|September 4, 2006 12:27 - Green Grass, Green Tomatoes and Fall Planning
The old saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the street" does not apply to Mike Walls from Hilliard, Ohio because he's one of those gardeners for whom a perfect lawn provides the ultimate in satisfaction. Described by his wife as a "lawn fanatic", Mike mows his grass twice a week, sometimes even in the rain. After suggesting that this obsessive behaviour may indicate a need for therapy, the article gives a brief history of the development of the lawn since Elizabethan times. Read more..
Summer is nearly done so articles are appearing with advice on what you should be doing at this stage of the season. Cheryl Moore-Gough has some season-ending tips for vegetables. A reminder to harvest your tender crops before they are caught by the frost, and tips on the best ways to ripen those tomatoes that you have to pick while still green. Read more..
Billy Fountain's piece looks forward to tasks you can tackle in the Fall. His advice is directed to planting trees and shrubs and creating new flowerbeds. "Gardening is so much fun, and the first step is to begin planning now." Read more..
September 18, 2006 10:23 - Fall Veggies, Potato Trials and Spring Bulbs
Here's some good news for procrastinators of Ector County - you can still enjoy a fall harvest if you plant soon. Although the bulk of fall gardening should ideally be started in August, plants including beets, broccoli, Swiss chard, collards, garlic, spinach and radishes can be put in the ground within the next week or several weeks, according to Deborah Benge Frost, a horticulturist for the Ector County office of the Texas Cooperative Extension. Read more..
In case the email was eaten by one of those spam filters, this is to let you know that the September edition of Garden Ramblings is now out. It's my experimental video edition and you can find it here.
Some intersting tips I picked up from a BBC radio program the other day. Their gardening department have conducted a number of trials which have produced some surprising results. One involved potatoes to see whether the size of the seed tubers had any effect on the total yield. They discovered that the large seed tubers produced twice the yield compared with their smaller counterparts.
On the other hand, a trial to find the optimum number of plants in a growbag revealed that more is best. You would think that in a standard growbag container, one tomato plant would produce the best results. The trial covered the four combinations of one, two, three and four plants per bag. The surprising result was that the growbag with four tomato plants produced taller plants with less leaves and more fruit than any of the other combinations.
Although you need to hurry with your fall veggie planting, the best time for planting spring-flowering bulbs is still ahead. Now is the time to order your bulbs and
Brecks are currently giving away $25 worth of bulbs for free. Place a $50 order and it will cost you just $25. But you need to hurry - offer ends September 20.
September 24, 2006 20:33 - Dwarf Shrubs, Goldfish and Frost
Twelve awards (and to prove it they are all listed) for a plant with tiny white flowers which the author describes as a "snow clone". Diamond Frost is its name and according to Norman Winter "it is a heat- and drought-tolerant plant, and it never stops blooming". "This Christmas, one of the hottest items will be poinsettias that have been planted with Diamond Frost. Can you imagine a bright red poinsettia that appears to be sitting on a bed of frosty snow?" Read more..
"Though small, dwarf shrubs can have giant effects," says Doug Welsh, professor and extension horticulturist at Texas A & M University. "Dwarf shrubs and trees require less trimming and maintenance while giving your landscape a natural, less formal look," he says. (Sorry this story is no longer available).
Here's a piece of useless trivia that I just found. "THERE are more goldfish in the UK than dogs AND cats".
If that grips you then here's another "THEIR attention span is said to be nine seconds". For more "Tips 'N' Facts" read on..
This next tip is rather more practical and does make a lot of sense. We all love to see daffodils in the Spring but are not so keen on their rather messy appearance once they have finished flowering and the leaves turn brown. The Gardeners Supply Company has a suggestion. Read more..
While you're there have a look at their Turkey and Rooster Pumpkins . "Turn a regular pumpkin into a whimsical turkey or rooster without carving or mess. Iron silhouette pieces include head, wings, legs and tail. Just push pieces into a ripe pumpkin (watermelons and overgrown zucchini work, too!) For more fun, buy several sets and start your own pumpkin parade on the porch or lawn."