance/article_2a117eac-62a3-11e7-b09d-bf746239fa1a.html

10 Tips for Urban Gardening

Westsiders may sometimes think that gardening is only for those who live in suburbs or rural communities, but planting an urban garden can be easy. Whether you are planting a garden for yourself or your family, you can do your part to create a more sustainable and green future.

These simple steps recommended by Arjan Stephens, executive vice president at Nature’s Path Organic Foods, can help you on your way to greening your thumb and the planet:

 

No Space, No Problem: Not everyone has a backyard, roof or balcony. To overcome this issue, start a container garden. While decorative pots can be lovely, they don’t improve the quality of your plants and can be expensive. Instead, you can use a large bucket from a garden store, which is a low-cost and effective option. Or upcycle containers not in use, such as crates, old toys or paint cans.

Plant Selection: There are vegetable, flower and herb varieties that are easy to grow in urban spaces. When planning your garden, think about what to plant – shallow-rooted veggies, such as herbs, lettuce and radishes typically do better in confined spaces.

It Takes a Village: In addition to establishing your own garden, another way to plant is by getting involved with community gardens. Each year, Nature’s Path Food’s Gardens for Good program supports community gardens that make fresh, organic food more accessible in local neighborhoods. Three $15,000 grants are available to gardens that demonstrate high community support and a viable plan for the urban agriculture project.

Plant Right: Potting your plants takes a few simple steps. Put some gravel in the bottom of your container to help with drainage and fill with soil, tamping it a bit. Leave 1 inch at the top for watering. Tamp the soil after the plants are in place and water gently.

Portable Planters: An advantage of container gardens is that they allow you to easily move them in and out of the sun. If your plants seem to dry out in one window area, you can try different areas to adjust to what works best.

Grow Up: Small spaces make it ideal to grow vertically, which means planting tall plants like squash, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes.

Drain Gain: Whatever container you choose for your garden, remember drainage holes are essential. Without proper drainage, soil can become waterlogged and plants may die. The holes need to be large enough to allow excess water to drain out.

Water Wise: Hand water every morning. Once the plants are large and summer is hot, they will probably need watering in the evening, too. A little afternoon shade can keep them from drying out too quickly.

Soil Smart: A common mistake urban gardeners make is not making sure their soil is good quality. While those made with pesticides promise great results, they are loaded with chemicals. Go for organic soil and grow well from the beginning.

Have Fun: Gardening not only results in food or flowers, it is a great way to relieve stress, have fun and get in touch with nature. Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t experience the joy of eating what you grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your container, select your seeds and see how beautiful, nutritious and delicious your results could be. Find more details about Gardens for Good and urban gardening at naturespath.com.

Article source: http://westsidetoday.com/2017/07/07/urban-gardening/

Gardening column: Handy tips to boost garden’s success – News …

Q. Is it too late to plant annual flowers and vegetables?

A.If you have seeds left over or can find them at garden centers (Menard’s had quite a few left), sow those right into the garden where they should germinate very quickly. Keep them watered as they germinate and develop especially as the weather (if it is normal this year) becomes drier.

• To help the seeds to germinate more quickly, soak them in warm water overnight before sowing them in the garden.

• Some flowers and vegetables that can be planted now and should bloom late and last through an early frost are: pot marigold, zinnia, moss rose, sweet alyssum, cornflower, and the annual Shirley poppy. Some vegetables that do well are the colored lettuces, flower kale, flowering cabbage and chard. Also in late summer, plant cool weather vegetables to enjoy well into cold weather.

• Garden centers will probably be offering annual transplants through most of the summer. Also if you purchase pots of wave petunias, they will give you a big burst of color throughout the summer and they handle cool weather, even light frosts very well.

Q.I know you’ve talked about slugs in the garden; do you have any new ideas of how to trap them?

A.Don’t wait to see holes developing in your plants to combat these nighttime pests—set traps for them early:

• Lay boards on the soil near the plants then check the underside of the piece of wood every morning after the sun comes up and scrape them off into soapy water.

• Also make rolls of wet newspaper and lay them near your plants. Slugs will crawl inside for shelter during the day and instead wind up in the trash.

• Tried and true method is of course the cup of beer or water, sugar, and yeast buried up to the opening in the soil so they can crawl in and drown.

Q.I am seeing a few Japanese beetles in the garden. Do you have suggestions of how to get rid of them without using chemicals?

A.Simple method is gathering them up and drowning them in a pan of soapy water. If they are mainly seen on a favorite plant, shake the plant over the soapy water which will get most of them then if you are squeamish, use gloves to pick them up and drop them in the pan.

• Best advice—do not use the traps. They will draw them by the hundreds, even thousands, from all over the neighborhood and you will have difficulty ever getting rid of all of them.

Q.I’ve heard that Epsom salts is good for the garden and is considered organic. When should I use it and how?

A.This is excellent to boost blooms on all blooming plants, flowers and vegetables. It is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to a plants’ healthy growth. Any of the following ideas will feed the plant:

• Dissolve a tablespoon in a gallon of water and spray early in the day on the leaves of the plants.

• Dissolve 3 tablespoons in a gallon of water and after you have made sure the soil is hydrated, pour a pint of this mixture at the root level of each plant.

• Before you water, sprinkle the dry salts around the root level of each plant, and then water it in.

Jane Ford is an Advanced Master Gardener. Email questions to bloominthing@gmail.com. She also answers gardening questions with horticulture educator Ricky Kemery noon-1 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of each month on “The Plant Medic,” a radio show on 95.7fm. This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of The News-Sentinel.

Article source: http://www.news-sentinel.com/living/gardening_column_handy_tips_to_boost_gardens_success_20170707&profile=1016

How not to kill your tomatoes

This tomato plant was a goner. Thinking I was helping, I only hastened its rapid demise.

How? I watered in the late afternoon. It was a hard lesson on “proper irrigation.”

During our recent triple-digit heat wave, this particular tomato vine wilted badly. On an after-work visit to my community garden plot, I was alarmed by this plant’s near-death appearance. Its leaves brown and curling, this little tomato looked like it had been under a heat lamp all day. I immediately grabbed a hose.

I thought a deep soaking might revive this bush and save its baby tomatoes. I was wrong.

“In extreme heat, you don’t want to give a plant water, even if it’s wilted,” explained plant expert Kate Karam of Monrovia Nurseries. “The plant needs a chance to recover first and for the soil to cool down.

“When temperatures reach over 100, water late at night or early in the morning,” she added. “Don’t water in the late afternoon or you’ll boil your plants’ roots alive. They’ll literally steam; the soil is just too hot.”

That’s what happened to this sad tomato. The next morning, instead of bouncing back into a green and happy bush, it drooped into a heap of crispy leaves. So much for this plant. Fortunately, its neighboring tomato vines came through the heat spell OK. This summer’s harvest will not be a total loss.

This tomato death was a reminder of how many things can grow wrong in the summer garden.

“It’s just been the oddest year and not really predictable,” said Karam, who gives advice to gardeners nationwide. “This year has been really interesting for people who have gardened in California for a long time. The last 10 years – sure, we’ve had drought – but gardening overall has been pretty predictable. This year, everything is so different.”

Take our June weather, for example. This is that crucial time when baby tomato plants do a lot of growing and begin to set fruit. They prefer a gradual climb in temperature, slowly warming up as their vines grow and first fruit ripens. But in Sacramento this June, highs ranged from 71 to 108.

Tomatoes love warmth but only tolerate high heat. That rapid rise in temperatures causes them to shut down fruit production and concentrate on survival. They drop blossoms or refuse to set new tomatoes. They develop brown spots on tomatoes that are forming (signs of dreaded blossom end rot).

To help your tomatoes make it through this summer, treat them like you’d treat yourself. Keep their roots hydrated (but not soggy) and cool. Add a layer of straw mulch or other organic material to maintain that steady soil moisture and temperature.

If triple-digit heat is predicted, even sun-loving tomatoes need some relief. Erect an umbrella to shade the vines in late afternoon or place some burlap over their tomato cages. That will not only cool the vines, but prevent sunburned fruit.

And never water in the late afternoon.

Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/home-garden/debbie-arrington/article159623244.html

Gardening column: Handy tips to boost garden’s success

Q. Is it too late to plant annual flowers and vegetables?

A.If you have seeds left over or can find them at garden centers (Menard’s had quite a few left), sow those right into the garden where they should germinate very quickly. Keep them watered as they germinate and develop especially as the weather (if it is normal this year) becomes drier.

• To help the seeds to germinate more quickly, soak them in warm water overnight before sowing them in the garden.

• Some flowers and vegetables that can be planted now and should bloom late and last through an early frost are: pot marigold, zinnia, moss rose, sweet alyssum, cornflower, and the annual Shirley poppy. Some vegetables that do well are the colored lettuces, flower kale, flowering cabbage and chard. Also in late summer, plant cool weather vegetables to enjoy well into cold weather.

• Garden centers will probably be offering annual transplants through most of the summer. Also if you purchase pots of wave petunias, they will give you a big burst of color throughout the summer and they handle cool weather, even light frosts very well.

Q.I know you’ve talked about slugs in the garden; do you have any new ideas of how to trap them?

A.Don’t wait to see holes developing in your plants to combat these nighttime pests—set traps for them early:

• Lay boards on the soil near the plants then check the underside of the piece of wood every morning after the sun comes up and scrape them off into soapy water.

• Also make rolls of wet newspaper and lay them near your plants. Slugs will crawl inside for shelter during the day and instead wind up in the trash.

• Tried and true method is of course the cup of beer or water, sugar, and yeast buried up to the opening in the soil so they can crawl in and drown.

Q.I am seeing a few Japanese beetles in the garden. Do you have suggestions of how to get rid of them without using chemicals?

A.Simple method is gathering them up and drowning them in a pan of soapy water. If they are mainly seen on a favorite plant, shake the plant over the soapy water which will get most of them then if you are squeamish, use gloves to pick them up and drop them in the pan.

• Best advice—do not use the traps. They will draw them by the hundreds, even thousands, from all over the neighborhood and you will have difficulty ever getting rid of all of them.

Q.I’ve heard that Epsom salts is good for the garden and is considered organic. When should I use it and how?

A.This is excellent to boost blooms on all blooming plants, flowers and vegetables. It is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to a plants’ healthy growth. Any of the following ideas will feed the plant:

• Dissolve a tablespoon in a gallon of water and spray early in the day on the leaves of the plants.

• Dissolve 3 tablespoons in a gallon of water and after you have made sure the soil is hydrated, pour a pint of this mixture at the root level of each plant.

• Before you water, sprinkle the dry salts around the root level of each plant, and then water it in.

Jane Ford is an Advanced Master Gardener. Email questions to bloominthing@gmail.com. She also answers gardening questions with horticulture educator Ricky Kemery noon-1 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of each month on “The Plant Medic,” a radio show on 95.7fm. This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of The News-Sentinel.

Article source: http://www.news-sentinel.com/living/gardening_column_handy_tips_to_boost_gardens_success_20170707&profile=1016

Tips to keeping your garden safe through the summer

If you turn the hose on a plant in soils heated by 120 degree sun all day, you’ll do more harm than good. Water in these conditions becomes a super conductor, turning to scalding steam in the root zone. Levels where the soil is still cool become warmer as a result, losing the deep cool refuge that’s essential to survival. Watering in desert summer heat can be the end of some plants, explaining why so many inexplicably die during heat waves.

The problem is steam scalds plant root hairs. Root hairs are microscopic conduits that transfer soil moisture into the root itself. If hot water sears them back, moisture uptake is limited until the root heals, if it ever does.

Another cause of root hair damage is turning a hot hose on any plant at any time as the water will literally be boiling. Boiling water can severely damage surface roots, foliage, stems and root crowns and succulent skin, though it doesn’t show right away. Too often it’s revealed a few days or even weeks later when that hot water bath is long forgotten.

This is an age-old problem my old mentor Milton Sessions described to me this way. If you come upon a man dying of thirst in the desert, would you withhold life saving water because it will make him sick? This is the dilemma when we discover a plant is stressed way too late in the hot summer day. Should I water it immediately to bring it out of wilt? Should I risk waiting until midnight or early morning to let the soil cool down and then water it?

There are no clear-cut answers. In my vegetable garden, the plants naturally wilt in the late afternoon heat. Wilting is a method by which the plant reduces its surface area so there’s less moisture demanding photosynthesis going on. Heat is also drawing moisture out of the leaf surface. In high temperatures the plant can’t replace this loss from the roots fast enough. Yet a check the next morning reveals the plants standing up again, fully hydrated during the night hours without any additional water. This demonstrates that wilt may be simply inability to properly hydrate itself due to local surface of the sun-like temperatures, not inadequate irrigation.

With such extreme summer heat, even our most sturdy desert species are not happy about August in June with serious yellowing. This early desert plants are still reproducing, their seeds and flowers not yet ripe enough to go dormant for the late season heat. With so much energy utilized in this fruiting process, a heat wave at such a critical time of year takes a toll.

To help your landscape better recover, and withstand the summer heat, double check your irrigation settings. Make sure you increase water delivery frequency and duration to summer levels crucial for anyone with a new landscape this year. These folks don’t have a history of their new system and should keep a close eye on plants to get delivery rates tuned in. Very high heat can do terrible things to succulent plant specimens that originated outside the valley.

Expect a lot of dieback. Expect yellowing, but don’t be too worried about it. Succulents turn yellow when weather changes but most of the time it greens up again after the heat event passes. Cover what you can for the summer with shade cloth to aid drought recovery and prevent further sunburn that can leave unattractive damage. Though drapes are tacky, it is the best way to nurture your garden through this brutal summer.

Finally, pay attention to the humidity levels on the weather forecast. When monsoon humidity and clouds keep temperatures lower, the situation changes. Soils don’t reach those astronomical temperatures. Water applied does not evaporate so overwatering is very easy. These are the conditions where people kill a lot of succulents misunderstanding the symptoms of too much moisture, which can look devilishly similar to those of extreme desiccation.

Watering is hard. It’s even harder in the desert due to our extreme summer conditions. Fortunately most of our plants can tough it out unless we interfere and prove without question: No good deed goes unpunished.

Article source: http://www.desertsun.com/story/life/home-garden/maureen-gilmer/2017/07/07/tips-keeping-garden-safe-summer/103422492/

Pamela Kellogg Selected as Featured Panelist for 2017 Summer Classics Garden Party

This press release is submitted and shown here in its original form, unedited by Furniture Today.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., July 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Respected as an innovator and thought leader in the world of interior and exterior design, Pamela Kellogg is proud to be one of four esteemed panelists, personally selected by Summer Classics, to speak on their Signature Style Now panel. The 16 th Annual Summer Classics Garden Party will take place in Birmingham, Alabama, August 8 th through 10 th . Other featured panelists include Ellen McGauley, Homes Editor of Coastal Living, Jan Ware of Jan Ware Designs and Christina and Renee of Park Oak Interior Design. The much anticipated event, which will see attendance from interior design professionals throughout the country, will include an exclusive preview of the 2018 Summer Classics product line as well as the official unveiling of Gabby- the brand’s latest line of indoor designs.

About Kenneth McDonald Designs:

Kenneth McDonald Designs is Orange County’s premier trade showroom offering indoor and outdoor fabrics, trims, wall coverings and hardware. Catering exclusively to the trade, KMD has established a reputation for exceptional service and unparalleled product selection. Located adjacent to their partner, Designers Resource Collection within the Stonemill Design Center in Costa Mesa, the showroom is a sought-after destination by interior designers throughout California.

About Designers Resource Collection, Costa Mesa and San Diego:

Designers Resource Collection is Southern California’s largest multi-line, interior design trade showroom with over 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor furnishings, rugs, lighting and accessories. The Orange County showroom is located adjacent to partner, Kenneth McDonald Designs within the Stonemill Design Center in Costa Mesa. The San Diego showroom, with its own unique selection and flair, is located just off the 5 freeway at 4060 Morena Drive. Both locations are excited to be expanding their footprint in 2017 with expansion celebrations slated for Fall 2017. DRC is proud to serve premier interior designers throughout California who value impeccable service and access to an unparalleled product selection.

About Estate of Design:

Estate of Design offers home furnishings in a wide range of categories at all price points and in a variety of different styles to suit any design aesthetic. Located adjacent to partner showrooms Kenneth McDonald Designs and Designers Resource Collection within the Stonemill Design Center in Costa Mesa, EoD is known for their selection of hard to find items, designer lines and custom bedding. Open exclusively to the trade.

Article source: http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/544438-pamela-kellogg-selected-featured-panelist-2017-summer-classics-garden-party/

Neighborhood Meeting July 19

Mayor Jeff Serdy will play host to a neighborhood meeting on July 19 in the Royal Palm area of the city to discuss citizen concerns and address clean-up and beautification efforts in the area.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at St. George Roman Catholic Church, 300 E. 16th Ave. on Wednesday, July 19. Ideas about landscaping and other improvements to the area will be discussed.

The Royal Palm area is usually identified as the area bounded by Idaho Road, Southern Avenue, Old West Highway and Tomahawk Road. But all area residents are invited to the July 19.

For more information, please contact Mayor Serdy at ajisports@msn.com.

Article source: https://ajnews.com/neighborhood-meeting-july-19/

Beautiful and water-savvy Big Bear gardens | Big Bear Now …

It may seem like Big Bear received a lot of snow this past winter, but it really was only an average winter — not enough to bring the Valley entirely out of the drought. Big Bear Valley gets all its water through nature — aquifers — and water conservation is not going away any time soon.

“Water Conservation … A Big Bear Way of Life,” is the theme of the 15th annual Big Bear Valley Xeriscape Garden Tour sponsored by the Sierra Club Big Bear Group. The tour is one way to see landscaping ideas, discover drought tolerant plants and learn how to save money on water bills, all while creating drought-tolerant gardens. One home features a landscape that has low-water usage and is fire-wise.

Big Bear City resident Annie Aldrich’s garden is one stop on the tour. She said her yard was a blank slate when she moved in and started her xeriscape and organic garden. “This is what you can do with no money,” Aldrich said of her donated plants and greenhouse built of reclaimed wood and plastic.

Aldrich grows squash, basil and tomatoes in the greenhouse. She has raised beds of herbs, artichoke plants, bulbs and other flowers. Almost all of her plants are surrounded in chicken wire to keep out chipmunks, rabbits and birds.

Aldrich collects compostable waste material all winter and tips the barrel out into the compost heap in spring, which she mixes with moss, sand “and a little bit of horse poop,” Aldrich said. Her mulch is chipped sticks and pinecones from the many pine trees in the neighborhood. Aldrich uses pine needles to keep the dust and mud down on her walkways.

Her advice to gardeners? “Don’t get too attached to the plants,” Aldrich said. “Bunnies will eat them, they’ll get dug up for water lines.”

In addition to a variety of homeowner gardens, the Xeriscape Tour includes Big Bear Lake Water Department’s Xeriscape Demonstration Garden on Fox Farm Road in front of the China Gardens Community Garden Project. Native plant expert Orchid Black is on hand to answer questions there.

The Big Bear Homeowner Expo at the Demonstration Garden features 13 booths and a free native and drought-tolerant plant exchange. Gardeners can exchange native and drought-tolerant plants with others. Xeriscape Tour committee members donate plants for the exchange. Event organizers want all the plants to be adopted by the end of the day, so be sure to pick one up.

The Big Bear Valley Xeriscape Garden Tour is Saturday, July 15. Participants begin the free self-guided tour anytime between 9 a.m. and noon at Eminger’s Mountain Nursery, and have until 4 p.m. to complete the driving tour of selected homes in Big Bear Valley. A tour booklet includes locations and directions for tour stops, and has helpful information on xeriscape gardening in Big Bear Valley.

Eminger’s Mountain Nursery is at 41223 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake. The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is at 42050 Fox Farm Road, Big Bear Lake.

For more information, visit www.bigbeargardentour.weebly.com or call 909-866-1067.

Article source: http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net/bigbearnow/beautiful-and-water-savvy-big-bear-gardens/article_a5e900fe-6037-11e7-a1df-e74ccf015b47.html

COMMUNITY ROUNDUP: Local hospital officially changes its name

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Article source: http://www.bakersfield.com/news/community-roundup-local-hospital-officially-changes-its-name/article_4e893f4b-cb89-509b-8b19-bef52d4f05a0.html