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Wet Fall - September 2nd, 2020


All signs point to a wet fall. The weather forecasters call for the next couple of months being wet and the signs from Mother Nature seem to agree. I would hope that along with a rainy fall that the weather turns cool early.


My reason for wanting it to turn cool early is simple. I like seasonal weather. I usually get tired of a particular seasons weather two to three weeks before the season is over. I am now tired of summer weather and am ready for cool fall weather.


Anyway, back to a wet fall. It is now time to plant fall crops. Fall flowers and vegetables should already be in the ground or be planted soon. Be aware, that if we continue to have cloudy, rainy weather there will be problems with fall plantings.


Plantings not under cover will have lots of black spots on the leaves. If the plantings are thick you may see rot where the plants stay wet. Bloom may be lighter than usual. When plants bloom the blooms may be knocked off the plants by rain and wind.


What can you do about the problems? The answer is probably not much. You need for the plants to dry out quickly after rain. I would make certain my containers were well drained. If it was possible, I might even set containers under cover until the sun came out. I would place my in-ground plantings just a little further apart. This gives more air circulation which helps the plants to dry. Row crops could be planted on beds, which would help with drying.


All of the above are just tips. In the long run we can only guess at the weather, whether it's me or a trained forecaster. The weather can always change in a moment.


If you see some of the above problems at least you will have an idea as to the cause.

Hydrangea Tips - August 7th, 2020


A lot of questions come up about when to prune hydrangeas. It is not an easy question to answer. One quick answer is the plant may be planted in improper light. Some hydrangeas take more sun than others. If the light they are planted in is too bright or they are in too much shade bloom will be affected. Make certain when you buy the plant, what the proper lighting conditions are for the plant you have purchased.


The most common reason for hydrangeas not blooming is pruning at the improper time. As with most flowering plants there is a proper time for pruning. You should make certain you prune at the proper time according to the variety being pruned.


If you have a variety that blooms on new wood, meaning stems that grew during the current season, you want to prune during late winter. If you have a variety that blooms on old wood, stems that grew during the previous year, you should prune as soon as the flowers finish in summer. They start to set bloom for next year as soon as flowering is finished. If you wait until spring to prune you cut off the buds that were set last season.


Where to plant and when to prune should be determined at the time the plant is purchased. There are hundreds of varieties on the market and new ones come out every year. It is no way for me to sit here and name which variety does what. Ask when you buy and, as always, if you can’t get the answer buy somewhere else.


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Plant of the Week - Crepe Myrtle

Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtle

  • Colorful and long-lasting flowers
  • Colors vary from deep purple to red to white, with almost every shade in-between
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