Mary Lou Marchand
Weeds. Mowing. I don't mind mowing until I get to the curbside. The sand and salt the plow throws on that area during the winter often leaves us with a problem area that is more grit than soil, more weeds than grass. How to improve the area has led me to look at the boulevard or street-side garden concept.
The 2016 gardening season, one of highs and lows, didn't have much in the middle. It began, as does each new season, with happy anticipation of fabulous tomatoes, prolific green beans, just enough zucchini . . . well, you know the feeling. This was going to be the perfect season. Why, I was even prepared for the return of the deer!
Sedum has become more popular in recent years. Low-growing types look good in rock gardens or as ground covers, while taller varieties stand out in perennial borders. The versatile sedum is common in alpine climates, as well as hot and arid regions.
As we consider our flower and vegetable gardens this spring, let’s also consider the good insects that may inhabit our gardens and provide safe, natural biological solutions to pest control. Beneficial insects instinctively search out pests to eat in our gardens providing us with free, non-chemical pest control. Who could ask for more?
There are some great new annuals for flower gardeners to look for this spring. While there’s nothing new about begonias, coleus, vincas or salvia, the 2016 varieties bring improvements in color, vigor and size. Salvia “Black and Blue” was replaced by Salvia “Black and Bloom.” The larger blooms than its predecessor are deep blue against a black stem and the foliage sturdier. Much loved by hummers and butterflies, this 3-foot tall sun lover is heat resistant.
When I was a child, I learned many nursery rhymes. My favorite was when my mother would say “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow.” After a few years of the usual response, I started replying “With silver bells and cockle shells, and one big weed.”
Here’s a look at some garden and yard activities that will keep you busy in September. And some of these jobs may continue into October as so much depends on our weather. If you have perennial weeds you want to get rid of, now is the time as long as your lawn is healthy. Weed killer applied to grass that is weak or brown can damage or kill the grass. Follow the instructions that are on the weed killer container.
As we enter August, here are some garden and yard tips you can use to make the most of the summer and ready for fall. Watering August can be hot and dry. Most plants and lawns need about an inch a week. If you’re gardening in sand, you may need to water more often. Water in the morning to minimize evaporation or use soaker hoses. Pots and baskets can dry quickly in warm temps and wind.
Wouldn’t it be great if once the flower and vegetable gardens were planted, we could just enjoy the fruits of that labor without having to weed, water and feed? Or the grass grew only 4 inches tall? In the best of all possible worlds, that would be the case. Since we do have to tend our gardens, here are some suggestions for the month of June.
Weeds. Mowing. I don't mind mowing until I get to the curbside. The sand and salt the plow throws on the area during the winter often leave us with a problem area that is more grit than soil, more weeds than grass. How to improve the area has led me to look at the boulevard or street-side garden concept. I've begun to dig deeper into the idea of making this change in my front yard. I wondered about what plants would work best, if the city had any special regulations and how to best cope with the sand and salt.