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Gardening In The Summer Broiler

The summer heat is upon us. And this summer, Nevada has seen record high temperatures. How is your garden faring through the brutal summer heat?

Nevada Public Radio’s own Angela O’Callaghan and Norm Schilling, co-hosts of “Desert Bloom,” a regular feature on KNPR, bring their wit and wisdom to State of Nevada to answer all questions related to gardening in Nevada.

Discussion Highlights:

Penny from Ridgecrest, Calif., had two questions: How should she get rid of grasshoppers and why are the tips of the leaves of plants in her garden turning brown?

Angela: Usually, when you see those brown tips what happened was when that leaf was first starting to develop there was a little water shortage. Not enough that the plant was going to die, but it didn’t give the developing leaves quite enough water to develop good cells. As the plant got older, it was able to access better watering and it’s able to continue to grow.

Norm: The other thing it could be is salt damage. Salt can build up in our soils. The plants take it up and when the water transpires out the leaf it’s at the very tip of the leaf and it will cause a little die back of tissue. So leaching works. Once or twice a year give your garden a really good, deep soak. And a good time to do that is actually right before a rain. Then the rain comes in and flushes out any other salts that are in our water.  

And Grasshoppers?

Angela: Have you considered getting a lizard?

Norm: Yeah. Just do everything you can to have predators in your garden. 

Kenny from Cross Timbers he planted several spruce, fir and pine trees this spring but many of them have died.

Norm: The problem with planting in the spring is the plant has a limited time to establish its root system. Generally speaking, in hotter climates, you’re better off planting in the fall, September, October, November. That gives the plants a chance to put its roots out into the surrounding soil.

Also, make sure that your well is large enough, the reservoir you build around the tree that you fill up that it’s going to get water around in the surrounding soil as well. 

Sarah from Ridgecrest, Calif., say the young plants in her garden are suffering and they’re not putting out much growth.

Norm:  This has been a rough summer. Right off the bat, we hit 115 in early June. I don’t think that’s ever happened before and it’s been unrelenting since then. Plants are struggling more this year and we’re only mid-July. The other night it was 10 or 11 o’clock at night and the temperature was 102 or something. These nighttime temperatures are so high that the plants are not getting a break that I think they really want.

What you can do is try to limit the heat load on your plants. Things to help that would be 1) organic mulch. It reflects less heat than rock and absorbs less heat. 2) You can put a shade cloth over a plant to help it through the summer – especially its first summer. 

Jane from Las Vegas has a newly mandarin orange tree that is on a drip system and she soaks it once a week; however, it seems that the fruit has stopped growing:

Mandarin orange tree/Wikimedia Commons

Norm: The first summer here is always the toughest one. You’ve just got to get it through this first summer. You should be watering it every day. Make sure that you’re not only water the original root ball but you getting water out beyond it. There should be an emitter on the root ball that it came in but there should also be additional emitters out around it. Misting a plant off in the afternoon gives it a little break. You don’t have to do it every day, but if you’re out there and the house is handy just make sure you don’t spray hot water on it.

Angela: Fruits is a really intensive thing for a plant because all of its resources are going to get directed to the fruit and if it doesn’t have any resources because the temperatures are ridiculous. It’s going to be a challenge.

Fruit trees take up a lot of water so are they a good idea in the Southwest where water is so scarce?

Angela: Our fruit, even though fruit trees do take some extra water, I believe that the fruit that we grow here in our home yards is about the best testing fruit I’ve ever had – with the exception of apples, apple snob from New York ya know.  While they seem to be water expensive, they’re not so terribly water expensive.  

Is it better because you’ve grown it yourself?

Angela: No! No! It’s our soils. Our terribly problematic soils.  

Norm: The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ We do have limited water resources and we need to be really thoughtful about it. I’m big a fan of desert landscapes, but if you want to grow a rose through in a dwarf peach tree next to it… so you can choose a portion of your yard.

Peach tree/wikimedia commons

Brent from Las Vegas has ash trees that are starting to lose leaves and branches:

Norm: We’ve been planting ash trees a lot in this valley since the 70s and especially the 80s the ashes came in vogue. What I found is that a lot of ash trees live in lawns – 15, 20, 25 years  – but they ultimately don’t like here.

And they tend to succumb to a disease called sooty canker in which individual branches die off. If you look really closely, you’ve got to search around for it. If you do have sooty canker the bark which is quite thin on ash trees on young wood flakes off and underneath it, you’ll see a blackened area… if you were to touch that it comes off on your finger like you’re touching the inside of a fireplace. It is a terminal, incurable disease.

You can prune the dead out carefully. Dispose of it carefully because it is a fungal disease and can easily spread. But ultimately, I don’t think ash trees are particularly well suited for life in Southern Nevada. 

University of California Cooperative Extention/Sutter-Yuba Counties/ Photo by Janine Hasey

It seems like the African sumac in my backyard is dying:

Norm: African sumacs are semi-summer deciduous. They deal with heat and drought by dropping leaves. Mine has very few leaves but it was last watered in June of last year and it’s okay. These are desert trees. 

We tend to overwater our desert trees – period. What happens is desert trees are water junkies. They think that they’re living in nirvana. In their history, water is their most limiting resource and when its available they use it.

Fast growing trees are weak wooded trees. Live fast, die young applies to trees just like it does to people.

African sumacs are susceptible to a disease called fusarium wilt. It can be transmitted through dirty pruning equipment. Clean your equipment. Sterilize it. Especially if you have somebody come prune your trees, the first thing they do sterilize their equipment before they start pruning.

Finally, if you’re watering these desert trees – these African sumacs – every day I think it creates a condition in the soil for organisms that that African sumac is not normally susceptible in its normal, dry climate, including possibly fusarium wilt. Don’t water your desert trees so much. 

Donna from Las Vegas is concerned because of her plants are stressed because of the heat. I hear you’re not supposed to fertilize plants when they’re under stress. So, should I fertilize at this time?

Angela: No!

Norm: No! Spring and fall only. You don’t want to do it when it’s real hot. You don’t want to do it when it’s cold. 

Skeeter from Overton wanted to know if there is a life span for house plants:

Norm: I don’t consider house plants my area of expertise, but here is what I’ve discovered: More than anything else they die from over watering. Secondly, I don’t think I’ve ever had one die of old age. Maybe that’s because I’ve killed them off before they got there, but most of them seem to be very long lived species.

Angela: The other thing about house plants is you water them and then they dry and you over water and they’re sitting in water. You don’t want a bunch of water sitting in that saucer for more than a couple of hours, except for maybe African violets.

Jeremy from Las Vegas has a garden filled with a variety of squash, tomato and pepper and they’re all doing well. He wanted to know if he should cut them back?

Angela: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve already had to cut down my tomatoes and hope they come back in September. But I was getting a lot of sunscald. If you’re not getting sunscald, if the tomatoes are still producing and they look good, they’re ripening fine – just keep going. 

Sunscald/Wikimedia Commons

My tomato plants are producing but they’re not turning red:

Angela: That’s the heat. A lot of times if the heat is too much the compounds, the proteins that produce the red coloring. It’s not that the red coloring is dying. The compounds that produce it are not able to tolerate the heat. With tomatoes over 90 degrees, they’re pretty much unable to turn red.

However, that’s when you take them off the plant take them inside and put them on the window sill and say – okay now ripen.

John from Pahrump had an apricot tree that gave them a lot of apricots over the past 10 years, but it has died back.

Norm: What can happen with these trees is they can outgrow their wetting pattern. The more leaves you have the water you need to support those leaves. One of the most common things, when trees have done well then go into decline, is because they’ve outgrown their wetting pattern.

You want to keep the soils fairly moist, keep a wide wetting pattern, use organic mulch and hope for the best. Ultimately, most members of the prunus genus don’t have a lifespan much longer than 20 years anyway.   

Dick from Las Vegas has problems with insects on his mimosa tree:

Norm: Arborists call mimosas bore bait. You plant a mimosa you’re asking for bores. They’ll come usually five or 10 years after planting. Individual limbs start dying and they’re bores. I won’t treat for bores in flowering trees because the chemical we used to use is a neonicotinoid. It gets taken in by the plant, gets translocated into the flowers and nicotinoids are suspected in bee decline I don’t want to be part of that.

I like mimosas. They’re beautiful trees but I don’t want to grow them just because they’re hard to keep alive here. 

Joy from Las Vegas has a North American saguaro amongst a lot of cacti and it gets water every three weeks on a slow deep soak. Normally, they notice growth on it in June, but this year they’ve not noticed anything:

Norm: They’re pretty drought tolerant. You know what, it’s because this summer is just awful. I don’t know why else.

Angela: You know because the temperatures spiked. There wasn’t anything remotely close to a gradual rise. Most of the plants are going into some kind of shock. 

David wants to know the best time to cut back oleanders:

Norm: Do it in the winter.

Angela: You don’t want to do it when the sap is flowing. 

 

RESOURCES: 

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Clark County

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Horticulture Program

Master Gardeners

growyourownnevada.com

Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

High Country Gardens

International Society of Arboriculture

From Nevada Public Radio: Desert Bloom

Article source: https://knpr.org/knpr/2017-07/gardening-summer-broiler

Incline Village’s Demonstration Garden offers weekly classes, pertinent North Lake Tahoe gardening and landscaping …

Nestled among the trees in Incline Village is the North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden, a magical, natural escape where plants and pollinators native to the region thrive.

The garden’s concept was established in 1991, and after much planning, donations, volunteer time and labor; it opened to the public in 1998.

A common misconception of the Demonstration Garden is that it is affiliated with Sierra Nevada College.

The college was gracious in providing the land and water needed to sustain the garden. Since 1998, all labor and maintenance has been carried out by volunteers, whose vast gardening and landscaping knowledge is surpassed only by the size of their hearts.

“I love the challenge of working with nature and seeing what happens without pushing my control. I love planting plants that I enjoy, but that will work in harmony with nature,” said board member and newsletter coordinator, Janet Steinmann.

The Demonstration Garden is just that — an educational resource for the community to learn and develop best practices for lake-friendly landscaping, conservation planning, and learning which species are especially successful in region’s climate.

“Each demonstration shows gardeners and landscapers what works here; the best plants to grow for food or for landscaping. People still do it here, even though it’s such a short season and we want them to be successful; it has to be beautiful,” Steinmann said.

In addition to teaching people how to curate the perfect growing environment for their favorite ornamental and food plants, the master volunteer gardeners host all kinds of classes to benefit local homeowners.

Are you aware of how to properly lay a driveway with the right materials and drainage system? Would you love to have your own butterfly, bird and bee garden but aren’t quite sure which native plants they love the most? Are you looking to grow the lowest maintenance grass possible with the least amount of chemical runoff?

The North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden can answer these questions and so many more.

They specialize in practical landscaping that yields a gorgeous result.

“We do not encourage lawns simply because they require a lot of maintenance,” Steinmann said. “We teach instead about cover crops which add nitrogen to the soil and it stays there. We don’t like fertilizers because they act like a drug to the plants — they will make your plants look beautiful at first, but then you need to keep adding more to keep them looking good. You actually aren’t adding nutrients to the soil, you’re depleting the soil of its nutrients,” she said.

The garden and landscape experts guide locals on how to stabilize slopes in your yard’s terrain, even how to create a spiral herb garden like the one they’re growing, featuring thyme, oregano, and sage.

The food plants growing at the Demonstration Garden include rhubarb, salad greens, tomatoes, strawberries, onion, potato, and asparagus — all of which they can teach you to grow at home.

Heather Hall is another core member of the Demonstration Garden’s volunteer team. Hall, who has been with the team for the past seven years, works as their secretary and runs social media.

“I moved here from the Bay Area and missed gardening. I met Marg (Margaret Solomon) and she got me involved in the garden, it really is such a nice resource for the community to have,” she said.

Solomon, who brought Hall into the group, says she is always welcoming new members to join in on their fun.

“We are run 100 percent by members and donations and love getting new volunteers. So, get involved, come out and help,” she said.

The North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden hosts several events, the next being a tea party with appetizers using the herbs grown right in the garden.

Last week, the group hosted a session with Kirk Hardie, founder and president of Red Tail Adventures, who taught guests about how to attract birds to their garden.

“You want birds, they kill insects like mosquitos — we’ll go over what they need in your garden,” he said.

This and so many other fun experiences can be had for a $5 class fee, or gardening enthusiasts can purchase a yearlong membership for $25.

“Since we aren’t run by the college, it’s an all-volunteer effort,” she said. “We always need members who are interested in planting, weeding, cleaning up, helping with the irrigation project — we want people who are interested in knowing about sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening.”

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

Article source: http://www.sierrasun.com/news/local/incline-villages-demonstration-garden-offers-weekly-classes-pertinent-north-lake-tahoe-gardening-and-landscaping-tips/

Organic Gardening the Easy Way, Part I: Bean Arches

Our six-panel cattle arch is ready. All that’s left to do is plant the beans. The space we save by growing vertically can be used to grow other vegetables. Here, we have a few kale plants under row cover. Photo by Carole Coates.

To make our arch even sturdier, we attached each panel to its neighbors with cable ties every few feet. Unlike more flimsy supports, our secure arch easily stands up to both the weight of mature plants and the high winds so common in our neck of the woods.

Beans are filling in the arch. Photo by Carole Coates.

In season, Christmas limas, Fortex (stringless, so that’s nice), Trail of Tears (our favorite heirloom), and scarlet runners create a magical, shady garden arbor, full of pretty bean flowers that give off a lovely aroma. A real treat for the senses.

Easy pickings. Photo by Ron Wynn

We make full use of our bean arch by planting shade-tolerant vegetables in the remaining raised bed space, especially chard, kale, and salad greens. We’ve even had good luck with sun-loving radishes by planting them early in the season at the ends of the rows where they get more daylight. Their season is over well before the beans grow high enough to block the light.

Other Options for Growing Vertically

As much as we love our cattle panel bean arches, we’ve used other kinds of supports to create arches and trellises for growing vertically. There are all sorts of possibilities out there. Be creative.

We upcycled pvc pipe and old yard fencing for this striking homemade flower arch, a focal point in the garden. Doesn’t hurt that pollinators find it inviting, too. Photo by Ron Wynn.

We got these ornamental wrought-iron shutters for a song at a local auction, wired them together, and Voila!, a year-round eye-appealing trellis. Photo by Carole Coates.

Covered with edible flowers, and sometimes gourds, our wrought-iron trellis is barely visible. Photo by Carole Coates.

We turned this discarded A-frame store display unit into a portable arch for cucumbers. Perfect match. Photo by Carole Coates.

We even built a traditional tepee-style bean arch for showy scarlet runners, seen here through the cattle panel bean arch. Note the variety of shade-tolerant veggies filling in all the space we saved by growing our beans vertically. Photo by Carole Coates.

Advantages of Growing Pole Beans

Aside from the ease of gardening with arches, pole beans offer other benefits. Growing vertically is a big space-saver, very important if your gardening area is limited. Pole beans are also much more prolific than their bushy cousins. Not only do you get a higher yield per plant, but as long as you keep picking, they’ll keep producing—great for season-long fresh eating. Without even trying, we’ve been able to can and freeze enough beans to feed ourselves until the next year’s bean harvest rolls around, to donate beans to our local food pantry, and to give plenty of fresh and home-canned beans to friends and family. And we still have enough to put up lots of jars of our favorite dilly beans.

Pole beans are less susceptible to soil-borne diseases than the bush variety, too. The birds and bees love our bean arch, and that’s just fine with me—anything to encourage pollinators and natural pest control gets a big thumbs up from this gardener.

Is there a Downside?

If there’s a disadvantage to using cattle panels in the garden, it’s the very permanence that makes arches so desirable in the first place. It’s best to rotate garden crops from one year to the next, but you’re not going to want to move those heavy panels. The best option is to have two or three shorter lengths of arches. While you’re growing beans in one, plant other vertical-loving plants such as winter squash and cucumbers in the others. Then just move each one over to a different arch the next year.

Go for It!

I encourage you to give bean arches, especially the cattle panel variety, a try. I suspect you’ll fall in love. You may even want to bring a good book and a lawn chair to your arch. It makes a delightful little hideaway when you need to get away from it all.

A cool spot for a break from gardening work. Photo by Carole Coates.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Article source: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/organic-gardening-the-easy-way-part-i-beanarches-zbcz1707

Master Gardener: Gardening tips for July

Susan Moore Sevier is part of the Tulare-Kings Master Gardener program. Visit cekings.ucdavis.edu, email cekings@ucdavis.edu or write UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, 680 N. Campus Drive, Suite A, Hanford, CA 93230.

Article source: http://hanfordsentinel.com/features/master-gardener-gardening-tips-for-july/article_746d59f3-ebab-5e22-8490-b4724a814d1d.html

‘Pretty Tough Plants’ offers gardening tips, ideas

Want to know more?

Find information on the High Desert Garden Tour at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/highdesertgardentour.

<!– return noClass:

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more.

The title Pretty Tough Plants gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean pretty as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern.

During the 1990s, a movement in the Rocky Mountain area was spearheaded by Plant Select, promoting plants that thrive in climates that can fluctuate drastically from week to week or day to day. Sounds like Central Oregon, right?

The origin of many of the plants come from the harsher climates of Eurasia or the high mountains surrounding the Mediterranean and the high steppes of Asia proper: 135 resilient, water-smart choices are detailed along with beautiful photography.

New plants are brought to the attention of Plant Select through various paths. Some in nature, some are developments of breeders, some are discovered by nursery professionals and others are from collections at Denver Botanic Gardens.

The plants must meet a seven-point criteria. The seven points include thriving in a broad range of conditions, flourishing with less water, resilience in challenging climates, uniqueness, disease and insect resistance, long-lasting beauty and non-invasiveness. If a plant is chosen, it is grown at both the Denver Botanic Garden and at Colorado State University. A portion of the plants are allowed to go to seed and if seedlings and runners develop to an undesirable extent, the plant is removed.

The entire process from inception to release can take between 5 and 20 years. Since 1997, 140 regular selections and 12 petites (smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners) have been featured through 2016.

With each page I turn it is a yes, and another YES. This is the guidance I need. The book, well worth its purchase, is a celebration of the programs 20th anniversary.

A lovely tour

One of the highlights of the summer is the High Desert Garden Tour scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. The event is a self-guided tour of seven gardens in Bend. Tickets are $10.

I couldnt help but chuckle as I read through the list of garden locations. Advertising jargon ran through my head: Park once, enjoy twice two gardens on the same block or The year of the two-fers: two gardens within walking distance of each other. Maybe this could become a yearly happening of neighbors like the neighborhood garage sale, only more soothing to the soul.

The gardens are a wonderful mix of going from a blank slate of dirt to revamping old and tired landscapes with ideas that many of us will be able to adapt to our own properties. Gardens are a work in progress, as you will read in the guidebook. Theres always a new idea, an expansion or lesson to learn about dealing with more shade as those once cute little trees or shrubs grow bigger.

Who would have thought you would have an opportunity to enjoy an aviary, home to seven cockatiels at one of the properties. Im anxious to walk through a garden inspired by world travels and plantings that pay homage to the gardens of their ancestors. Those gardeners interested in greenhouses would be curious about the 10-by-20-foot greenhouse built from recycled materials and the added cold frames on the south side of the greenhouse.

Have more than your fair share of rocks? Join the tour and be inspired with what others have done with the areas natural beauty.

Every garden has a story. Maybe some of the stories will inspire new ideas.

Reporter: douville@bendbroadband.com

–><!– valuehere:

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening. –><!– valuehere:

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more. –><!– valuehere:

The title Pretty Tough Plants gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean pretty as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern. –>
<!– Lead Test:

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadnt seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, Pretty Tough Plants. I had to find out more.

–>

Plant sales and garden tours are the social and educational events of the summer. For me, it started with a garden club plant sale in May. I had wonderful renewals with gardening friends I hadn’t seen for some time. The high point of the educational aspect was I met a gardener from the Denver area who was new to Central Oregon gardening.

The woman was carrying a recently published book titled, “Pretty Tough Plants.” I had to find out more.

Want to know more?

Find information on the High Desert Garden Tour at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/highdesertgardentour.

View More

The title “Pretty Tough Plants” gives cause for much contemplation. Does it mean “pretty” as in roses and orchids or does it mean the plants were chosen for their stamina to develop to their fullest in tough climates? Was this just another coffee table picture book or did it have merit with advice and suggestions for growing annuals, perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses and trees in our climate? The answer was in the about the author section. “Plant Select is a nonprofit collaboration of Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and professional horticulturists whose goal is to find, test and distribute plants designed to thrive in the high plains and intermountain regions and anywhere the water resources are of concern.”

During the 1990s, a movement in the Rocky Mountain area was spearheaded by Plant Select, promoting plants that thrive in climates that can fluctuate drastically from week to week or day to day. Sounds like Central Oregon, right?

The origin of many of the plants come from the harsher climates of Eurasia or the high mountains surrounding the Mediterranean and the high steppes of Asia proper: 135 resilient, water-smart choices are detailed along with beautiful photography.

New plants are brought to the attention of Plant Select through various paths. Some in nature, some are developments of breeders, some are discovered by nursery professionals and others are from collections at Denver Botanic Gardens.

The plants must meet a seven-point criteria. The seven points include thriving in a broad range of conditions, flourishing with less water, resilience in challenging climates, uniqueness, disease and insect resistance, long-lasting beauty and non-invasiveness. If a plant is chosen, it is grown at both the Denver Botanic Garden and at Colorado State University. A portion of the plants are allowed to go to seed and if seedlings and runners develop to an undesirable extent, the plant is removed.

The entire process from inception to release can take between 5 and 20 years. Since 1997, 140 regular selections and 12 petites (smaller plants that have not yet been readily available to gardeners) have been featured through 2016.

With each page I turn it is a “yes,” and another “YES.” This is the guidance I need. The book, well worth its purchase, is a celebration of the program’s 20th anniversary.

A lovely tour

One of the highlights of the summer is the High Desert Garden Tour scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22. The event is a self-guided tour of seven gardens in Bend. Tickets are $10.

I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read through the list of garden locations. Advertising jargon ran through my head: “Park once, enjoy twice — two gardens on the same block” or “The year of the two-fers: two gardens within walking distance of each other.” Maybe this could become a yearly happening of neighbors — like the neighborhood garage sale, only more soothing to the soul.

The gardens are a wonderful mix of going from a blank slate of dirt to revamping old and tired landscapes with ideas that many of us will be able to adapt to our own properties. Gardens are a work in progress, as you will read in the guidebook. There’s always a new idea, an expansion or lesson to learn about dealing with more shade as those once cute little trees or shrubs grow bigger.

Who would have thought you would have an opportunity to enjoy an aviary, home to seven cockatiels at one of the properties. I’m anxious to walk through a garden inspired by world travels and plantings that pay homage to the gardens of their ancestors. Those gardeners interested in greenhouses would be curious about the 10-by-20-foot greenhouse built from recycled materials and the added cold frames on the south side of the greenhouse.

Have more than your fair share of rocks? Join the tour and be inspired with what others have done with the area’s natural beauty.

Every garden has a story. Maybe some of the stories will inspire new ideas.

— Reporter: douville@bendbroadband.com

Article source: http://www.bendbulletin.com/lifestyle/5430157-151/pretty-tough-plants-offers-gardening-tips-ideas

Tips for taking better photos of your garden and wildlife

So the garden you planted or enjoy each day is flowering. Birds and animals are busy in your yard or neighborhood. And you’d love to capture all this natural beauty in photos.

It’s so easy these days to pull out a phone and take pictures of anything anytime, but a little time and thought can produce better garden and wildlife photos.

“There’s a big difference between that for-the-record shot that preserves a memory and getting a really nice image,” says Brenda Tharp, author of the new book “Expressive Nature Photography” (The Monacelli Press).

Pause before pressing the shutter, she says, and consider: Is the light right? Can you give your photo a unique point of view by shooting from different angles and levels, moving to the side, crouching or standing on something?

Try to identify what it is about the subject matter that “stopped you in your tracks,” she says. “It’s really about narrowing down your purpose in making that picture.”

Some tips from Tharp and other nature photographers:


THE RULE OF THIRDS

Resist the temptation to center the subject, suggests Rob Simpson, an instructor in nature photography at Lord Fairfax College in Middletown, Virginia. Think of your photo as a tic-tac-toe board, and place the subject in one of the off-center thirds of the space. “It’s going to make the photo more pleasing to the eye,” he said. “It gives it balance.”


TEXTURE IS TERRIFIC

One of the most exciting things about photographing flowers and leaves is capturing something that passersby won’t see — their textures up-close, says Patty Hankins, a floral photographer in Bethesda, Maryland, who sells her work and offers photography tips at beautifulflowerpictures.com.

A camera’s “macro” setting lets you take an extreme close-up and keep it in focus. “It shows you all these incredible things that people who aren’t stopping to look won’t see,” she says. “It’s about filling the frame with small details.”


STAYING STILL

When using the macro setting, keep the camera as still as possible, Hankins says. “If you’re taking a picture of the Grand Canyon and your hand shakes a little, people aren’t likely to notice,” she said. “But if you’re taking a photo of the center of a sunflower, they’re much more likely to see it.”

A tripod can help. Look for one that is lightweight and can get low to ground, she says. If you don’t own a tripod, find somewhere solid to place the camera or set it on a bean bag or bag of rice on the ground, and use the timer to take the photo. Many cameras also have settings designed to reduce vibrations.


PRACTICE PERIMETER PATROL

Before you shoot, scan the edges of your picture for buildings, outdoor furniture or other things that could distract from your subject.


LIGHT MATTERS

Often, outdoor photos come out better on cloudy days or when the sun is not directly overhead, Simpson says. The soft light that comes through on an overcast day will not cast harsh shadows, and may result in a more even exposure and better details.

“People love sunlight, but it’s not the right light for every subject,” Tharp says. “For intimate views of nature, opt for soft or diffused light.”

For landscape photos, however, sunlight can add drama. Consider shooting in the warm light found in early morning or late afternoon when the angle of the sun is low.


THINK 3-D

Having items in a picture’s foreground and background helps put the viewer in the photo and creates a sense of depth, Tharp says. When taking a photo of a meadow or landscape, include objects closer to the camera as well.

Another way to create dimension is to angle the camera downward a bit, emphasizing the foreground and creating that near-far relationship.


ANIMAL ACTION

The best animal photos reveal the subject’s behavior or personality, Tharp says. Take time to observe the animals and wait for the best shot. But be ready to capture the action when it happens. Simpson recommends a fast shutter speed to avoid missing the shot.

Keep the animal’s eye in focus.


SHUTTER SELECTIONS AND APERTURES

Becoming a better photographer will mean understanding shutter speeds and apertures, Tharp said. The right shutter speed can mean the difference between freezing the motion of a moving animal or ending up with a blur. When photographing something in motion — an animal, bird or waterfall — give precedence to shutter speed over aperture, which is the amount of light being allowed into the lens.

If controlling the sharpness of the background is the goal, prioritize aperture, because it defines the depth of what will be in focus, she said.

“Experimenting with different apertures and shutter speeds on your subject will quickly show the various effects,” Tharp said.

 

Article source: http://www.therepublic.com/2017/07/12/us-gardening-great-photos/

6 tips from master gardeners during the Wisconsin Rapids Garden …

Peaceful fountains, well-manicured lawns, colorful flowers and every shade of green were among the sights prepared for participants in the 18th Annual Wood County Master Gardeners Garden Walk.

Money from the annual walk goes to help fund Master Gardener projects, including community gardens in Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield and garden displays around Wood County, said Ruth Cline, Wood County Master Gardner board president.

Master gardeners and the owners of the six properties included in Saturday’s walk were on hand to answer people’s questions about gardening. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin got some of their best tips to share. 

1. The key to a good garden: patience.

Start small and let your confidence grow to avoid getting discouraged, said Karen Houdek of Rome. Karen and Greg Houdek’s gardens at their Rome home have been certified a wildlife habitat and monarch way station.

“Gardening is all about patience,” she said. 

2. Start small and see what works.

Diane and Roger Babcock’s gardens have a mix of annuals, perennials and ornamental grass, but Diane’s favorites are their peonies. Most of them started in her grandmother’s garden in International Falls, Minnesota.

“Try planting a variety of things and see what works for you,” she said. 

3. Love the work.

Some people get excited and plant a large garden, said Barb Herreid, of Rome. After planting, they realize how much work is involved, she said. Herreid’s garden has many native plants and plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance.

“Start small and be successful with that before you expand,” Herreid said. 

RELATED: Preventive July chores for your garden

RELATED: How to deal with too much rain in the garden

4. It’s all about the dirt.

Soil preparation is the most important part of a good garden, said Richard McClain of Grand Rapids. McClain has a wide variety of foliage plants in the shaded gardens that surround his home. Tucked in the back of his property are piles of dirt composting until ready for planting.

“Some plants can adopt, but it’s best to have the right soil,” McClain said. 

People can find out more about soil testing and how to amend their soil at the University of Wisconsin Wood County Extension Office in Wisconsin Rapids, 715-421-8440. 

5. Experimenting is key.

Gardening is learning as you go, said Chari Seebruck of Grand Rapids. Chari and Chad Seebruck’s garden have more than 20 varieties of hostas. Gardens have to be tended to constantly, Chari Seebruck said.

“It’s a lot of trial and error to get a successful garden,” she said. 

6. It’s important to plant early.

People should plant their gardens as early as possible in the spring, said Sharon Vollert of Wisconsin Rapids. Sharon and Irv Vollert’s gardens feature several varieties of hostas, many astilbes and other perennials. 

“Don’t start your plants too close together,” Sharon said. 

Karen Madden: 715-424-7308, karen.madden@gannettwisconsin.com; on Twitter as @KMadden715.

Article source: http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/story/news/2017/07/10/6-tips-master-gardeners-during-wisconsin-rapids-garden-walk/462707001/

This week’s gardening tips: deadhead flowerbeds, ignore milkweed aphids

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This week’s gardening tips: Keep flowerbeds well-groomed and weed free. Try to deadhead as regularly as possible to encourage continued flowering.

For late summer color: Continue to plant heat-tolerant bedding plants. Excellent choices for sunny areas include angelonia, coleus, torenia, periwinkle, melampodium, salvia, scaevola, purslane, pentas, blue daze, lantana and verbena. In part-shade, plant caladium, impatiens, begonia, torenia and coleus.

Small, yellow aphids on your butterfly weed or milkweed: The tiny insects will not damage the plants or affect the feeding of adult and larval monarch butterflies. Do not attempt to control them, as this could be detrimental to the monarch caterpillars. Give plants a little fertilizer now to encourage vigorous growth and blooming.

Sharpen your lawn mower blades: Typically, they have gotten dull by this time of the year. Mow regularly. It’s unhealthy for the grass to allow it to get too tall and then cut it back short. Try to mow frequently enough so that you remove no more than one-third of the length of the leaf blades.

Article source: http://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2017/07/this_weeks_gardening_tips_dead.html

Master Gardners gardening tips

CCHN

CCHN




Posted: Saturday, July 8, 2017 2:00 pm
|


Updated: 2:01 pm, Sat Jul 8, 2017.


Master Gardners gardening tips

from our staff

Christian County Headliner News – Ozark, Missouri

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Ornamentals

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      on

      Saturday, July 8, 2017 2:00 pm.

      Updated: 2:01 pm.

      Article source: http://ccheadliner.com/news/master-gardners-gardening-tips/article_fc14f53c-601e-11e7-8996-9f63a96323e5.html

      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