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Margaret Thele

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Everything posted by Margaret Thele

  1. I haven't found this plant to be invasive. Being an annual the seeds have to survive winter and then germinate in spring and I think any seedlings that do sprout will be easy to pull up
  2. It probably would depend on the crop. Some would like to be aerated especially on heavy clay soil. Used to have a great sharp hula hoe that would slice up the coming weeds but that wouldn't work for things like quackgrass or bindweed and some other noxious characters. I think the best advice about weeding is to get at it on a regular basis trying not to let any set seed and become a nuisance in the coming years. And remember a good layer of mulch will help too.
  3. Hi Janet and Steven, A note on Venus Sweetshrub: It is still in the nursery pot as our new garden is much too wet from the deluge to add and mix in amendments. The plant is growing and blooming, but shortly after the blooms open they are covered in black dots. I have been searching on the internet and one theory is too much sun, another is too much moisture. The latter seems quite possible with our current weather conditions. We hope that once it is planted and we get less moisture the blooms will be unscathed. The fragrance is lovely! Also we found the first Japanese beetle of the season inside one of the blooms! Every year I have the unrealistic hope that they will have become extinct!
  4. Sally, did you try and post a picture? If not could you try and attach one? I don't like to recommend controls unless I'm sure of the pest. A good overall insecticide is an insecticidal soap, but in hot weather it can burn the foliage and certainly the flowers. If you've got a picture please try and post so we all can learn from your issue.
  5. As garlic is a bulb your hunch is a good one. If it were me, I'd harvest the garlic now even though it is a bit early. If the bulbs sit wet they are in danger of rot. So I hope you see this answer and get a chance to salvage the crop!
  6. From an e-mail to Garden A to Z: After more poking about, I thought I would resend my question here. My beautiful garlic is standing in two inches of water. With more rain coming it will not dry out anytime soon. I am thinking it will rot. Can I possible salvage something by digging it up now which is three to four weeks early? It hasn’t begun to dry up. Thanks!
  7. Hey everyone, Your site has given me hope!!! I have a difficult area that I need to put a small tree (or larger and keep it small). Its mainly for privacy so really anything will do, but am looking for a deciduous variety. The area is: Clay soil, compacted, but I have amended a large 7’ x 7’ space 18” deep Water collects here and does not drain – I have created some drainage and monitored it, pretty good, but will definitely be wet for a week or two or three after a rainfall There are pavers, patio, all around it so less surface roots the better Full to part sun Ideal size is 25-30’ high x 15-20’ wide I have looked at River Birch, Black Gum, Sweetbay Magnolia (perfect if it can push through clay eventually), Amur Maple (root issue?)... after reading your site on keeping a tree small.. would some of these water loving larger trees work Any help is greatly appreciated.
  8. Here is the place to post your questions , successes and even failures for others to chime in on. I'm starting a new garden this year and have a shared small plot at a community garden. Gardening is hard but rewarding work and I've cancelled my gym membership... Hoping all our previous members will return and hoping we gat some new ones a well! Cheers!
  9. Sounds like you need to either sterilize the soil or use a sterile bagged potting mix. Once the seedlings have true leaves ( not the two little cotyledons you're seeing) And they have reached roots all the way to the bottom of the seedling container you can bump them up to a bit larger size. Seedlings can be finicky but such a miracle when they work out. Let me know if I've answered any of your questions!
  10. Nope you've got another month before they can go out safely. On balmy days you can shuttle them outside and back for a few hours. But beware you can sunburn them quite easilt
  11. Looks like a paper wasp nest to me - they chew up leaves and extrude a beautiful gray paper that often doesn't become evident until fall - but Yikes! don't knock the darn thing down in late summer when you might get confronted by an angry mob of wasps.
  12. It's gas plant, burning bush, Dictamnus albus purpureus. I'm kind of surprised a garden center person didn't know it by leaf or seed pod - such cool seed pods. All parts have an oil that can get on your skin and then if left in the sun cause a terrible burn. An effect described as phytophototoxic. (It's related to rue, Ruta graveolens, if you know that one, that does the same thing.) We think it's worth growing despite the caution needed on summer days (especially kids' tender skin). Gas plant and burning bush because supposedly on hot summer nights you can hold a match near the foliage and ignite the gases being given off from that oil coating, and this flaming hapens without hurting the plant. I've told my pyro-maniacal family that if they try it I'll shoot them, because gas plant is like peony, takes years to get big, lives forever without needing care, and I don't want to set it back. Okay if we post your photos of it on our website Q&A forum, with this answer? Janet (Posted by Margaret Thele for our Guru Janet) Oops, I did mean to ask you ... reading your answer about it taking years to get big. Would you then suggest that I stop going over it with my mulching mower in the Fall? Thanks No setback from cutting it down in fall. It's entirely herbaceous so it would die back to the roots on its own anyway.
  13. Worms also thrive on organic matter in the soil, can you mulch with some leaves and possibly fine bark? - that might make the worms happier in a cooler more organic environment...generally I'm willing to bet that a maintenance team probably blows off or collects any leaves that fall ---in my garden the worms poke up in the wetter spring to grab some organic stuff and pull it down deeper in the soil.
  14. Sorry for the sideways images but it took me so long just to post even these, here! Would much rather be on Facebook - where I can just point click shoot and load!
  15. Wow John - Janet Macunovich and I could probably arrange to stop by or we even could 'use' your garden for some kind of event this summer - Such a beautiful space! (I am speaking out of turn for Janet - I'll have you know!) but I wish I could meet up with you too and share in all your garden knowledge that you've gained. This year I will be at the Oakland Co Farmers Market Thurs. am and Birmingham pm and will do the farmers market at Telly's/Goldner Walsh in Pontiac on Sundays. I currently am a bit closre to your 'territory' at the Old Winery Farmers Market in Farmington at the junction of Grand River and Orchard Lake rds. Magical!
  16. On February 17th, Monday, the Pontiac Garden Club will be holding its monthly meeting at the beautiful Pontiac Creative Arts center 47 Williams St. in Pontiac, MI. The program will be on Heirloom Gardens and offered by Farmers Market Manager and long time market gardener Jean Smith. The program begins at 6:30pm with a meet and greet with refreshments, followed by a brief business meeting and is capped off by the program. Public invited. If you haven't checked them out the Pontiac Creative Arts Center will be holding a quilt show this month. Margaret Plant Seeds of Hope
  17. Alright John - How are you doing this winter with all the cold - been so tough to keep temps up in my little greenhouse from Harbor Freight
  18. I grow Amelanchier stolonifera (I think I got it from http://www.forestfarm.com ) and it only grows 4-6' high and forms a thicket - great for birds but a nice height for picking too - Have great crops every year.
  19. Yep, "diggin" this can be the habit of the plant - it was just so ready, then the leaves will push later, have two in bud right now from last year's clearnace specials crop. One inside waiting for it to sprout and two more in the cold greenhouse still dormant. Let the leaves mature and die back like any other bulb - dry period spring to summer
  20. Actually, the snow is a good insulator on broadleaf evergreens, but if heavy may disfigure them. However, sometimes you do more damage than good by trying to brush snow off and you break branches in the process. With my yews, I usually just let the snow stay on them, unless it is really powdery. If the snow is heavy just wait until it melts off...
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