It's happening again. In winter I am anxious to start my seeds and get outside to plant my vegetables. In spring I get my little seedlings in the ground and water and care for them in anticipation of the delicious home-grown harvests that I will have. Now it's time to pick beans - again - and while I thoroughly enjoyed my long-awaited first ripe tomato, many more are ripening. I can't bear the thought of wasting food so friends and neighbors will also benefit from my garden.
When I was little my mother and grandmother would do a lot of canning. It's funny how things come around again! I don't have too much extra time to can, freeze, and dry my crops, but I can certainly share!
If you don't have time or inclination to preserve your harvest and have enough to share, consider giving to friends and neighbors or donate to Plant a Row Lehigh Valley.
Trying to look on the positive side of things, my hardy Hibiscus have never looked better. It seems those darn Spotted Lanternfly like Hibiscus so I have been trying to control them. It is also controlling the Japanese Beetles so the Hibiscus are looking great this year! I see many trees with sticky tape and the tape is usually well-covered with SLF nymphs. It seems the SLF will be another pest we will have to learn to live with.
There are some events coming up but always verify before attending due to COVID.
Please visit our website for more information
September 24 to November 19
Landscape Design Essentials
Northampton Community College
I will be teaching landscape design certificate courses again this fall. Not sure if it will be in person or online. Stay tuned! For more information or to register, click this link.
LNDSC100 - Landscape Design Essentials
Mark your calendars!
Saturday, October 3, 2020
A Path Less Taken:
The Art of Labyrinth Walking
Hosted by Carriage House Landscape Design
oin us to discover the history of labyrinths and how to use this ancient tool in modern times.
Farmer's Inspirational Story
There was once a farmer who had great fields of corn. He grew the best corn in the area. He won the first prize at the state fair every year, and everyone flocked to his fields in late summer to enjoy his delicious harvest.
One day, a news reporter went to interview the farmer and ask him about this secrets to success. Days of research before the interview revealed to the reporter that the farmer would always share his best-producing seeds with the neighboring farms.
When it came time for the interview, the reporter was loaded with a powerful question. The reporter asked, "Sir, why do you share your best seeds with your neighbors, knowing that they are also going to enter their corn into the competition against you. Would not this make it difficult for you to win?"
The farmer looked up and took a deep breath before he replied. The farmer answered, "During the season when the strong wind comes across the fields, pollen from the ripening corn is swirled from field to field. It is most important to understand that if my neighbors grow poor corn, the cross-pollination will ultimately degrade the quality of my own corn. So, if I want to grow great corn, I must help my neighbor grow good corn as well."
In order to live a meaningful and happy life, we must see the importance of enriching the lives of others. True happiness is found when we share with others.
In Your Garden - August
Weed as necessary
Monitor for pests
Harvest and preserve vegetables
Enjoy your garden's bounty!
- Prop up branches of fruit trees that are threatening to break under the weight of a heavy crop.
- Early peach varieties ripen now.
- Thornless blackberries ripen now.
- Thornless blackberries are ripening now.
- Trees heavily laden with fruit may need to have their branches supported, either with strings from a central pole or with wooden props.
- Protect ripening fruits from birds by covering plants with a netting.
- Continue to spray ripening fruits to prevent brown rot fungus.
- Spray peach and other stone fruits now to protect against peach tree borers.
- Fall-bearing red raspberries are ripening now.
- Sprays will be necessary to protect late peaches from oriental fruit moth damage.
- Cultivate strawberries. Weed preventers can be applied immediately after fertilizing.
- Watch for fall webworm activity now.
- Compost or till under debris from harvested crops.
- Sweet corn is ripe when the silks turn brown.
- Keep cukes well watered. Drought conditions will cause bitter fruit.
- Harvest onions and garlic when the tops turn brown.
- Harvest globe artichokes when their scales are still tight. The heads at the tops of plants mature first, those on lateral shoots slightly later.
- Harvest shallots. Insert a garden fork under them gently to loosen the soil.
- For the fall garden, sow seeds of collards, kale, sweet corn and summer squash as earlier crops are harvested.
- Set out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants for the fall garden.
- Sow seeds of carrots, beets, turnips, and winter radish for fall harvest.
- Sow turnips and rutabagas thinly in drills ¾ inch deep and in rows 15 inches apart. Ensure that the soil is moist.
- Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower transplants should be set out now for the fall garden.
- Sow seeds of beans, beets, spinach and turnips now for the fall garden. Spinach may germinate better if seeds are refrigerated for one week before planting.
- Cure onions in a warm, dry place for 2 weeks before storing.
- Sow spring cabbages in seedbeds, in drills ¾ inch deep and 6-8 inches apart. Later, move the young plants to a vegetable plot.
- Lift second-early and main crop potatoes after their leaves and stems have died down.
- Sow turnips and rutabagas thinly in drills ½ inch deep and 12 inches apart. First water the drills.
- Harvest corn when the tassel-like "silks" have withered and the grains, when pressed exude a creamy white liquid. Harvest the cobs by pulling and twisting them downward at the same time.
- Begin planting lettuce and radishes for fall now.
- Monitor lawns for newly hatched white grubs. If damage is occurring, apply appropriate controls, following product label directions.
- Feed lawns with a slow acting lawn fertilizer.
- Apply insecticides now for grub control on lawns being damaged by their activity.
- Soak shrubs periodically during dry spells with enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches.
- Once bagworms reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Pruning off and burning large bags provides better control.
- Spray black locust trees now to protect against damage by the locust borer.
- Watch Scotch and Austrian pines now for Zimmerman pine moth damage. Yellowing or browning of branch tips and presence of pitch tubes near leaf whorls are indicative. Prune and destroy infected parts.
- Hummingbirds are migrating through gardens now.
- Continue spraying roses that are susceptible to black spot and other fungus diseases.
- Annuals may appear leggy and worn now. These can be cut back hard and fertilized to produce a new flush of bloom.
- Deadhead annuals and perennials as needed.
- Some perennials such as Virginia Bluebells, Oriental Poppies, and Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts will turn yellow and go dormant in summer, not in fall like most perennials
- Powdery mildew is unsightly on lilacs, but rarely harmful. Shrubs grown in full sun are less prone to this disease.
- Semi-hardwood cuttings of spring flowering shrubs can be made now.
- Summer pruning of shade trees can be done now.
- Pick sweet pea flowers regularly to encourage the development of further blooms.
- Divide oriental poppies now.
- Feed mums, asters and other fall-blooming perennials for the last time.
- Roses should receive no further nitrogen fertilizer after August 15th.
- Powdery mildew on lilacs is unsightly, but causes no harm and rarely warrants control, though common rose fungicides will prove effective.
- Madonna lilies, bleeding heart (Dicentra) and bloodroot (Sanguinaria) can be divided and replanted.
- Divide bearded iris now. Discard old center sections and borer damaged parts. Replant so tops of rhizomes are just above ground level.
- Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.
- Order bulbs now for fall planting.
- Evergreens can be planted or transplanted now to ensure good rooting before winter arrives. Water both the plant and the planting site several days before moving.
- If you want to grow big dahlia flowers, keep side shoots pinched off and plants watered and fertilized regularly.
BOLO Pests & Problems
ntinue to watch for Spotted Lanternfly nymphs and control when you are able.
Bottom line with SLF: Kill them if you can. Use recommended practices. Don't move them around.
- By late summer cool-season fescue lawns are often in tough shape. Dead spots resulting from disease, grubs, and/or summer heat often need to be reseeded. These areas should be reseeded between September 1 and mid-October. If this also involves killing any existing grass, start killing these areas in mid-August with glyphosate. Read the product label information for waiting time required before seed can be planted.
- In late summer we often see a variety of problems with tomatoes. Blossom-end rot is common, as is septoria leaf spot and fusarium wilt.
- Other tomato problems include late blight, stink bug, and spider mite damage.
- Cracking fruit, which is caused by water fluctuations and is more common in some varieties than others, may also be observed. You may also encounter sunscald on fruit of tomatoes and peppers. Watch for the tomato hornworm feeding on tomatoes.
- Poorly formed fruit on cucumbers and other vine crops can be due to pollination problems.
- The yellow jacket is a wasp that makes its home in the ground and is aggressively attracted to sweet items at your picnic. They can deliver a painful sting so use caution. Locate the nest during daylight hours but treat it after dark when the insects are not flying. Apply Sevin dust or an insecticide containing permethrin to the hole entrance and seal the entrance with soil or a flat metal or plastic sheet held down with a heavy weight. Now is the best time to control carpenter bees. Cicada killer wasps are active this time of year. They are beneficial and not dangerous to humans.
- August is a good time to replant iris and remove any rhizomes that are infested with iris borers. Iris is best dug and divided every 3-4 years.
- In mid- to late summer fall webworms may be seen. Small branches scattered around the yard may be the result of twig girdlers, insects that feed on small branches and result in them breaking off. Damage is usually slight, but collecting the fallen branches and disposing of them through municipal composting may help control the pests by not allowing the insect to complete its lifecycle in your yard.
- By the end of July Japanese beetle damage should be all but over for the season as around this time the adults have laid eggs in the ground and died. Japanese beetles have a one-year lifecycle.
- Monitor and treat for grubs in lawns if required. Treating is only necessary if 10 or more grubs are found in a one square foot area. If this threshold is met, treat with trichlorfon (Dylox) now. Treatment with imidacloprid (Merit) or halofenozide (Mach 2) should have been made in July as they take longer to act.
- Damage from spider mites may be observed on many plants. It may be too late to affect much control this year, but note their symptoms so you can use safe and effective controls, such as removal with a strong stream of water, in subsequent years.
- Don't apply nitrogen fertilizer to roses after mid-August. Late summer fertilizing can result in tender growth that may be damaged by cold weather. Hold off fertilizing trees and shrubs until mid- to late fall before the ground freezes.
- Scorch is a common problem in hot, dry weather. Be sure to keep plants well watered during periods of drought. Stressed plants are more susceptible to attack by insects and disease. Many plants may also exhibit wilting leaves or yellowing foliage due to lack of adequate water. Water during dry spells.
- Galls are common on many plants throughout the season. Generally galls on leaves are just cosmetic and do little damage. Horned and gouty oak gall affects twigs and although usually not a serious threat to the health of the tree they can be unsightly. Unfortunately, little can be done to control them. An arborist can remove them, but there is no guarantee that they will not recur again.
- Apply a preventative insecticide spray to the trunks of peach trees and other stone fruits in the first half of the month to control peachtree borers. Apply again in August.