Control blossom-end rot. We have had a lot of questions concerning blossom-end rot this season so I will try to explain it so you have a better idea of how to prevent it. Blossom-end rot affects the fruit of tomatoes, peppers, squash and other vegetables and first appears as a brown discoloration on the blossom end of the fruit. The spot will enlarge as the fruit grows, becoming sunken and leathery with age. Bacteria can invade the tissue resulting in a black and watery appearance. This affected portion of the fruit can be cut off and the remaining part still eaten. Blossom-end rot is not a disease or a virus so it is not passed through the soil or spread by insects. This disorder is caused by a deficiency of calcium as a result of the plant's inability to take up this necessary element that is usually present in our soil. This can occur due to 1) excess nitrogen, magnesium, potassium or sodium fertilization, 2) very wet or very dry conditions, 3) high salts, 4) a combination of the above causes. To control this condition mulch with organic matter to keep roots evenly moist and do not over-fertilize. Nitrogen fertilizer should only be applied to keep a normal green color and maintain moderate growth. Use organic fertilizers such as Yum Yum Mix, Peace of Mind or Chickity Doo Doo and never use chemical fertilizers that have a high salt content such as Miracle-Gro. If you follow these simple rules you won't have a problem with blossom-end rot. Bon Appetit!
Control Insects. I think I covered this subject pretty comprehensively last July. Here is the link July 2010.
PLANT OF THE MONTH:
Coreopsis species. When most people think of Coreopsis they think of those bright yellow flowers with slightly hairy narrow leaves that reseed freely in your garden. I am here to share two very different Coreopsis with you; Coreopsis verticillata 'Sienna Sunset' and Coreopsis rosea 'Heaven's Gate'. Although they are different species these two new Coreopsis have some similar traits. The leaves are fern-like and both will reach 1-1.5' tall and wide. From June until September flowers cover the stems with 1 1/2 inch, 8 petaled blooms that are good for cutting and bringing indoors. The differences are that the flower of 'Sienna Sunset' is burnt sienna fading to a salmon orange and it is more drought tolerant than 'Heaven's Gate' which has a light pink blossom with a rosy eye. Enjoy these perennials planted in masses, borders or pots in full sun or half a day of shade and know that even in a harsh winter they are hardy to 20 degrees below zero.
We got in our last trucks until September and are loaded with annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines. Now that it looks as though it may rain it would be a great time to plant! In September we will get in a truckload of pansies, violas, snapdragons, mums and cool season veggies.
We have also just received another shipment of glazed, cold tolerant, Chinese pottery in beautiful shades of blue, green and brown.
As always we have our Back to Earth Compost (great for mulching), Uni-Gro Potting Soil, Composted Cattle Manure, Top Soil, Fox Farm Fertilizers, Yum Yum Mix, Chickity Doo Doo and a variety of organic pesticides and fungicides.
Do a rain dance and come and see us soon!!!