Archive for July, 2012

August Yardening Checklist

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

August Yardening Checklist

-Continue to water as needed. Water early in the day for best the results (between 5 and 9am). Check that rain gauge to know how much rainfall your yard has received.
-Plant perennial hibiscus for unbelievable dinner plate sized blooms! Keep planting perennials all summer long.
-Great month to see and plant ornamental grasses in the landscape!
-Keep harvesting herbs, fruits and veggies as needed. Early August is the time for planting cool season greens for late fall harvest. Keep them cool and watered if the temperatures are hot. (Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts as transplants / beets, kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, chard, collard greens, carrots, arugula, peas, etc)
-Keep weeds under control. Do not let them get a foothold or go to seed!
-Bug problems? Make sure you know what they are, if they need to be controlled, and the best natural controls available. Read the label, and use as directed. (Same goes for diseases.)
-Keep feeding those container plantings as needed. Feed annuals and perennials as needed – one last feeding for roses this month.
-Deadhead, pinch leggy plants, etc. If your hanging baskets are looking summer worn, or annuals getting tall and leggy, cut them back. It takes about 2 weeks, and they’re back re-growing and looking fresh for a late summer show of colors.
-Besides whole branch removal, dead branch removal, or extremely light tip pruning, stop pruning of woody landscape plants by mid month.
-August is a great time to dig and divide iris and peonies if needed.
-Cleanup and pitch diseased and fallen leaves in the lawn, landscape and garden.
-Late August / start planning for planting garden mums, pansies, asters, ornamental cabbage / kale, cold-hardy annuals, colorful perennials, etc, in September for fall colors.
-Keep feeding those hummingbirds, and keep a supply of fresh water for the birds.
-Evaluate your lawn by mid August, in case drastic measures need to be taken for fall lawn renovation. This is the time to kill existing lawn and unwanted lawn vegetation in preparation for September seeding. Keep mowing as needed, and keep that mowing height up!
Quick tip: Fall is for planting, so right now is an excellent time to take advantage of our Landscape Design Kit. Let our design pros design a landscape area for you, just in time for the Nursery Outlet ‘Fall Planting Season’! (www.natorpnurseryoutlet.com

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Garden Questions of the Week

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Garden Questions of the Week

“What is the difference between a sprig of dill and a head of dill? I’m going to try and make pickles.” -Sprig of dill would be using the actual dill foliage, where the head of dill is the flower gone to seed – the dill flowers on top, and then produces seed – and you would use that whole thing. If you want dill to come back in your garden, let it go to seed and it will reseed itself.

“We have little mounds of fine dirt underneath some of our plantings and noticed very large bees / wasps going in and out. Not aggressive, but what can we do to get rid of it?” -Sounds like a cicada killer wasp, just in time to take care of those dog day cicadas. Males have no stinger, and females not aggressive (will buzz to scare you but not to sting you – similar to the carpenter bee activity). Holes in the ground are for the larvae and the female will go get a cicada and shove it in the hole for the larvae to feed on. And no, the holes won’t hurt the surrounding plants. Interesting bug to watch. Extra mulch and keeping the soil moist will help move them on.

“My cherry tomatoes have grown and grown and keep growing. They’re growing past my supports. Can I trim the top without killing the plants?” -Remember that if a tomato is an indeterminate, they just keep growing all year (and keep flowering and setting fruit) until they get frosted. And cherry tomatoes are known for having vines 8-10 feet plus. Yes, you can top them without killing them, but it also stops new growth and new flowers. Hopefully you’ll get some lower side shoots that will come along and flower and set fruit. I usually say once the cherry tomato outgrows the cage or support, just let it grow wherever it wants. They usually just hang back down. By the way, I grow Husker Red Bush Cherry tomatoes in containers, and they stay short, stocky and full of great tasting cherry tomatoes.

“I planted daylilies for the first time this year. After they bloom, a big green pod appears. What do I do with it?” -That’s an attempted seed head. Cut it off, stem and all. Deadhead your daylilies and try to keep them from attempting to go to seed. It makes for a much better plant, and helps re-bloomers to re-bloom!

“Now that the daylilies are finished blooming and looking yellow, should I trim them for a better appearance?” -Yep. Get rid of that yellow and brown foliage. If it gets to a point where it’s all yellow and brown, cut it all off. They’ll re-grow and look nicer for the rest of the season. Remember, although spring and fall are the best times to divide daylilies, it can be done anytime after they’re finished flowering, with exception to the re-bloomers, who I would leave alone so they’ll re-flower (deadhead, feed, and water to encourage the next flush of color).

“What do you recommend to get rid of tomato hornworms?” -Are they tomato or tobacco hornworms? Actually, it doesn’t matter, because control is best done by handpicking and destroying them. Look for eaten leaves of fruit with their feces underneath the area. You’ll find them, and then just pick them off. If you absolutely have to spray (there usually aren’t very many), use Bt or Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew. By the way, they are the larvae of 2 types of sphinx moths. If you want to identify which is which, the tobacco hornworm has 7 diagonal lines on its sides and a curved red horn. The tomato hornworm has 8 – V shaped marks on its back, with a blue black straight horn. Both feed on tomato plants (peppers, too) and the fruit.

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Problems in the Garden

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Problems in the Garden

This week Buggy Joe Boggs (OSU Extension) is reporting prostrate spurge really showing its strength in hot/dry weather as it is appearing just about anywhere grass isn’t (beds, edges of lawns, along walks etc), severely drought stressed trees showing the results of the lack of water and the extreme heat, hail damages on grapes in areas where sudden string storms with hail came thru, white or brown drupelets in blackberries (drupe-let is the tiny fruit-lets making up each blackberry) caused from sunscald, although sometimes piercing by insects will cause it, and yes are still edible, walnut and yellow-necked caterpillars out and about, hickory tussock moth caterpillars out and about, cicada killer wasps showing up in numbers to help the fight against dog day cicadas, squash vine damages now showing on squash, pumpkins, gourd vines, horseflies seem to be high in numbers so far (ouch!), stem cankers showing on redbuds, magnolia leaves with powdery mildew and dropping, green June beetles buzzing over the turf (these are huge, baby, really big!), critters invading gardens even more than usual due to dry / drought conditions, Squash bugs now showing up in the gardens by the hundreds, lace bug potpourri on oaks, basswood, sycamore, hawthorn, and walnut tree leaves, potter wasps ‘pots’ now showing up on leaves and stems, dogbane beetles out and about, rust diseases continue strongly, webworm and cutworm populations doing great in spite of the weather, fairy rings really standing out in drought stressed lawns, and Asian Longhorn Beetle has been detected outside the original quarantined area in Clermont County. We’re asking everyone to learn more about this beetle so that we may all do our part in detecting where this beetle is, getting it reported, and of course, eliminated!
www.beetlebusters.info

-Catch The Buggy Joe Boggs Report Saturdays at 8:42am on 55KRC The Talk Station. You’ll also find his blog at www.ronwilsononline.com.

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Panko Crusted Pork Chops

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

From the Garden to the Kitchen

Yardboy, like everyone I’ve had to water, water, water. The thyme in my herb garden has taken on a second flush of growth – I had cut it back severely a couple of weeks ago. The lemon thyme tasted great in these Panko crusted pork chops. (Panko is Japanese bread crumbs, and they give a shaggy, crispy coating to the chops.)

Panko Crusted Pork Chops

4 pork chops, about 1# or so
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Mix mustard and honey. Season pork with salt and pepper. Brush pork with mustard mixture, then coat with bread crumbs, pressing lightly so they stick. Put on sprayed baking sheet and spray chops lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until pork registers 140-145 degrees, turning once, about 20 minutes.

-Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH
www.abouteating.com www.cincinnati.com/blogs/cookingwithrita

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NATORP’S NURSERY OUTLET

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

COMING SOON! NATORP’S NURSERY OUTLET!

As of July 1, we have closed our two retail locations (Florence and Mason), and are in the process of moving them to our new location in Mason (Natorp’s Nursery on Snider Rd.)! Our Natorp’s Nursery Outlet grand opening will be Thursday, Sept 6 at 10:00am. The ‘Fall Planting Season’ will run Sept. 6 thru Oct. 14 (open Thursdays thru Sundays each week). Visit www.natorpnurseryoutlet.com for more information.

Now, even though our stores are closed during the move, we’re still here and ready to serve you. If you have any plant (dead / dying) or product issues, guarantee questions, gardening issues – simply call or email us! Our Natorp horticulturalists are available to answer your questions. Email questions@natorp.com or call 513-398-4769.

And remember, our e-newsletter will now be every other week thru the summer, and then back to a weekly schedule starting August 22. Again, even thought the stores are closed during our move, we’re all still here to help you. Questions? Call or email us!

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Garden Questions of the Week

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Garden Questions of the Week

“Our TopHat Blueberry had hundreds of berries on it. Then, all of a sudden they were gone – the birds ate them! Is that the only crop for this year?” -Yes, sorry. Reminder: next summer, be sure to cover the blueberry bushes 3-4 weeks before harvest with bird netting. Remember to make sure you keep blueberries well watered when the fruit is being produced, especially a few weeks before harvest.

“My crabapple has leaves turning yellow; they have spots on them, and are starting to drop. They did this last year as well. What can I do to help them?” -What you’re seeing is called ‘Apple Scab’, and is a common problem on non-resistant crabapples if the weather conditions are right. So far this year, we’re not seeing it quite as bad as in the past. It’s a leaf disease and infects the leaves early in the season. The leaves start to spot, then yellow, then drop. You’ll even see the spotting occur on the fruit. Nothing you can do now, besides collect the leaves and pitch them out. Next spring, you can start a fungicidal spraying program in early spring thru early summer to help prevent this from happening. Good thing about apple scab; it may make the tree look bad but usually not a serious health threat to the tree.

“My neighbors just mulched their trees and the mulch is piled up against the trunks of the trees. Didn’t you recommend to ‘not’ doing that?” -Yes! Never pile mulch against the trunk of the trees. Mulch 1-3 inches deep around trees, and then make sure the mulch is away from the trunk. It should look like a donut when you’re finished, not a volcano. Mulch piled against the trunks of trees can cause the trees to grow air roots into the mulch (not a good thing), it gives chewing rodents a place to hide and chew on the bark, and piled up mulch will cause decay around the outside of the tree trunk and eventual death of the tree. So keep your mulch away from the trunks of your trees.

”We have lace bugs really bad on our azaleas. They are in part shade. Is it okay if she sprays them with insecticidal soap in the evening and then hose off in the morning before it gets too hot? Or what would you suggest at this point in the season?” -No reason to hose them off. Watch the temps, and spray with soaps, horticultural oils, or Spinosad, making sure to spray the undersides of the leaves. Do it 2-3 times on 10-14 day intervals. Still time to apply a systemic drench as well (imidacloprid). You may even give them a light feeding of HollyTone and water it in well.

“Groundhogs are eating my dad’s garden. Any suggestions?” -Groundhog stew. Physical removal is the only sure cure for the groundhog problem. Fences (including electric) may work, but in some cases still not a sure thing. By the way, if they are burrowing in your yard, throw dog feces down the hole. They hate it and generally will move on to another location.

“I need to make my macrophylla hydrangeas blue instead of pink. I applied Miracle Gro for acid loving plants last week. What else can I do so I’ll have blue flowers?” -The blue depends on aluminum being taken up inside the plant. If the soil is alkaline, the aluminum is less available and the flowers are pink. If the soil is more acidic, the aluminum becomes more available and the flowers take on the blue color. And sometimes if things are just right, you’ll get both colors on the same plant. I suggest using soil sulfur or aluminum sulfate around the plant to help lower the pH. Aluminum sulfate lowers pH and adds aluminum. When using either, be sure to follow the directions. These can be added spring or fall. You can also sprinkle used coffee grounds around the plant year round, which naturally helps lower the pH.

“Quick question about trees. We accidentally scraped the trunk with the mower and took off a large piece about 3 ” of the bark. Is there any home remedies I can use to help the tree heal if not what would you buy to help the tree?” -Do a little bark tracing if needed to clean up any loose bark and create a clean edge along the scar (it will seal over quicker) and then leave it alone. Watch for any bugs in the edges, but otherwise let it seal it self over. And one last thing – make a mulched bed around the tree. That way the mower doesn’t get close enough to cause “mower blight”.

“My grapes have all of a sudden turned black and shriveled up! Help!” – If you’re growing grapes in your backyard, it can be very frustrating to come out and suddenly see your clumps of grapes shriveling up and looking like raisins. It’s a pretty common problem, but it can be controlled. It’s called ‘Black Rot’, it’s probably the number one disease that affects backyard and vineyard grapes, and can destroy the crop within a few days. Black Rot is caused by a fungus which invades all parts of the grape vine causing lesions on the stems and spotting on the leaves which eventually blight the entire leaf. The grapes start out with a white spot that expands into a browned area, and then the fruit starts to shrivel, and becomes a hard, blue black mummy. And this all happens within the first 4-5 weeks after blooming. So how do you control Black Rot on grapes? Well, it’s too late now, but as the season goes on, collect all falling leaves as well as the mummified grapes and throw them away. Next spring make sure all leaves and old fruit have been removed. Prune the grapes as needed, and then begin a fungicidal spraying program as the new buds begin to break open. Spray every 10 days to 2 weeks, until mid summer. Captan and Mancozeb are two highly recommended sprays for Black Rot. And when you’re spraying, make sure you cover everything from stems, tops and bottoms of the leaves, and the entire clusters of grapes, inside and out.

“Just wanted to say how well our Tumbling Tom tomatoes have performed so far! They’re in hanging baskets – yellow and red cherry tomatoes – and they have produced like crazy, the plants look great, and the tomatoes are so sweet with very small seeds. Excellent choice for containers or hanging baskets like ours! Thanks!

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Problems in the Garden

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Problems in the Garden

This week Buggy Joe Boggs (OSU Extension) is reporting widespread tree damages thanks to the ‘Derecho’ that blew thru last week (be sure to inspect your trees and evergreens for possible wind damages), yellowing of leaves in all plants due to lack of water / lack of nutrients due to the lack of moisture to get the nutrients into the plants, Tuliptree scale really showing up right now on, yes, you guessed it, Tuliptrees, distorted coneflowers due to Coneflower Rosette Mite, stag and spotted grapevine beetles out and about, downy mildew taking out cucumbers (occasionally affects squash and pumpkins), lawns showing signs of drought stressed turf (duh!) so remember: stay off drought stressed turf, only mow if needed, be cautious, better yet, don’t use herbicides to kill weeds on drought stressed lawns, and minimal irrigation (1/3 to ½ inch irrigation every 2-3 weeks) will keep the crowns of the grass alive – this is one time syringing the turf (applying enough to just wet the area) can help reduce stress to the crowns.

-Catch The Buggy Joe Boggs Report Saturdays at 8:42am on 55KRC The Talk Station. You’ll also find his blog at www.ronwilsononline.com.

www.beetlebusters.info

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On the Go Yogurt Parfait

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

From the Garden to the Kitchen

Yardboy, I made a fresh fruit tray for a friend and had fruit left over, so for breakfast, I made this yummy, yet simple, parfait, which is a powerhouse of nutrition. Garnished with mint from the garden made it even tastier. (And if your mint is like mine, go ahead and cut it halfway back at least. This way you’ll extend the plant by getting a second, very tender, harvest.) Now if you like, substitute my maple granola for the nuts.

ON THE GO YOGURT PARFAIT
Layer in stemmed glass or in plastic lidded container if you want to tote this.
Greek yogurt
Fresh fruit of choice, cut up of necessary
More yogurt
Toasted nuts of choice (I used walnuts)
Drizzle of honey

TIPS FROM RITA’S KITCHEN:

Why this is so good for you:

1. Eat Greek yogurt for 2x the protein.

2. The potassium in the dairy helps prevent infection and is soothing.

3. The magnesium in the honey can calm the central nervous system, and as a natural sweetener, is 2x as sweet as sugar and with lots of good benefits.

4. Walnuts contain omega 3’s – good for your hair, skin, eyes, nail, heart and brain.

MAPLE GRANOLA
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds or walnuts
1 cup grated coconut
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup Canola oil
1 cup pure maple syrup

Favorite dried fruit – as much as you like

Preheat oven to 325. Toast almonds and coconut in a cookie sheet, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the coconut is just starting to turn golden. Be careful here as coconut can burn easily. Toast the oats separately in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are staring to turn golden. Mix these two together in a bowl.

Heat oil and syrup until hot and pour mixture over oat mixture. Toss well and pour onto sprayed cookie sheet. Bake in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and transfer to a bowl. Add dried fruit. Keep covered at room temperature for a week, or store in refrigerator for several weeks.

-Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH
www.abouteating.com www.cincinnati.com/blogs/cookingwithrita

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Ron Wilson

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