Mid-Atlantic

June, 2004
Regional Report

Seed Biennials Now

Biennials grow only foliage their first season, live over the winter, and bloom the next season. Then they die. You can start many of these plants easily by seeding them in the garden in midsummer. Try lunaria (honesty or money plant), sweet william, foxgloves, canterbury bells, and hollyhocks.

Evaluating Foliage Problems

This year we are seeing many foliage problems, some due to the wet weather. Before turning to fungicide, insecticide, or other treatment, accurately determine the cause of the problem and whether it can just be ignored or must be treated. Then make sure your proposed treatment is effective for that specific problem and also safe to use on that particular plant.

Foil Algae in Water Gardens

Algae in water gardens is usually due to excess nitrogen in the water from either too many fish and/or overfeeding the fish, plus a lack of shade on the pond surface. Use water lilies and other surface plants to cover about 75 percent of the surface to help starve out algae. Add underwater plants to use up excess nutrients and starve the algae.

Give Mums One More Pinch

Mums will grow bushier and produce more blooms if pinched or sheared several times during the season. Your last pinch should be done about the 4th of July. This will allow ample time for bud formation and flowering by fall.

Harvest ASAP

Harvest vegetables often for optimum fresh eating. For example, green and wax beans, carrots, summer squash, and greens all taste best harvested while still young and tender. This means you can pick them while they are smaller than what is usually available at the grocery store.

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