Your Garden Questions
May 14th, 2013
“We have peach leaf curl on the peach tree. What do we spray it with at this stage?” -Nothing you can do now – thin the fruit and do all you can to keep the tree as healthy as possible. In the fall, when 90% or more of the leaves have fallen, spray with Mancozeb, Fungonil, or Copper. Do it again as buds start to swell in early spring.
“Last year we got those holes in the rose leaves and it made them look awful. Any ideas how to prevent this?” – I’m assuming the damages are from rose slugs (green caterpillar- like critter on the bottom sides of the leaves and eats holes into the leaves), which can be treated with applications of imidacloprid (soil drench) as well as foliar sprays of insecticidal soaps, hort oils, etc on the undersides of the leaves, as well as the search, find and squash method of control. They can have multiple generations, so stick with it.
“Looking everywhere for the world’s hottest pepper plants. Any suggestions where to find them?” -Uh, let me think. Uh, oh yeah, right here at Natorp’s Nursery Outlet! We have all 4 plus the newest to the group, Carolina Reaper! All of these range in Scoville units from 1 to 2 million units, and baby, that’s HOT!
“Is there something to kill the grass growing in my juniper beds? It comes up in my other groundcovers, too.” -Yes! Fertilome’s ‘Over the Top’, or Bonide’s ‘Grass Beater’. These weedy grass controls can be sprayed over the top of desirable plants without harming them, and kills the weedy grasses. Read the label (as always) for restrictions.
“I noticed that snapdragons are not available as much any more. Suggest anything similar?” You can’t beat Angelonia for that sunny hot spot, and the flowers are similar to the snaps. All summer bloomer, tough and durable.
“I saw the signs saying “Frost Free Date May 15”. What does that mean?” -It means that based on the averages in our area, our chances of having a frost after May 15 is 50% or less, and gets less and less each day forward. So we use that date as a planting point for many annuals, but still keeping an eye on the weather, as it has frosted after May 15th!
“Unfortunately, my shade Impatiens were hit by the Downey mildew last summer. What are my options for replacing them?” -Well, we all know that nothing flowers in solid shade like shade Impatiens. And for those who didn’t get it last year, I say keep planting. For those who did, don’t plan them. Look at Coleus, Torenia, Caladiums, Wax begonias, Whopper begonias, Non stop begonias, New Guinea and Sunpatiens (best in filtered shade), Perilla, Nicotiana, Lobelia, Hypoestes, and don’t forget shade loving perennials.
“Is there a systemic insecticide that helps against leaf eating caterpillars?” Yes, Bayer now has a new systemic that covers your usual list of insects and well as having a second insecticide to help against leaf eaters, too. If just using a systemic (especially for Emerald Ash Borer), look at OPTROL (21% imidacloprid).
“My azaleas have gotten very leggy and not attractive. What can I do to get them fuller looking?” -Prune them! And the best time is right after they finish flowering. Cut them back, give them a good feeding of HollyTone, and watch them re-grow. Azaleas respond to this quite nicely.
“Hey Buggy Joe (Joe Boggs / OSU Extension), what ‘cha reporting this week in the world of bugs and diseases?” – First, which has nothing to do with bugs, is to let folks know April thru May is coyotes have their pups (in underground dens) and can be very protective, so if walking your dog in the woods, do be aware – if encountered, back away slowly and leave the area (easier said than done!), Yellow-bellied sapsucker damages showing on landscape trees and some larger shrubs, corrugated birch leaves are the results of the witchhazel gall aphid, holes in rose leaves typically are the works of the roseslug sawfly (caterpillar-like feeding on the undersides of the leaves), four-lined plant bugs now causing small round black sunken spots on perennials and some woody shrub leaves, Eastern tent caterpillars in full swing right now, pine needle and euonymus scale crawler are active (good time to spray), and Elm flea beetles have begun feeding on Elm leaves, and a reminder that both tall fescue and bluegrass will try to produce seed heads this time of the year, which can cause the blades to lighten in color, so keep mowing on a regular basis to mow them off.
The World’s Hottest Peppers!
May 14th, 2013
Kyle Natorp, President of Natorp’s
What is your favorite edible to grow in the garden?
The World’s Hottest Peppers! I really enjoy spicy food and they definitely deliver heat to dishes and have a great taste.
What are your favorite hot peppers?
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper, it’s the hottest, 2 million *Scoville Units. It actually has challenged the current Guiness Book World Record Holder the Trinad Scorpion Butch T Pepper (1.63 Million Scoville Units). There are two other great hot peppers the Naga Viper (1.382 Million Scoville Units) and of course the popular Bhut Jolokia (1 Million Scoville Units).
What’s your favorite way to use the World’s Hottest Peppers?
I really enjoy using them to make an extremely hot pepper jelly.
* Scoville Units indicated the amount of capsacin present that creates the heat in chili peppers. Jalapeno pepper’s scoville level is 5,000-8,000.
May 14th, 2013
If there’s one herb that evokes feelings of serenity, it’s lavender. When lavender is in bloom on a sunny day, you’ll find the heady aroma uplifting and calming at the same time. Lavender makes me smile! Visit me at Natorp’s Nursery Outlet this Saturday and Sunday from 10am-12noon!
Lavender makes a lovely container herb. Like rosemary, lavender doesn’t like wet feet but this perennial member of the mint family does love lots of sun and good drainage. Harvest the flowers just as they start to open and pluck leaves anytime.
Aroma therapists use lavender essential oil to relieve mild cases of anxiety and depression and to create a peaceful state of mind. It’s also one of the few essential oils I know that can be directly applied to the skin for cuts, bites, and blemishes. A few sprigs of lavender into a steaming bath immediately make me calmer.
Lavender leaves and flowers are delicious added to lemonade and teas. Let infuse and strain before using. Herbes de Provence is a famous blend with lavender.
HERBES DE PROVENCE
Typically used in regional French cooking, this herb blend is difficult to find in stores. Seafood, tomato, pork dishes, lamb and vegetables all benefit from this blend.
Use dry herbs. Mix together:
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon marjoram
2 teaspoons each rosemary and savory
1 teaspoon lavender flowers or leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds.
Store in cool, dark place.
Tips from Rita’s garden:
Natorp’s carries 6 varieties of lavender.
Natorp’s carries over 150 varieties of herbs!
Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, Certified Herbalist
Blog: Cooking with Rita at Cincinnati.com
Your Gardening Questions
May 7th, 2013
“My butterfly bushes are growing from the bottom like you said. Should I prune off all the branches that look dead?” -Yes, get rid off all dead wood and let the new stuff come up and be your new plant.
“I have some well established rhubarb plants that have already started to seed. Why, and what should I do?” -Cut those seed stalks out as soon as they appear (unless you’re growing rhubarb for ornamental reasons only). Rhubarb goes to seed at varying times due to many different reasons – genetics, variety, temperatures (extreme heat or cold or both), age (older plants, 6-8 years plus – dividing and rejuvenating the clump will help), stress, drought, infertile soils, and even long days! Try to feed your rhubarb with an all purpose garden food just as it begins to pop up in the spring, or by applying good rotted cow manure around the clump after it starts growing, supplemented with a little super phosphate.
“Ron, we covered our ‘tenders’ with black plastic pots, and this morning when I uncovered them, I found garter snakes also enjoying the warmth! But, that’s okay, even though I was startled. I just wish they had some signaling device so I wouldn’t be so surprised!” -I’m with ya! I hate being startled by snakes. Good guys for the garden, but bad guys for my heart!
“I’m having a terrible time with deer in my yard this spring. What do you suggest?” -Liquid Fence, DeerScram, and nylon netting to lie over plants. Good luck!
“I purchased ‘Sucker Stopper’ but not sure how to use it. Can you help?” -Certainly! It’s ready to use, and you have 2 options. Either cut off the existing suckers and then spray the cut areas, or spray the suckers and watch them die back. I cut them off and then spray the cuts. This stuff is a growth inhibitor that lasts all season long! Sure saves you time cutting back suckers all summer long!
“I have ants all over my peonies. Someone told me they help the peonies to bloom. Some say they’re hurting my plants. What do I do?” -Nothing. The ants are there mostly due to the sweet nectar like substance secreted by the peony around those bloom buds. The ants don’t help the flowering process, but don’t harm the peonies either, so just let them be ants and enjoy the sweet spring flavors of peony buds, that only an ant can enjoy.
“HELP! Neighborhood cats have invaded my mulch beds and now they stink. What can I do?” -Fluff up the mulch, turn it over, and the smells will eventually disappear. To keep cats out of the mulch, try throwing sliced citrus peels in the area (they hate the smells of citrus). You can also lay nylon netting over the areas as a temporary barrier for the cats to keep them from digging. And my favorite is to shoot them with a stream of water from one of those high powered water guns. Cats hate that, they remember it, it doesn’t hurt them, and you get a really big kick out of it!
“I have a low growing small leafed weed in my landscape beds that’s taking over. It seemed to start growing in the winter. Any idea what it is and how I get rid of it?” -It sounds like chickweed, which is a winter annual. It’s very shallow rooted, so pull it out with a rake, and throw it away, BEFORE it flowers and goes to seed (that’s how it comes back every year).
“Can I plant herbs outside now?” -Absolutely! I wouldn’t hesitate to plant them, especially in containers. The only one I may wait on is basil, as it is very cold and damp intolerant.
“I had an ornamental grass last year that was beautiful deep Purple, almost burgundy. It did not come back this year. Why, and do you still sell them?” -“Deep Purple”, one of my favorite bands! Sounds like a Dwarf Purple Fountain Grass, and unfortunately, it’s not hardy here and only planted as an annual. Great in containers, great in the landscape, but it is an annual. And yes, we sell a lot of it! Nice plant.
“Is using a soaker hose good, and how will I know if I watered 1 inch?” -They’re a great way to water, as the soil drips right into the soil with little to no evaporation. Next time you use it, turn it on, and let it soak. Take a hand trowel and dig down to see how far down the soil has been soaked. Keep it going until the soil is soaked about 5-6 inches deep. That’s about 1 inch of rainfall. Time how long that took, and that’s a great guesstimate for how long to keep the soaker hose running!
“What’s the name of the product you keep mentioning that helps cut down on watering container plants?” -Soil Moist, and be sure to follow the instructions. More is not always better! (I also like adding coir to the mix.)
“Hey Buggy Joe (Joe Boggs / OSU Extension), what ‘cha seeing this week?” – Leafminer damages on Ohio buckeye leaves, carpenter bees buzzing about with the male scaring the bajeebers out of you (has no stinger so can’t sting you / female does the hole drilling – great pollinators!), six spotted tiger beetles out and about (often mistaken for Emerald Ash Borers, May/June beetles have begun buzz-bombing porch lights, outbreaks of grasshoppers along the Little Miami bike trail ( near Morgan’s Canoe), Viburnum leaf beetles now hatching, Buckeye petiole borer causing droopy leaves on Buckeyes, pine needle and euonymus scale close to hatching, Spruce spider mites have hatched, and gypsy moths have begun to hatch across the state.
May 7th, 2013
Sharon Hennies , Container Garden Designer
Her love for texture, color and composition is apparent when viewing her creations. Her genuine passion for gardening and creating beautiful designs has been validated by a loyal and impressive following of clients that adoringly visit her bringing home a design that often becomes the centerpiece of their outdoor spaces.
What is your favorite plant?
It would have to be Coleus.
What makes this plant your favorite?
Coleus brings so much color and texture into a container garden design and of course the landscape. It instantly becomes a focal point and is low maintenance.
What would you plant with coleus in one of your designs?
There are so many plants that look great with Coleus however I really love dragon wing begonia and licorice plant.
(Sharon was kind enough to give us an example)
Need help with your container designs? Make sure to visit Sharon!