Newsletters >> December 2013 Newsletter (vol.24)
IN THIS ISSUE
- The Gardener's Holiday
- December Plant of the Month
- The Benefits of Wetting Agents
- Introduction to Organic Fertilizers
IN OTHER NEWS
• Western / National Green Center
HUMMERT’S FUN FACT
“Jingle bells” was composed in 1857, and not for Christmas – it was meant to be a Thanksgiving song!
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For most gardeners, getting creative is easy, especially outdoors in spring and fall. However, for many garden enthusiasts, the motivation and creativity begins to dwindle with the fall in temperatures. To keep the enthusiasm going once the fall leaves hit the ground, we have compiled a few Do It Yourself ideas for the holidays that scream a gardener lives here. Most materials you will be able to use later in the year. This year keep your tomato cages out, clean out your clay pots, and wash off your tools, its holiday season!
Plant of the Month
"Big Bang Galaxy"
The “Big Bang Galaxy” variety may have a bit smaller bloom than its other Coreopsis relatives, however makes up for its size in color! From early summer through fall, this perennial explodes with golden jewel like color. The 12 inch plant prefers full sun but can survive in partial shade and does well in most types of soil. With lacy bluish-green foliage, Coreopsis is ideal for the border of beds, along edges of walls or in rock gardens. Dead head this plant to ensure lasting bloom well into the fall and Coreopsis will provide a nice, bright yellow mass planting or can accent fall containers as well. This hassle free perennial, with its non-stop double flowers will brighten up any hard to grow space!
Coreopsis Big Bang Galaxy – 86MD41 (page 55)
Check out this variety in our 2014 Plants & Cuttings Catalog
Do you ever have plants that are hard to re-wet after drying out? Usually this occurs when plants stay in the soilless mix and pot for an extended period of time. Most soilless mixes come with a wetting agent in them, which helps to improve the initial wetting ability, and have been used since the 1960’s. Once the growing medium is in use, it should perform satisfactorily for 8 to 10 weeks. The effectiveness can diminish due to the chemical composition, over time the influence of the greenhouse environment, microbe interaction at the root zone, type of crop grown and irrigation environment can all play factors. You may be aware that wetting agents help mixes moisten more uniformly but did you know that there are other benefits?
The Benefits of Organic Fungicides
by Aaron Fields
Providing a healthy growing environment is often the best defense against plant disease and fungus. Despite the best plans, fungal issues find their way into gardens and greenhouses of all shapes and sizes. Plant symptoms such as wilting, leaf curl and decaying tissue along with red, white or black powdery spots, are all indications that your plants have a fungus problem. These problems can show up on the leaves or seeds but also make a home in soils and can be hard to detect without visual symptoms. Proper identification is pertinent, not only for treatment of the issue but also for future prevention. Regular scouting and early detection are key to good management of fungal diseases.