Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July's Horticulture Hotline Report

Photo courtesy

We've have had a boring few weeks, all mold and fungus, but now it’s getting interesting! 

The intense heat and the deluges are stressing out our plants!  Someone's neighbor just put in a pool and her 3 arborvitae are getting backwashed – between the chlorine and the flooding, these trees are in trouble!

We’ve also got leaf scorch combined with cedar apple rust on a crabapple tree.

We’ve got bugs:  Japanese Beetles, a grapevine beetle that smelled like wine (but Bonnie just thought it stunk - it was dead, afterall).

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is becoming a problem.  People are reporting it eating their fruit and squash.  There are some kindhearted folks who think that if a bug is found in the house, it should be carried outside and released. I say: it's toast!

Mosquitoes – need I say more?  West Nile Virus has been found in Lower Bucks, be careful!  And gnats are a “gnuisance."  There are yellow sticky traps that can be hung outside and replaced as they get covered, but I’m not sure if that will be enough to make a noticeable difference.

That’s what’s heating up the Horticulture Hotline this month!

-- Bucks County Master Gardener Debbie Bennett-Vidaure

Friday, July 19, 2013

Timely Tips for the Summer Garden

Photo ©

·       Roses: Clean up and discard diseased leaves that fall from rose bushes.
·       Vegetables: Monitor for frequent picking to promote more production.  Remove over-ripe produce to the compost pile.
·       Container Gardening: Water-holding polymers added to potting soil before planting a  container will reduce the need for frequent watering.
·       Prune evergreens, if needed, by the end of July so new growth has time to “harden off” before the first frost.
·       Empty standing water to prevent mosquito larvae from developing.

·       Remove weeds before they produce seeds.
·       Bagworms are commonly found on juniper, cedar and arbor vitae. Remove “bags” by hand picking.
·       Many vegetables can be started from seed in August: lettuce,  green beans,  carrots, beets and spinach, to name a few.
·       Stop pinching mums by mid-July. Fertilize lightly with water soluble fertilizer every two weeks.
·       Water landscape plantings deeply and well; one inch a week is recommended.