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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Blossom end rot

Dry Weather Tips and Musings

Posted by John Fulton -

We are going to have trouble getting that new grass seed established with little moisture available, and the hot temperatures. Normal fall seeding times would begin in about two weeks, but I would recommend saving time and dollars if rain doesn't come. If you're in an area that hasn't received moisture for about a month or more, you might want to consider watering with a quarter of an inch or s...

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Green June Bug

Insect Development in 2012

Posted by John Fulton -

Insects continue to develop well ahead of schedule. We are running at least three weeks ahead in most cases. This means bagworm control is something for next year's schedule. Japanese beetles will begin winding down about now. Remember, these are emerging eggs laid last summer and fall. Unless something drastic happens, beetle number should be greatly reduced next year. This is due to poor egg...

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Tomatoes

Posted by Jennifer Fishburn -

The most exciting garden event of the summer is picking the first red, juicy ripe tomatoes. This passion is shared with many gardeners as tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown in the home garden. I commonly get the question, "what is the best tomato to grow"? The answer to this question will be different for everyone. This time of year we have a great opportunity to tast...

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Watering Techniques and Conservation Measures for Your Home Vegetable Garden

The well was dry beside the door, And so we went with pail and can Across the fields behind the house To seek the brook if still it ran; From the poem, Going for Water by Robert Frost As you are all aware, our brooks are not running. You also know that in your vegetable garden there is a direct correlation between an...

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Food Safety in the Garden

When you think of food safety, what comes to mind? Practices for ensuring safe food such as hand washing or soil and water testing or thoughts of foodborne disease outbreaks ("pink slime," listeria in cantaloupe, norovirus outbreak closing a national chain restaurant in California)? As you may be aware, foodborne illness outbreaks have been traced to all types of fruits and vegetables. These ou...

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Incorporating Local Foods Into Your Every Day Meals

Shopping at the farmers' markets can provide you with the opportunity to get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. Are you ready to take the challenge? When buying at the farmers' market you can get great tasting vegetables that are in season. As you know, when a vegetable isn't in season locally, it may be coming from hundreds or thousands of miles away, trucked or flown i...

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Hollyhock rust

Hollyhock Rust

Posted by John Fulton -

Hollyhocks are one of the traditional, old-fashioned flowers often grown in our area. This year, they are definitely interesting. Even before the flowers open. Most area hollyhocks are again infected with rust. Rust is usually a spring and fall disease problem, when it occurs. This year it has been ferocious. Rust first shows up on the bottom of the lower leaves, and the top side of the...

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To-Do List

Posted by John Fulton -

Keep up with, or start, foundation sprays. The common products are permethrin or bifenthrin, and apply to the foundation and adjacent foot of soil, flowers, etc. This will put down a barrier for insects such as ants and crickets. Keep a good spray or dust program going on your cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and melons. This will help control beetles that carry the wilt virus and...

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Evergreen Pruning Reminder

Posted by John Fulton -

This is the time of year to wrap up pruning chores on evergreens. This includes both needle-type and broadleaf evergreens. If you're wondering what a broadleaf evergreen is, that includes holly, rhododendron, and azalea. The logic behind pruning your yews at this time is to allow sufficient time for regrowth to become hardened off before winter, and to keep new growth from becoming too rank bef...

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