Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!

The main job for January is pruning. Here is the link that covers it pretty well from February 2011 "Pruning". Remember that you do not necessarily prune every tree or shrub every year. Look at them objectively and decide which ones need corrective pruning and which ones don't.

Apply dormant spray. If you have had problems in the past with insects and diseases on your fruit and shade trees, shrubs or perennials now is the time to manage them with dormant spray. An application of horticultural oil will smother overwintering aphids of all kinds, scale, mealy bugs, whiteflies and spider mites as well as their eggs. It is also effective against the larvae of coddling moths which is the common apple worm. Lime sulphur spray will control powdery mildew, peach leaf curl, apple scab and twig borers. A copper fungicide can be used to keep leaf spot, peach leaf curl and shot hole fungus in check. Be sure to spray the entire plant including branch crotches where insects like to lay their eggs. Clean up any debris out to the drip line and spray the soil as well. Always follow label directions carefully on all of these products and choose a warm, calm day for best results.

Think about a community garden in your neighborhood. A friend of mine recently gave me a subscription to Organic Gardening. I hadn't read one in a while and had forgotten what a wonderfully informative magazine it is. To my surprise there is an article in this month's issue about our own Grant County and the great work that is being done here by The Volunteer Center of Grant County. The article is called "The Tale of Two Food Deserts".  It is worth a look and should inspire everyone to do what they can to fill the hunger gap in our community. Whether it is starting a community garden where people donate time for produce, growing your own backyard garden and giving the surplus to the Food Pantry, supplying transportation for people in outlying areas to come and shop at their Farmers' Market or any other way you can think of to make healthy, nutritious food accessible to everyone in Grant County.

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'. We chose this variety of Beautyberry for its abundant violet fruit that lasts into winter making it a wild bird favorite. It is a graceful, moderate growing, deciduous shrub that will mature at 6 feet tall and wide. The arching branches are covered with small, tight clusters of lilac flowers in spring and the willow-like leaves are bronze-purple when new, mature to dark green and turn orange to purple in fall. It is cold hardy to USDA 5 or 20 degrees below zero and uses a moderate amount of water. Plant it as a foundation shrub or informal hedge.
Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'