Category: Ken Morgan

Be careful not to over-water plants

Avoid over-watering in hot muggy weather, because it causes mildew. Powdery mildew often appears on zinnias, phlox and roses. I recommend using Bonide’s Infuse, Liquid Copper or Fung-onil, if plants are severely infected. Thin plants to allow better air flow. Be sure to clean up all pruned foliage, fallen petals and leaves, place in trash. Do not compost, as this will only harbor the disease and could possibly pass it to other plants. Week 1 • To have bigger and more blooms next year, fertilize all spring and summer blooming bulbs as soon as they are finished blooming with Espoma’s Bulbtone at the rate of 4 to 6 pounds for each 100 square feet. Repeat the process again in September. Week 2 • Every two weeks, add a dose of water soluble fertilizer when watering roses, annuals, perennials, and especially container plants. We recommend Greenlite’s Super Bloom. The off week use one tablespoon of Epsom Salt to one gallon of water when watering your plants. The trace nutrients and minerals are beneficial to the plants and create healthy, dark green foliage. • Apply Espoma’s Garden Iron around azaleas, hollies, laurels, junipers, pines, and spruce to help provide for better chlorophyll production by the foliage and to keep the plants healthy during the stressful summer months. Week 3 • Algae can turn your pond water murky green or even add...

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Containers ideal for herbs, vegetables, fruit

Many types of herbs, vegetables, and small fruits do very well in containers. Container gardening — ideally done in the second week of May — helps to solve space problems, and proper locations can help to utilize light and temperatures. Here are some suggested ideas: • Low-growing herbs like parsley, arugula and other small vegetables do well in window boxes; • Rosemary thrives in containers and being trained as a topiary ball or tree. They make wonderful gifts for the holidays; • Squash, beans, and melons can be planted in containers with teepee, pyramids, or trellis and trained to grow up; and • Tomato varieties do well in containers, small varieties like cherry tomatoes, can thrive in hanging baskets or small 8-inch pots. Bigger varieties will need larger pots with cages or stakes to allow them to grow upwards. WEEK ONE • When sowing fine seeds, such as lettuce, broadcast the seeds over damp well-worked soil. Cover the seed mix with burlap to help maintain the moisture during germination. • Prune back forsythia by taking older branches right back to the ground. If you leave a stump, new branches will develop there in a direction that crosses other branches. WEEK TWO As azaleas finish blooming, clip or prune two to three inches off the branch tips that have finished flowering. To lower an azalea or rhododendron that is getting...

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Remove all remnants of Boxwood Twig Blight

Keep a lookout for Boxwood Twig Blight. The fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum first presents itself as leaf spot followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy. The fungus can remain in fallen leaves, so be sure to rake up fallen twigs and throw away (do not compost). Research is still being conducted to find a solution to get rid of this fungus. Ridding the plant of diseased branches and raking up all dropped leaves is the best prevention. WEEK ONE • Place Easter Lilies in medium indirect light and keep soil lightly moist. Pinch off stamens (yellow pods) in each lily to prevent yellow powder from discoloring flower blooms. When flowers fade, pinch below flower and move plant into full sun. Continue to keep soil lightly moist, but begin fertilizing with Jack’s Classic fertilizer every other week at half-rate. In early June, plant in well-drained soil in the garden (morning sun, afternoon shade). The plant will flower in mid-June in future years. • Prune and shape up crape myrtles you wish to grow as trees before they bloom. Remove any dried flower clusters or seed pods. To encourage a canopy to form, remove the branches a third of the way up the trunk. Always remove any branches rubbing across others and any growing into the center of the canopy. Always...

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This month is when the magic starts

March is the month of preparation. Take the time to prepare your garden for the growing season by checking soil pH and cleaning up winter debris. March is the best time for pruning trees and shrubs, especially for fruit and shade trees. If you have fruiting or flowering trees, bring in a few pruned branches and place in water with flower preservative, and watch spring to begin to bloom inside as well. Week One • Deadhead fall pansies to encourage reblooming as the weather warms up. Apply Espoma’s Flower-tone at the suggested rate to encourage larger blooms. • Check pH of the garden soil for annuals and perennials, which should be at 6.0 to 7.0. Also, applications of organic matter, such as Leafgro or composted manure, worked into the soil are most helpful. Week Two • Prepare larger houseplants too big to be repotted for the coming season of growth by top-dressing the soil, replace the missing soil with a 50-50 blend of Leafgro and potting soil. Be sure to also add the recommended dose of slow-release fertilizer around the edge of the pot. • Rhododendrons are evergreen shrubs that require proper feeding and pH. These plants require a pH of 4.0 to 5.5. Be sure to test at the dripline of the shrub, apply a sulfur amendment to lower pH. Rhododendrons are light feeders, so do not apply...

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Pruning, clean-up important in February

February is a month where the weather can vary widely. Even though it may still be cold, damp, snowy and sometimes miserable outdoors, occasionally Mother Nature will bless us with a day or two of sunshine, which inspires us to go outside and work in the yard. Pruning and clean-up are always important jobs for February. Remember protecting your landscape from hungry deer is critical this month. Be sure to apply a repellant to make your plants less desirable. Remember, regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is still more than six weeks away! Week One • Keep the water flowing or provide a heated birdbath for the birds during these wintery days. Placing a few small rocks around the rim of the birdbath will allow the birds to drink without freezing their feet. • Check bird feeders and refill them often during the winter, always remember to dispose of damp or spoiled seed. Week Two • When watering house plants be sure to rotate pots a half-turn every other week. This exposes foliage to improved light conditions and will eliminate bending of stalks and foliage to the light source. • Use a pH meter to test soil of your indoor houseplants. Most houseplants like a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5. Use lime to raise pH and Espoma Soil Acidifier to lower pH. Week Three • Monitor your...

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