Last Sunday morning I headed out to the garden to harvest potatoes, and as I walked past my tomato plants I noticed that they were covered with aphids. Rest assured, I didn’t waste time dealing with them, because aphids can do serious damage by sucking the sap (and the life) out of plants, and they can spread nasty diseases in the process. Worse still, they reproduce at a rate – and in a fashion – that’s truly mind blowing.
Last week I wrote about the need to fertilize plants because all the rain we’ve had lately has leached valuable nutrients out of the soil. This week I’ve got another rain-related issue to discuss, one that poses a serious risk to people, not plants. And that’s mosquitoes, the deadliest animal on the planet.
I saw my first hummingbird of the season last Monday, and it prompted me to think not only about cleaning and setting out my feeders, but also adding a few more Hummer-friendly plants in my landscape. And for those of you who are considering doing the same thing, here’s a list of plants preferred by 10 out of 10 hummingbirds.
At some point, all gardeners hear the term pH, perhaps most often when trying to figure out how to turn their hydrangeas either pink or blue. But not all gardeners realize just how critically important it is in terms of how plants grow. And yet there are certain plant problems that we may think are the result of pest or disease or fertilizer issues, when in fact the real culprit is an improper pH.
For years, I’ve been asked repeatedly, “What’s your favorite plant”? It’s a difficult question to answer, because there are so many incredible candidates. But the other day, while pruning my Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ bonsai, I came to the realization that my favorite plant – or more specifically plant group – would have to be Japanese maples.
Container gardening is more popular than ever. And I couldn’t be happier about that, because I’ve been a container gardening fanatic for decades, and it’s encouraging to know other gardeners – especially newbies -- are discovering just how rewarding it can be. But exactly what are people growing?
In a word…everything.