Thursday, July 26, 2007

Compost, it does a garden good

Here's my Dad, who is one heckuva vegetable gardener, standing in his squash patch. He planted this year's crop of 'Sunshine' winter squash on the spot where his compost bins stood last season. Imagine if he had planted his tomatoes there instead...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hydrangeas and Lotus

Here are a couple of pictures from the Hydrangea class at Tim Boebel's house Tuesday, July 24. It was lovely - more than 200 hydrangea bushes, most in bloom, a beautiful spot, beautiful weather, wonderful hospitality and a great class.

Note the knock-out lotus pond. Tim will be teaching a class here in his yard on just how he did it, on Saturday August 4 at 10 am till noon, Constructing Ponds for Lotus to Flower and Thrive. Check the catalog on our website for more info, or call 585-473-5130.

Lily Leaf Beetles

Watch Out For These Critters

These beautiful red beetles are adults of the lily leaf beetle, a relatively new pest to our area. These are native to Europe, and were discovered near Montreal in 1945 and Cambridge MA in 1992. In the last couple of years they have entered our area and are spreading fast.

Both adults and larvae cause considerable damage to lilies; they can and often do completely strip a plant of all foliage and flowers. The adults are easily recognizable – about ½ long and bright red. The larvae look a bit like slugs, but since they cover themselves with their excrement, before long they look mostly like insect poo.

If there are not too many, the best way to control them is to just pick them off the plant. RCGC instructor Roz Bliss demonstrated an ingenious method for catching hard-to-reach adults during a class at her house this summer: put some Tanglefoot (sticky substance available in garden stores) on the end of a long stick and touch the beetle with the sticky end. If you want to use an insecticide, some sources recommend neem, extracted from the neem tree. It will kill the small larvae and repel the adults; to be effective it must be applied every 5-7 days.

The good news is that this pest is under good biological control in France and Switzerland; current research in the US is focusing on parasitoids that may in the future be available here for control.

Lily leaf beetles cause the most damage on true lilies (Lilium sp.) and fritillaria and will only lay eggs and develop on these plants; they do not eat daylilies. They will feed lightly on several other plants including Solomon’s seal, nightshade, potato, hollyhock, hosta and nicotiana.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

men at work

Now here's a bunch of hardworking men. Guy and his crew moved all the hostas and a Sargeant hydrangea from the courtyard garden. It's currently being rehabilitated-stand by for more news.

Come here often?

Hop on over here and sit beside me Wednesday night August 8, 7-8:30 pm. I'll tell you all about my trip to Stonecrop Gardens and show you a slideshow that will knock your socks off! The class is free with a new or renewed membership-don't miss it.