Gardening – Rogers Garden Gate http://rogersgardengate.com/ Thu, 21 Oct 2021 03:12:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://rogersgardengate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png Gardening – Rogers Garden Gate http://rogersgardengate.com/ 32 32 A passion for houseplants was my gateway to outdoor gardening https://rogersgardengate.com/a-passion-for-houseplants-was-my-gateway-to-outdoor-gardening/ https://rogersgardengate.com/a-passion-for-houseplants-was-my-gateway-to-outdoor-gardening/#respond Wed, 20 Oct 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/a-passion-for-houseplants-was-my-gateway-to-outdoor-gardening/ Julia Atkinson Dunn Houseplants allow people of all ages to be responsible for a certain “life,” albeit botanical in nature. OPINION: The positive effects of introducing nature into living spaces cannot be disputed. Of course, the ambitious interiors dripping with plants that parade on social media and in magazines may have launched many people into […]]]>
Houseplants allow people of all ages to be responsible for a certain “life,” albeit botanical in nature.

Julia Atkinson Dunn

Houseplants allow people of all ages to be responsible for a certain “life,” albeit botanical in nature.

OPINION: The positive effects of introducing nature into living spaces cannot be disputed.

Of course, the ambitious interiors dripping with plants that parade on social media and in magazines may have launched many people into the land of houseplants.

But that does not diminish the good vibrations that the plants provide. The general public garden world could only dream of riding the crest of a global trend!

If we ignore for a moment the ridiculous prices of a few plants sold on Trade Me this year, houseplants owe their popularity mainly to their affordability.

READ MORE:
* Why I felt relieved when my houseplants died
* Why even in the middle of winter there are still nice options for your vase
* The art of watering indoor and outdoor plants

Your first can be bought at a hardware store for around $ 20, and then there is the advantage of choosing a nice jar to store it.

Bringing it home and styling it on a shelf guarantees the visual and instant gratification that many of my generation and below have come to expect. The only thing required from there is to keep that one plant alive.

Carried by the success of the maintenance of this living being, our novice planter will be thirsty for more, drinking the luxuriant effect that these purchases have on their living spaces.

They may start to increase their budget as their research leads them to more exotic discoveries, but the increased care and awareness of their plants’ needs will also increase.

THING

Social networks have sown the seeds for a revival of houseplants.

Inadvertently, whether through following trends or not, they connect to the natural world and build a knowledge base that will not be forgotten.

Houseplants allow people of all ages to be responsible for a certain “life”, albeit botanically. This act of caring for something beyond themselves is of real value to their overall well-being.

The ephemeral comes both from youthfulness but also from rental, and in the horrid state of our real estate industry, for many people excluded from homeownership, houseplants provide a welcome and welcome foray. achievable in culture.

The expense of plowing time and money in the garden of a rented house is only appealing to those who really want to establish an outside garden, which is not as common for young today than for previous generations.

So when could this passion for indoor growing migrate outdoors?

Over three years ago (in my early 30s) I grew a pretty decent collection of houseplants that enjoyed living in my sunny Auckland apartment, despite my random watering schedule.

On the way back south they were all carefully loaded into the car to cross an island and a half to my new rented house in Christchurch. Even though there was a small garden in the backyard of this property, I struggled to keep my outdoor herbs alive, while inside my friends the widely traveled plants continued to thrive.

It was in early 2018 that we walked through the back doors of our newly purchased home, scanning the accompanying garden. Although I have lived in many rented garden houses over the past 16 years, I had never owned my own and, on second thought, this was a turning point in my gardening adventure.

My interest in personality-driven interiors, based on my basic growing skills learned as a mother of houseplants, has surprisingly helped me see this new outdoor space with new interest.

Here is an outdoor room that I could experiment in, choosing beautiful plants that were never suited to the interior.

Where I had barely mowed a lawn in my apartment years, it was home ownership, combined with space, that broke the lid of a new interest that I did not have. simply never had before. Not even a glimmer.

For those of you enjoying your swift fall into indoor plant heaven, know that the earth outside awaits you.

That when your time or opportunity arrives, you can expect to be surprised to find that here lies a tremendous source of satisfaction and beauty that your years of indoor planting will put you in a good position to explore.

Julia Atkinson-Dunn is the writer and creator of Studio Home. You can join her on @studiohomegardening or studiohome.co.nz.


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Gardening of the North Coast | More Thoughts on ‘Fast Food’ Culture – Times-Standard https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-of-the-north-coast-more-thoughts-on-fast-food-culture-times-standard/ https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-of-the-north-coast-more-thoughts-on-fast-food-culture-times-standard/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 10:39:50 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-of-the-north-coast-more-thoughts-on-fast-food-culture-times-standard/ It’s the season to grow fast food. You know, Asian green vegetables like mustard, mizuna, bok choy, tat soi, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Add to that list spinach, Swiss chard, raab broccoli, and kale for a nutritious, fast-growing garden packed with vitamins A, B, C, and fiber. Within three weeks of placing the grafts, […]]]>

It’s the season to grow fast food. You know, Asian green vegetables like mustard, mizuna, bok choy, tat soi, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Add to that list spinach, Swiss chard, raab broccoli, and kale for a nutritious, fast-growing garden packed with vitamins A, B, C, and fiber. Within three weeks of placing the grafts, you can start a light harvest.

Asian greens will get fatty and succulent in no time if you provide three basic necessities. Start by creating a rich, well-drained soil. Add plenty of compost and nitrogen-rich fertilizer at the time of planting. Blood meal is an excellent fertilizer for all green vegetables. Make sure all newly planted crop is watered thoroughly until the rains begin.

Whether in pots or on the ground, give plants as much sunlight as possible. Add plenty of water to make the crop succulent and bountiful. The last days of fall can be warm or quite windy, so keep watering, otherwise the greens will grow slowly and become stunted.

If the weather tends to be cold, cover the young plants with a row cover to protect them and add warmth.

And there it is again: if you really want to be really quick with your fast food, why not just grab a big bag of rich potting soil and a few packets of greens? Drill holes on a flat side of the bagged floor and lay it on the floor so that it looks like a pillow. Then cut larger holes in the bag and insert the grafts. Water and wait. Soon the harvest arrives without ever weeding.

Terry Kramer is the site manager of the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a horticulturist and journalist by training. She has been writing a garden column for The Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at terrykramer90@gmail.com.


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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Facade options – The Mercury News https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-the-mercury-news/ https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-the-mercury-news/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 13:30:26 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-the-mercury-news/ Take care of your garden Composting organic garden and kitchen waste is certainly a good practice, but it takes more work than I could handle. The nutrient level in my garden seems to be sufficient, in part resulting from the slow decomposition of many yards of wood chips imported over the years as mulch. Coming […]]]>

Take care of your garden

Composting organic garden and kitchen waste is certainly a good practice, but it takes more work than I could handle. The nutrient level in my garden seems to be sufficient, in part resulting from the slow decomposition of many yards of wood chips imported over the years as mulch.

Coming to this conclusion, I removed the large, three-bin composting structure behind my garage, freeing up the area for a new raised bed. This bed is 7 feet deep, 18 feet wide, against the back wall of the garage which is approximately 15 feet high.

This space connects to an existing bed of Mexican succulents along the side of the garage. Therefore, for thematic continuity, the new bed will focus on Mexican / South American plants.

The new bed is large enough to accommodate a lot of plants, but the initial challenge is for the design to include enough height to take advantage of the garage wall. Coincidentally, one of my garden coaching clients has the same opportunity to showcase a large plant specimen in front of a windowless wall in his residence. I’ll explore the possibilities in a future column.

The San Pedro cactus blooms in the fall. (Lars – Wikimedia Commons)
The San Pedro cactus can develop an impressive cluster. (Forest & Kim Starr – Contribution)

A first thought for a tall plant in my new planting bed was a cluster of three San Pedro cacti (Echinopsis pachanoi, also called Trichocereus pachanoi). This plant, native to several parts of South America, is popular for its ornamental value and height, reaching 10 to 20 feet tall. This plant came to mind because a friend of the landscape gardener gave three copies, which were a surplus for her work.

This option combines great height, attractive appearance, thematically focused and free!

Then another friend announced that Santa Cruz City Council very recently revised its two-year-old policy to decriminalize psychedelic plants and fungi with an exception to plants that naturally contain mescaline, known for its hallucinogenic effects. This action effectively recriminalizes such plants, in particular the San Pedro cactus and the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii).

There are many plants and fungi with psychoactive properties. Visit Wikipedia for a list if you are interested. The city council acted to re-criminalize plants containing mescaline because, according to the resolution, decriminalization of plants, including peyote, “may disrupt the Native American-led national strategy to protect, conserve and ensure spiritual and ecological sustainability. peyote. . “

I don’t understand the disturbance issue, and I don’t have a problem with the policy, but it might have allowed ornamental uses of at least the San Pedro cactus.

There are many good choices for a specimen plant in front of a white wall. If you have any good experiences or ideas for such a selection of showcases, send them for inclusion in this study.

Improve your gardening knowledge

The Pacific Horticultural Society’s YouTube channel has a growing and intriguing collection of video presentations of particular interest to California gardeners. This collection includes the documentary mini-series, Landscapes of Change, “documenting stories about climate resilience in horticulture, landscaping, restoration, and research applications.” New models that impact green infrastructure and industry, explore real and human challenges, and extraordinary professionals who drive innovation. “

This series begins with “The Portreo Hill Eco-Patch”, the story of a unique group of people in a neighborhood of a big city, who all came together around a very special idea. Episode 1 of this story will premiere at 4 p.m. on October 14.

To see Landscape of Change and other Pacific Horticulture offerings, visit youtube.com and search for Pacific Horticulture.

Enrich your gardening days

With the huge and growing number of garden-worthy plants, many gardeners rely on plants they are already familiar with that are readily available at garden centers and big box stores. Some gardeners, however, are drawn to different plants, which could be described in two categories: new and rare.

The new category includes recently introduced cultivars, which are either selected varieties of plant species or hybrids of two or more compatible species. Nurseries enthusiastically present each season’s new introductions of roses, daylilies, irises, and other popular genera. These offerings often have good physical attributes and attractive flower colors, both of which are sought after by plant collectors.

The rare category includes unusual or uncommon species in gardens. Typical garden plants are angiosperms, which produce flowers and seeds. These plants include 13,000 known genera and 300,000 known species. It is a vast universe that includes a small number of familiar garden plants and a very large number of plants that most gardeners have not encountered.

Not all unfamiliar plants are always desirable in the garden. The rare category can be divided into fit for a garden and “not fit for a garden”. Suckers include plants that are unsuitable for a given garden environment and some that are just not attractive. These are clearly subjective criteria linked to specific gardens and gardeners, but they are important nonetheless.

This leisurely walk through the plant kingdom brings us to a strategy for discovering rare plants that might be successful in your garden and that you would find interesting, suitable and (hopefully) attractive companions for your garden.

It is not an easy task. Most gardeners rely on chance, discovering rare plants by visiting other gardens, browsing magazines and websites about the garden, or interacting with other gardeners.

A more organized strategy for finding rare plants for your garden might start by reviewing someone else’s list of rare plants. Many such lists are available in the Helen Crocker Russell Horticultural Library at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, described as “the most comprehensive horticultural library in Northern California … with 27,000 volumes and 250 periodicals on plants and the gardens”.

Visit sfbg.org/library, click on “Find a Collection” and search for “Rare Plants”. These milestones will result in an impressive 85 hits on books on the subject, representing various slices of the botanical world. These hits are likely to include some that relate to your interests.

You can travel to San Francisco to visit this library (see www.sfbg.org/library-services) or search Amazon.com to determine the availability of the book (s) you have selected.

Prediction: This process might present plants that aren’t as rare as you might expect, or highly attractive plants that you can’t find. Or it could lead to new plants that offer bragging rights and enrich your gardening days.

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and a Lifetime Master Gardener of UC. He is now a board member and garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society.


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Gardening Column: Plan Ahead and Plant Foxgloves in SC in the Fall | Chroniclers https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-column-plan-ahead-and-plant-foxgloves-in-sc-in-the-fall-chroniclers/ https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-column-plan-ahead-and-plant-foxgloves-in-sc-in-the-fall-chroniclers/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 18:00:00 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/gardening-column-plan-ahead-and-plant-foxgloves-in-sc-in-the-fall-chroniclers/ Now is the time to plant Foxgloves, one of my favorite flowers. A row of foxgloves in full bloom makes a spectacular and eye-catching spring display. The non-flowering seedlings can be purchased at garden centers and displayed through Nov. 15 in the lower half of South Carolina and through Nov. 1 in the upper half. […]]]>

Now is the time to plant Foxgloves, one of my favorite flowers. A row of foxgloves in full bloom makes a spectacular and eye-catching spring display. The non-flowering seedlings can be purchased at garden centers and displayed through Nov. 15 in the lower half of South Carolina and through Nov. 1 in the upper half.

The basics of digital

Foxgloves are best grown as cool-season annuals in the lower half of the state. Don’t be tempted to buy Foxglove plants in bloom in the spring. They will not be able to establish themselves in hot spring temperatures and will simply wilt after transplanting.






Foxgloves spend the winter growing a large root system and a dense rosette of leaves. Anthony Keinath / Supplied




Foxgloves are one of the commonly cited examples of biennial flowers, that is, plants that flower the year after seed germination. Fortunately for us gardeners, nurseries grow plants for most of the first year. As long as the young plants are exposed to cold temperatures during their first winter, they will flower the following spring.

Foxgloves start out as rosettes, a dense group of low, spreading leaves radiating from a common center. After exposure to cold, a single tall stem rises from the center of the rosette and grows rapidly upward.

Flowers emerge in early April in the Lowcountry, starting from the bottom to the top of the stem for two weeks or more. After the main flowers wilt, the plants will send out much smaller side shoots.

Gardening: Answers to Readers' Questions About Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Cultivars and colors

The three commonly available digitalis cultivars are named “Dalmatian”, “Camelot” and “Foxy”. All three have flourished in my garden, where I have planted Foxgloves almost every fall for the past 20 years.






1006 Dalmatian Cream 2019.JPG

Foxgloves are best grown as cool-season annuals in the lower half of the state. This cultivar is known as “Dalmatian”. Anthony Keinath / Supplied




During the last two years, a few Dalmatian foxgloves have bloomed from the end of January 2020 and the end of February 2021. The “Dalmatian peach” plants in 2020 bloomed again as usual in April.

It doesn’t take a Latin scholar to recognize the significance of the botanical name for Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. You may recognize digitalis as a medicine for the heart. Purpurea gives the common color of the flower. In X11 color names, “purple” is the exact color of a foxglove. Many seed catalogs call this color lavender.

Receive a weekly recap of South Carolina’s opinions and analysis from The Post and Courier delivered to your inbox Monday night.

Of course, plant breeders have developed other colors of flowers. All three cultivars are also available in white, cream and pink. Dalmatian foxgloves are also available in a pretty peach (or light apricot) color.

Almost carefree culture

Foxgloves need a location in partial or full shade, ideally in the middle or back of a border or flower bed. If they are planted partly in the sun, the morning sun is best. Plants and flower stems fall off on sunny spring afternoons, shortening the lifespan of flowers.

They also need moist soil to reach their full size. Plants should be spaced at least 12 inches apart. Most years, the rosettes on my plants grow to 16 inches in diameter with flower stems 40 inches high. The soil should be fertilized and amended with poultry manure compost before transplanting.

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Digitals have few problems. Plants that flower before April 1 may lose some buds due to cold damage if there is a frost after the flower stems have elongated and formed buds. The leaves may discolour a bit after a hard frost, but my plants survived the January 2018 snowfall very well.






1006foxgloves fern.jpg

Foxgloves are available in a variety of colors and should be planted in the fall to flower the following spring. Anthony Keinath / Supplied


White mold can affect Foxglove, snapdragon, and livestock in late winter or early spring. Diseased stems and flowers turn tan and dry. The leaves are not affected.

White mold spores spread through the air, so there isn’t much you can do to prevent them. Plants can be sprayed with Thiomyl fungicide (active ingredient thiophanate-methyl).

White mold will produce hard, black nuggets called sclerotia inside or on diseased stems. Sclerotia are survival structures that allow the fungus to survive in the soil for several years. Parts of diseased plants should be removed from the garden and thrown in the trash.

Note that digitalis are toxic to dogs, cats, horses and humans. However, they are not eaten by deer or rabbits.

The only tricky thing about growing foxgloves is that it’s almost impossible to get all the plants to flower at once, as you typically see in glossy garden photos.

Gardening column: Gardening is for birds

Anthony keinath is professor of plant pathology at the Clemson Coastal Research & Education Center in Charleston. His expertise is in vegetable diseases. He is also an avid gardener. Contact him at tknth@clemson.edu.


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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Facade options – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-santa-cruz-sentinel/ https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-santa-cruz-sentinel/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 22:09:27 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-facade-options-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden Composting organic garden and kitchen waste is certainly a good practice, but it takes more work than I could handle. The nutrient level in my garden seems to be sufficient, in part resulting from the slow decomposition of many yards of wood chips imported over the years as mulch. Coming […]]]>

Take care of your garden

Composting organic garden and kitchen waste is certainly a good practice, but it takes more work than I could handle. The nutrient level in my garden seems to be sufficient, in part resulting from the slow decomposition of many yards of wood chips imported over the years as mulch.

Coming to this conclusion, I removed the large, three-bin composting structure behind my garage, freeing up the area for a new raised bed. This bed is 7 feet deep, 18 feet wide, against the back wall of the garage which is approximately 15 feet high.

This space connects to an existing bed of Mexican succulents along the side of the garage. Therefore, for thematic continuity, the new bed will focus on Mexican / South American plants.

The new bed is large enough to accommodate a lot of plants, but the initial challenge is for the design to include enough height to take advantage of the garage wall. Coincidentally, one of my garden coaching clients has the same opportunity to showcase a large plant specimen in front of a windowless wall in his residence. I’ll explore the possibilities in a future column.

The San Pedro cactus blooms in the fall. (Lars – Wikimedia Commons)
The San Pedro cactus can develop an impressive cluster. (Forest & Kim Starr – Contribution)

A first thought for a tall plant in my new planting bed was a cluster of three San Pedro cacti (Echinopsis pachanoi, also called Trichocereus pachanoi). This plant, native to several parts of South America, is popular for its ornamental value and height, reaching 10 to 20 feet tall. This plant came to mind because a friend of the landscape gardener gave three copies, which were a surplus for her work.

This option combines great height, attractive appearance, thematically focused and free!

Then another friend announced that Santa Cruz City Council very recently revised its two-year-old policy to decriminalize psychedelic plants and fungi with an exception to plants that naturally contain mescaline, known for its hallucinogenic effects. This action effectively recriminalizes such plants, in particular the San Pedro cactus and the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii).

There are many plants and fungi with psychoactive properties. Visit Wikipedia for a list if you are interested. The city council acted to re-criminalize plants containing mescaline because, according to the resolution, decriminalization of plants, including peyote, “may disrupt the Native American-led national strategy to protect, conserve and ensure spiritual and ecological sustainability. peyote. . “

I don’t understand the disturbance issue, and I don’t have a problem with the policy, but it might have allowed ornamental uses of at least the San Pedro cactus.

There are many good choices for a specimen plant in front of a white wall. If you have any good experiences or ideas for such a selection of showcases, send them for inclusion in this study.

Improve your gardening knowledge

The Pacific Horticultural Society’s YouTube channel has a growing and intriguing collection of video presentations of particular interest to California gardeners. This collection includes the documentary mini-series, Landscapes of Change, “documenting stories about climate resilience in horticulture, landscaping, restoration, and research applications.” New models that impact green infrastructure and industry, explore real and human challenges, and extraordinary professionals who drive innovation. “

This series begins with “The Portreo Hill Eco-Patch”, the story of a unique group of people in a neighborhood of a big city, who all came together around a very special idea. Episode 1 of this story will premiere at 4 p.m. on October 14.

To see Landscape of Change and other Pacific Horticulture offerings, visit youtube.com and search for Pacific Horticulture.

Enrich your gardening days

With the huge and growing number of garden-worthy plants, many gardeners rely on plants they are already familiar with that are readily available at garden centers and big box stores. Some gardeners, however, are drawn to different plants, which could be described in two categories: new and rare.

The new category includes recently introduced cultivars, which are either selected varieties of plant species or hybrids of two or more compatible species. Nurseries enthusiastically present each season’s new introductions of roses, daylilies, irises, and other popular genera. These offerings often have good physical attributes and attractive flower colors, both of which are sought after by plant collectors.

The rare category includes unusual or uncommon species in gardens. Typical garden plants are angiosperms, which produce flowers and seeds. These plants include 13,000 known genera and 300,000 known species. It is a vast universe that includes a small number of familiar garden plants and a very large number of plants that most gardeners have not encountered.

Not all unfamiliar plants are always desirable in the garden. The rare category can be divided into fit for a garden and “not fit for a garden”. Suckers include plants that are unsuitable for a given garden environment and some that are just not attractive. These are clearly subjective criteria linked to specific gardens and gardeners, but they are important nonetheless.

This leisurely walk through the plant kingdom brings us to a strategy for discovering rare plants that might be successful in your garden and that you would find interesting, suitable and (hopefully) attractive companions for your garden.

It is not an easy task. Most gardeners rely on chance, discovering rare plants by visiting other gardens, browsing magazines and websites about the garden, or interacting with other gardeners.

A more organized strategy for finding rare plants for your garden might start by reviewing someone else’s list of rare plants. Many such lists are available in the Helen Crocker Russell Horticultural Library at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, described as “the most comprehensive horticultural library in Northern California … with 27,000 volumes and 250 current plant periodicals. and gardens ”.

Visit sfbg.org/library, click on “Find a Collection” and search for “Rare Plants”. These milestones will result in an impressive 85 hits on books on the subject, representing various slices of the botanical world. These hits are likely to include some that relate to your interests.

You can travel to San Francisco to visit this library (see www.sfbg.org/library-services) or search Amazon.com to determine the availability of the book (s) you have selected.

Prediction: This process might present plants that aren’t as rare as you might expect, or highly attractive plants that you can’t find. Or it could lead to new plants that offer bragging rights and enrich your gardening days.

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999- 2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view daily photos of his garden, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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Be a Better Gardener: Gardening Against Climate Change | Chroniclers https://rogersgardengate.com/be-a-better-gardener-gardening-against-climate-change-chroniclers/ https://rogersgardengate.com/be-a-better-gardener-gardening-against-climate-change-chroniclers/#respond Thu, 07 Oct 2021 15:28:47 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/be-a-better-gardener-gardening-against-climate-change-chroniclers/ Last summer saw record-breaking rainfall in my corner of western Massachusetts – our dirt road was washed three times and the dirt in our yard was too wet to work most of the time. There is not much I can do for my road other than express my gratitude to the city team who fixed […]]]>

Last summer saw record-breaking rainfall in my corner of western Massachusetts – our dirt road was washed three times and the dirt in our yard was too wet to work most of the time. There is not much I can do for my road other than express my gratitude to the city team who fixed it. But I can adapt my garden, with help from Ginny Stibolt and Sue Reed’s book, Climate-Wise Landscaping.

First published in 2018, this book has become more relevant than ever as climate change takes off in the United States. My wife, an environmental scholar who studies the dynamics of our climate change, has told me for years that storms and the precipitation that accompany them would become more severe in the Northeast. I didn’t do anything, but now I believe the time is right. And Climate-Wise Landscaping offers many ideas.

As indicated in the introduction, this book takes a positive look at the situation. “Instead of wringing our hands,” say the authors, “we prefer to roll up our sleeves. That’s fine with me, because I don’t like at all the sadness so often associated with the environmental movement, which I find encourages a sense of hopelessness that leads to paralysis.

In a series of highly focused chapters, Stibolt and Reed offer ways to address the different ways that climate change is impacting different parts of the country, whether it’s increased heat and drought. , or flooding. By focusing on different aspects of our landscapes, from lawns to soil and water, to trees and shrubs and herbaceous plants, they not only share ways for the gardener to minimize the contribution of his garden. to climate change, but also, in many cases, to help reverse or at least limit the process.

Some of their recommendations were, to me, unexpected. For example, in a section of the book succinctly titled “Food,” Stibolt and Reed point out that global food production produces one-third of the greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere, and that every pound of food produced in a home or a community garden cuts greenhouse gas emissions by two pounds. This will strengthen my passion for the vegetable garden.

Based on my experience last summer, I was drawn to Section VI: “Planning and Design”, which deals directly with the design of “Floodplain” landscapes. Sometimes, the authors advise, the best answer is acceptance. Areas naturally prone to flooding such as flood plains should be respected by garden designers, as by collecting and absorbing runoff water, they perform an important function. Having identified these areas, gardeners should avoid planting species that do not tolerate periods of standing water and avoid planting structures that will be damaged by flooding.

Working with natural systems can also involve increasing the ability of your landscape to absorb water that falls on them. Creating a rain garden is one way to accomplish this, but the process can also be simpler, adjusting the soil to create low points where water can sink in and planting them with plants that can tolerate periods. of water-saturated soil – species that originate from floodplains and wetlands. My vegetable garden, according to Stibolt and Reed, will be less muddy if I focus more on growing in raised beds. Plant trees on a small mound. If an area of ​​lawn has been under an inch or more of water for more than a week, the soil will have been compacted by the weight of the water and the area should be aerated.

Be-a-Better-Gardener is a community service at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, located in Stockbridge, Mass. Its mission, to provide knowledge about gardening and the environment through a wide range of courses and programs, informs and inspires thousands of students and visitors each year. Thomas Christopher volunteers at the Berkshire Botanical Garden and is the author or co-author of over a dozen books.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn Qualifying Purchases.


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For the love of gardening: an affinity for grasses https://rogersgardengate.com/for-the-love-of-gardening-an-affinity-for-grasses/ https://rogersgardengate.com/for-the-love-of-gardening-an-affinity-for-grasses/#respond Wed, 06 Oct 2021 11:50:41 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/for-the-love-of-gardening-an-affinity-for-grasses/ I have always had an affinity for grasses. Growing up in rural Connecticut, my parents’ house was surrounded by farms and fields of timothy hay. For me, haymaking was an exciting event because the farmer next door lifted me up on the broad back of one of his work horses. It was exciting to be […]]]>

I have always had an affinity for grasses. Growing up in rural Connecticut, my parents’ house was surrounded by farms and fields of timothy hay. For me, haymaking was an exciting event because the farmer next door lifted me up on the broad back of one of his work horses. It was exciting to be so high. Slow and steady, the horses trudged back and forth, pulling a dump rake behind them.

The rake had two wheels and was operated from a seat between them where the farmer controlled the lifting mechanism. When enough hay had been swathed, he used the lever to lift the rake, leaving a neat roll of freshly mown hay. The hay was later stacked on a cart and dragged to the barn. Timothy’s Hay (Phleum pratense) was the favorite food of cows and horses at the time. The flowering stems, which are 20 to 40 inches tall, look like very small green cat tails.

Ornamental grasses are much larger and bolder plants. At the back of my long perennial border, one of the mainstays of the late season garden is Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis var gracillimus), which has thin blades a quarter of an inch wide and about six feet high. Since it has been in place for years, the clump has grown to at least 30 inches in diameter. The effect of the slender blades is similar to that of a fountain, and the flower heads, which come later, are quite dried and used in arrangements.

Closely related zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis var. zebrinus) is taller, peaking at six to nine feet, and even more conspicuous with broad horizontal striped cream bands. Mine is about seven feet tall and has grown into a big, beautiful clump. The prettiest of all is perhaps the cultivar ‘Morning Light’, which is rather smaller than the rest and quite refined – five to six feet tall, with silvery foliage.

These herbs all love the sun, the more the better, but the Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’) actually prefers shade. Although it can tolerate more sun than many woodland plants, it is happier at the edge of the forest. The plants are low growing, just over a foot tall, with arched foliage of a beautiful yellow with dark green longitudinal stripes. It creates a welcome light spot in a shaded border, and this summer I used it in containers with dark red coleus and chartreuse sweet potato vine.

At the back of the perennial border, tall grasses pair well with Joe Pye grass, a native plant that decorates roadsides and grows in overgrown fields. It has recently acquired a long and difficult botanical name, Eupatoriadelphus maculatus, but you can certainly be forgiven for calling him by his common name.

I have a white form of Joe Pye grass that towers over even the tallest grass. ‘Bartered Bride’ grows up to ten feet and looks down on its shorter cousin, ‘Gateway’, which has stems six feet each culminating in a large cluster of branching pinkish-purple flowers. Elsewhere in the garden, I planted ‘Little Joe’ and ‘Baby Joe’, smaller parents of ‘Gateway’, both less than five feet tall and have proportionately smaller flower clusters. The Joe Pye Weeds and ornamental grasses are a heavenly marriage.

Wherever there is room at the end of the long border, rue des Prés (Thalictrum rochbruneanum ‘Lavender Mist’) fills among the grasses with its tall purple stems, delicate foliage and clouds of tiny flowers. It self-sows and is welcome wherever it appears.

But the star of the end of season garden really is Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, which will be in full bloom around early October. This foolproof, long-lived perennial is in a class of its own. From the time rosettes of succulent blue-green foliage appear in spring until the end of the growing season, it makes a welcome contribution to the garden.

At this point, the flower heads are fully formed and will soon begin to turn from pink to pink, the color gradually deepening to rust and finally brown. Even in winter, the plants retain their upright stature, and the flower heads are nicely covered with snow. The herbs are beautiful also in winter. Although they can be rather messy when dry and blown by the wind, they are still wonderful plants and give me pleasure in all four seasons.

If you want to learn more about these graceful, easy-to-grow plants, expert Rick Darke literally wrote the book on the subject, The Grass Encyclopedia for Inhabitable Landscapes. It covers the selection, planting and propagation of true grasses and related plants, such as rushes and cattails.

Love your gardening, until next time!

Sydney Eddison has written seven books on gardening. Additionally, she collaborated with the Color Wheel Company on The gardener’s color wheel: a guide to using color in the garden.

For her work as a writer, gardener, and lecturer, she received the Gustav AL Melquist Award from the Connecticut Horticultural Society in 2002; New England Wild Flower Society Kathryn S. Taylor Prize in 2005; in 2006, the bronze medal of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut. In 2010, his book Gardening for a lifetime: how to garden more wisely as you get older won the American Horticultural Society Book Award.

A former drama teacher, longtime gardener and Newtown resident for 60 years, Eddison’s love for the English language has found its most satisfying expression in four volumes of poetry: Where We Walk: Poems Rooted in New England Soil (2015); Fragments of Time: Poems of Gratitude for Daily Miracles (2016); All the Luck: Poems Celebrating Love, Life, and the Enduring Human Spirit (2018); and Light Of Day: Poems of a lifetime of research and listening (2019).

Sydney Eddison has always had an affinity for grasses. —Cynthia Kling photo

Ornamental grasses are much larger, bolder plants that remain hardy and strong well beyond their peak of growth each season, as evidenced by this Miscanthus in the fall. —Photo by Kimberly Day Proctor


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in the garden | The stars of autumn | Gardening https://rogersgardengate.com/in-the-garden-the-stars-of-autumn-gardening/ https://rogersgardengate.com/in-the-garden-the-stars-of-autumn-gardening/#respond Sat, 02 Oct 2021 15:30:00 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/in-the-garden-the-stars-of-autumn-gardening/ Fall flowers are some of the best of the year because they take a whole season of waiting to finally display their splendor. Beyond their beauty, they are a valuable food source for late-growing pollinators, which can be especially important for migratory species such as the monarch. Asters are the stars of autumn in the […]]]>

Fall flowers are some of the best of the year because they take a whole season of waiting to finally display their splendor. Beyond their beauty, they are a valuable food source for late-growing pollinators, which can be especially important for migratory species such as the monarch.

Asters are the stars of autumn in the natural world. They beautify meadows, woodland edges, roadsides and other places in the landscape with cascading daisy-like flowers. The species of their family (Asteraceae) are diverse and numerous, with more than 250 plants called “asters” around the world.

Beginning in the 1990s, botanists were able to take a closer look at asters using DNA tests. New and interesting genetic differences emerged that resulted in the reclassification of many species, the change of botanical names, and the removal of 180 native North American species from the genus Aster.

This was a difficult change for many since Aster was the genus name associated with so many species for so long. The majority of North American asters have been moved to the genus Symphyotrichum, which certainly does not emerge from the tongue like Aster. Although research decades ago provided the basis for a new classification, it has been very slow to spread among nurseries and the like, leading to some confusion as to which plants are and are not. no “asters” and complicates things for gardeners.

While this kind of confusion is typical of many reclassifications of plant names, it appears that the changes among asteris have been one of the slowest accepted and one that I have talked about the most in my botanical career. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Royal Horticulture Society of Great Britain officially adopted the new names, and I still see old botanical names in use today.

However, there is some consistency in the naming if we just stick to the common name, aster. In Greek, “aster” means “star”, which is emblematic of the floral structure of the plant.

Aster flowers consist of a bright yellow to orange center filled with tiny disc-shaped flowers, sometimes in the hundreds. This cluster is surrounded by ray flowers that each have a long, petal-like structure, called a ligule, which extends outward, creating a star-shaped flower. These ligules range in color from white to pink, blue or purple and act like the petals on many other flowers, attracting pollinators and drawing attention to the food-rich disc flowers in the center.

Blooming asters are always a wonderful harbinger of fall color, with a number of small-flowered wild species, such as the heather aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) teeming with fall blooming borders. fields, along roads and in other open areas. At a time of the growing season when so many other species have finished blooming, asters are an invaluable floral resource for pollinators.

In cultivation, asters provide a much needed aesthetic boost this time of year, many producing a consistently massive flower display. The New England aster (S. novae-angliae) is one of my favorite gardens, with its towering stems of purple to pink flowers throughout the fall. It prefers full sun and fertile, well-drained soils. Height can be an issue with this plant as it can easily reach eye level and has a tendency to collapse without support. Pinching the stems several times or mowing during the season works well to reduce height and promote the bush, although dense foliage can create powdery mildew problems. I recommend dividing this perennial every two years to invigorate the plants and reduce stem density, providing better air circulation.

Another favorite of mine is the aromatic aster (S. oblongifolium), which is a bit smaller. It has similar purple flowers that bloom slightly later than the New England aster in my garden. It grows well in a wider range of soils and prefers full sun. With its lower height (2-3 feet) and aggressive, spreading habit, it works wonderfully as a taller ground cover that easily takes up available space, filling well around other taller established plants.

For places with a little shade, I appreciate the smooth blue aster (S. leave). It usually grows to heights somewhere between the two aforementioned asters with light purple flowers that occur from late September through October.

Asters are definitely not carefree perennials if your goal is to look perfect. All benefit from regular division and tend to spread by seed. Spread can be limited by trimming flower heads in the fall, although their opportunistic habitat can really help them overcome weeds in gardens with enough space.

For me, the reward of late season flowers has always outweighed other factors, and the pollinators in my garden show their buzzing approval when they gobble up these plants in the fall.

Ryan Pankau is a Horticultural Educator with UI Extension, serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion counties. This column also appears on his ‘Garden Scoop’ blog at go.illinois.edu/GardenScoopBlog.


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The power of seeds: Urban gardening gains momentum in a pandemic | Home & Garden https://rogersgardengate.com/the-power-of-seeds-urban-gardening-gains-momentum-in-a-pandemic-home-garden/ https://rogersgardengate.com/the-power-of-seeds-urban-gardening-gains-momentum-in-a-pandemic-home-garden/#respond Fri, 01 Oct 2021 16:00:00 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/the-power-of-seeds-urban-gardening-gains-momentum-in-a-pandemic-home-garden/ Interest in gardening has grown across the country. And urban gardeners say it’s especially important for the health and resilience of city neighborhoods, like this Los Angeles neighborhood. Members of the Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) community initiative are involved in growing food as well as peppers for “Bronx Hot Sauce.” Interest in gardening has grown […]]]>

Katherine Roth The Associate Press

On an assemblage of vacant lots and other pockets of unused land in New York’s Borough of the Bronx, gardeners from low-income neighborhoods have banded together to create more than a dozen “agricultural centers,” coordinating their gardens. communities and their harvest.

Several years ago, some discovered that together their small gardens could grow enough peppers to mass produce hot sauce – the hot sauce from the Bronx, to be precise, with the profits from sales being reinvested in their communities. .

During the pandemic, agricultural centers in the Bronx proved their power once again, producing health-promoting crops like garlic, kale and collard greens.

“The thing is, how can we learn from the pandemic to become truly resilient?” says Raymond Figueroa-Reyes, president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition.

“When the pandemic hit, urban agriculture went into hyper-productivity mode. People saw that the donations (of food) that were arriving were not adequate in terms of quantity or quality, and there was no has no dignity in waiting for this type of charity, ”he says.

The agricultural centers are part of an urban gardening movement across the country dedicated to empowering residents of poorer neighborhoods by encouraging them to grow fresh food.

Areas (urban and rural) with little access to healthy, fresh food have been called “food deserts” and tend to have high rates of diabetes and other illnesses, such as hypertension and obesity. . In cities, where many see the phenomenon as intertwined with deeper issues of race and equity, some community leaders prefer terms such as “food prison” or “food apartheid”.


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How many of those gardening blunders have you made? | Georges weigel https://rogersgardengate.com/how-many-of-those-gardening-blunders-have-you-made-georges-weigel/ https://rogersgardengate.com/how-many-of-those-gardening-blunders-have-you-made-georges-weigel/#respond Thu, 30 Sep 2021 11:39:39 +0000 https://rogersgardengate.com/how-many-of-those-gardening-blunders-have-you-made-georges-weigel/ As the 2021 growing season fraught with rain, leaf diseases, armyworms and lanterns draws to a close, it is again evident that there are many outside factors that can threaten a smooth journey through the ancient landscape. But there’s a good chance that a few “operator errors” are also involved when things aren’t looking so […]]]>

As the 2021 growing season fraught with rain, leaf diseases, armyworms and lanterns draws to a close, it is again evident that there are many outside factors that can threaten a smooth journey through the ancient landscape.

But there’s a good chance that a few “operator errors” are also involved when things aren’t looking so good in October.

The good news is that trial and error is an effective way to learn gardening – or just about anything, for that matter.

The mess has a hammering home lesson style that, if you pay attention to it, leads to success later on.

Fortunately, gardening offers an almost limitless array of potential mistakes.

Some of the best gardeners will admit they missed their path to mastering botany.

Here are 10 of the most common misfires … in case you’d rather learn from others than fend for yourself.

Underestimating the size of a plant

Almost everyone who plants a plant is guilty of this one.

Unlike furniture, plants don’t keep the same size once you place them. They keep growing until they die … some much faster and bigger than expected.

The lesson: Pay attention to heights and widths on plant labels and space at least so much. (Even these are estimates at fixed times, often 10 to 20 years.)

Then prepare to start pruning, pruning and / or dividing once the plants have reached their allotted size. Do not wait until they are overgrown and so try to push them away.

Prune these spring-flowering shrubs right after they have finished flowering.

Prune flower buds

This is usually the answer to the question “Why are my hydrangeas / azaleas / forsythias / etc.” flowering?”

Trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring (usually before June) bloom on branches that form their flower buds the previous fall. If you hit these branches in the fall, winter, or very early spring, you will cut off any buds that would have opened in the flowers.

The Lesson: Wait Until You’re Right after spring bloomers finish blooming to prune them. Go there no later than midsummer.

Underwatering

Not watering the plants is a quick way to kill them.

Kill plants by not watering enough

Even drought tolerant plants need consistently moist soil until their roots grow enough to extract enough moisture from the soil.

Until then, it’s up to you to make sure the soil around the roots stays moist. Rain rarely does the trick for you – at least not consistently.

New factories are particularly threatened. While perennial flowers can establish reasonably well in two years, allow three or four years before trees, shrubs, and evergreens can do it on their own.

The lesson: Your index finger – sunk a few inches into the ground – makes an excellent moisture meter.

Newer plants with relatively shallow roots such as annuals, vegetables and perennials benefit from soaks every two to four days instead of rain, while larger trees, shrubs and evergreens can go every five to seven. days – but with deeper soaks to account for their larger root systems.

Too much water

Plants can also die if they receive too much water.

Kill plants with too much the water

Ironically, you can also kill plants by overwatering them, although this is much more common with houseplants and plants growing in pots without sufficient drainage holes at the bottom.

For buried plants, the main threats to excess water are: 1.) plants in poorly drained places, 2.) when it rains constantly, and 3.) if you water too much and too often. .

The lesson: Improve the soil and / or build raised beds before planting in low areas or lousy clay soils (or stick to plants that tolerate moist soil). These resolve Threats # 1 and # 2 because you can’t regulate precipitation amounts.

Use this finger before watering. If the soil at root level is already wet, store the hose.

For houseplants, wait until the soil is barely dry and the pot is noticeably lighter before watering.

Spray drift

Drift from herbicide sprays can kill unwanted plants and plant parts.

Accidentally killing plants with sprays

Many homeowners have burned leaves or killed whole plants by using the wrong spray, mixing too hard, or applying the spray in the heat of a bright summer afternoon.

One of the most common examples is killing the grass using an all-killer herbicide (i.e. Roundup), thinking it was just supposed to kill the weeds.

It is also common to damage plants by not cleaning the sprayer after using a herbicide.

The Lesson: Read these labels to know what you are using and how to use it safely.

Consider dedicating different sprayers to insecticides, broadleaf weedkillers, and all-killing herbicides – or limit sprays as much as possible.

Fertilizer burn

This lawn was destroyed by the granular fertilizer that was spilled while the gardener was filling a lawn spreader.

Burn the lawn with fertilizer

Some chemical fertilizers are strong enough that, if applied in excess, the nitrogen in them can cause the grass to turn brown. Uneven applications can also cause streaking.

Another all-too-common mistake is when DIY enthusiasts dump granular fertilizer into their spreader and inadvertently spill it on the surrounding lawn. These spills frequently cause brown spots on the lawn.

The lesson: Apply fertilizer in the amounts indicated. Or switch to organic fertilizers or slow-release nitrogen-rich fertilizers, both of which are much less likely to burn a lawn.

Fill your spreaders on the driveway or other hard surface so you can sweep up spills.

Mulch volcano

Wrapping mulch from tree trunks like a volcano is a good way to rot bark and kill trees.

“Mulching the volcano”

This is the term for placing mulch in a funnel-shaped mound that hits tree trunks.

Yes, you’ll even see professional landscapers doing it, but it’s harmful to trees by causing bark to rot and providing shelter for rodents (mice, chipmunks, and voles) that chew on tree bark.

Mulch longer than three to four inches – even if it’s not right against the trunk – is also detrimental by “stealing” rain in dry conditions and reducing the amount of oxygen reaching tree roots.

The lesson: keep mulch a few inches from tree trunks and limit layers of mulch to no more than four inches.

Leave the bulb foliage alone

Post-bloom is when spring bulbs do most of their “recharge” for the next year by absorbing sunlight through the leaves. Don’t prevent this by braiding or removing the leaves too early.

Playing with bulb foliage while it is still green

The weeks after the end of flowering of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other spring bulbs are very important because this is when the foliage absorbs sunlight which provides energy to recharge the bulbs for the flowering next year.

You will interfere with this refill by cutting off the still green foliage or reducing the area by braiding or tying the leaves, as many people do to “clean up” the post-bloom appearance.

The lesson: Don’t cut, braid, or mess up the foliage of spring bulbs until it has at least started to turn yellow – signaling that most of the season’s photosynthesis work is done.

Not dead

This hydrangea is not dead … it’s just still dormant from winter.

Dig up plants that are not dead

You might think that those crepe myrtles, hardy hibiscus, butterfly bushes, figs, and other late leafy plants are dead when almost everything else is already green and growing.

Be aware that some plants, especially those from warmer climates, wait until the weather is consistently warm before springing back to life in late spring. Until then, these might appear leafless and dead when they are in fact still dormant.

The lesson: If you don’t know what is normal for your plants, wait until at least the end of May or even mid-June before digging them up to dig them up.

You can also tell by scraping the bark off the stems of leafless woody plants a little. If there’s green underneath, there’s a good chance the plant is still slumbering, not dead.

Those late spring frosts ...

This is what happens to impatiens and other annuals if you plant them before the frosty nights of spring are over.

Plant too early

Gardeners are eager to get these petunias, tomatoes, and other summer annuals and vegetables into the ground at the first sight of frost-free spring weather.

You may have a jump in the season in some years, but many gardeners have seen their tender plants die when a frost follows a warming or two.

The lesson: Our last official all-time killing frost for Harrisburg is May 11, so wait until then to know it’ll take a record-breaking frost to get you. Those who live in cooler, higher, and / or more remote areas might see frost as late as Memorial Day.

At least wait for the late frost-free weather to approach and check the 10-day forecast to make sure nothing is even close to a frost before you plant.

Just because garden centers and home improvement centers sell tender plants doesn’t mean they should be buried.


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