Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 2013

 First, I apologize for being tardy on my posting. No computer, then a new computer and friends in from out of town have put me behind schedule. So here goes.

Control mosquitos. With all of this glorious rain come mosquitos. There are several ways you can diminish the impact they have on your outdoor life. Wear light colored clothing and try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk when the little devils seem to be most active. If you use an insect repellant try a product containing geraniol instead of toxic DEET. You can buy this as a wristband, diffuser or spray. Of course you will want to find any places that collect water and make sure they are emptied, turned over or provided with drainage. We carry Summit Mosquito Dunks that are a non-toxic biological control for specific insect larvae including mosquitos and black flies. The dunks will not harm birds, pets or fish so they can safely be used in birdbaths and ponds. It will kill the larvae before it becomes a blood sucker. The Mosquito Dunk also comes as Mosquito Bits. Same active ingredient but easier to sprinkle around and it also works on fungus gnats. Those nasty little fly-like creatures that find refuge in moist potting soil and fly up your nose when your sitting there watching TV, on the computer or reading a book. So try any or all of these precautions and enjoy this gorgeous weather!

Plant pansies and violas. I don't know about you but some of my pots are looking very tired. Next week we will have in our final load of pansies, violas, snapdragons, mums, dianthus and a large selection of fall veggies. Pansies and violas love cool weather and will grow all winter long in our area. Snapdragons and dianthus are basically perennial here and will bloom very early in the spring if planted now. Cool season vegetables that will still produce well are spinach, lettuces, beets, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cabbage and more. Look for our sign out on 180 and we'll let you know when they are here.

Apply a winterizer fertilizer. Here is a copy of last years post: You will want to use Gro-Power 3-12-12. This fertilizer is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorus and potash. Nitrogen promotes green growth which can be damaged by freezing temperatures. Phosphorus increases winter hardiness and stimulates healthy root growth. Since this is the time of year that plants naturally do the majority of their root growth, using this fertilizer will get them off to a good start next spring. Potash or potassium produces strong, hardy stems and trunks, promotes disease resistance and also increases winter hardiness. The Gro-Power 3-12 12 contains 7% humic acid which encourages beneficial microorganisms in your soil. It also includes sulphur to help bring the alkalinity of our soil down and several micronutrients that act as catalysts for the primary chemicals. Use this fertilizer at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of lawn or bed area and 2 tablespoons per foot of height or width for trees and shrubs. One cup will fertilize an 8 foot tree. Lightly work the fertilizer into the soil around the root area and water thoroughly.

Cerastium tomentosum. Snow-in-Summer is a tough groundcover that grows rapidly to 6-8" tall by 1-2' in one season. The short silvery-gray leaves form a dense mat and the small white flowers bloom profusely in early summer. It is native to Italy but adapts well to our climate and is at home in a rock garden, spilling over a wall, as a bank cover or in the front of a perennial bed. I especially like it combined with Verbena 'Homestead Purple'. This perennial is drought tolerant, hardy to 30 degrees below zero (zone 4)  and can grow in full sun or half a day of shade.


'Homestead Purple' Verbena with Snow-in-Summer

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