FEATURED QUOTE :
"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."
~ Ruth Stout
The Paul Parent Garden Club is pleased to announce that we are now in Delta, Utah!
||Delta , Utah
||4 am to 8 am Mountain Time
We are very happy to weclome KYAH!
See Paul at the garden show all day on
May 17th and 18th.
One of my favorite evergreen shrubs for the garden is the Japanese Andromeda, because of the wonderful white bell-shaped flowers that form on long tassels filled with flowers.
The flower is very similar to the lily of the valley.
Each tassel will contain 25 to 50 individual flowers on it.
The tassel will grow 4 to 6 inches long, and in the spring time covers the plant with flowers.
The plant will grow 6 to 10 feet tall but can be pruned to control the size (both height and width) of the plant.
The flowers begin in April, last well into May and are fragrant.
This is a wonderful broadleaf evergreen plant that does well in the shade and moist soils.
The leaves grow 2 to 3 inches long and are 1 inch wide, oval and shiny green all year long.
The foliage starts at the ground and grows very densely on the plant, creating a mound of foliage--very beautiful.
As a bonus, the new growth comes in apple green, bronze, and in rich shades of red on the new red hybrids.
Andromeda loves a rich soil and partial shade for the most and best flowers--in dense shade the plant will produce fewer flowers and tend to open up a bit.
Look for 'Mountain Fire' for the red new growth, 'Valley Valentine' for rich maroon flower buds that turn into rosy pink flowers, and 'Variegata' for unusual variegated green and white foliage.
Flower buds are made in late summer, so feeding them in August with Holly Tone or Dr.
Earth Evergreen Fertilizer with Pro Biotic will help produce additional flowers for next year.
If you can remove the faded flowers in the spring, it will help to produce additional foliage--if not, the plant will produce seed pods with the extra energy and most of these seed will never germinate for you, so clean the plant to keep the plant healthy and full.
The plant has one insect pest, called the lace bug.
This pest will suck the sap from the underside of the new leaves during the summer, creating small yellow spots of discolored foliage and making the plant look sick with the yellow spots on it--but it does not kill the plant.
A lace bug looks like a large aphid with large transparent wings.
Again, it will be found on the underside of the leaves after the flowering cycle has finished and the new growth has matured.
Bayer Advanced has developed a wonderful insecticide called Tree and Shrub Insect Control.
This product works for the entire season with just one application after the flowers fade from the plant.
Just mix the product in a bucket of water according to directions and slowly pour over the plant and around the main stem so it can soak into the soil.
The roots will absorb the mixture and move it into the plant to protect the foliage from this pest.
Because it is systemic, it will not wash off the plant when it rains.
Apply the product when the flowers fade so not to hurt beneficial insects that may feed on the pollen in the flowers, this is important as we do not want to hurt any pollinators that will later on pollinate the vegetable garden.
The pest that damages the Andromeda shows up late in the spring or even early summer, so there is no rush to get Tree and Shrub on the plant when it is in bloom. You have other things to do when the plant is in flower, so do those garden chores now and treat the plant later on in the season.
Lace bug will also attack azaleas at the same time and cause the same type of damage on the plant.
Look at your leaves now and see the damage this insect did to the foliage last year, you may be surprised.
Remember, one application lasts all year long.
Asiatic lily beetle is a relatively new insect that feeds exclusively on lilies of all types and fritillaria plants.
This terrible insect is a hard-shelled beetle that is orange-red, rectanglar and has a black head and antenna.
It will grow to about 1/4 of an inch long as an adult.
In the early spring--as soon as your lilies emerge from the soil--the adult beetle from last year is waiting to feed on the foliage.
It will eat small holes all over the plant and begin to mate at the same time.
Each beetle can lay 25 or more yellow eggs on the underside of the foliage in neat rows.
If you see these rows of eggs, remove the leaf and destroy it to prevent future generations of these beetles.
The best insecticide is Tree and Shrub Insect Control from Bayer Advanced or Bonide Lawn and Garden to control this pest.
Mix one tablespoon per gallon of water in your watering can or bucket and pour over each lily clump of 5 to 7 lily stems a quart of the mixture.
The product is systemic. Once in the plant it will protect it for the entire year; it will not wash off the plant when it rains.
Now, if you do not treat the plants the eggs will hatch and produce a nymph/youth that will also feed on the foliage of the lily plant.
To protect itself it will quickly cover itself with its own feces and will now look like a black clump of sticky material.
As this nymph matures it will mature as a red beetle and repeat the process over and over again.
Some of the adults will run out of foliage and eat a hole in the stem of the lily feeding on the stem until it reaches the bulb in the ground, where it will now eat and kill the bulb.
I have tried picking the adults and washing the nymph of the plant also removing the eggs--but they keep coming, so use the Tree and Shrub insecticide--one application will keep your lily plants insect-free for the entire year.
It will kill both the adult and the nymph of the Asiatic lily beetle with one treatment.
If the foliage is partially damaged, fertilize the plant with Dr.
Earth Flower fertilizer with Pro Biotic or Espoma Flower-Tone fertilizer during late May and again in September.
This insect pest is out now, so pick up a bottle of Tree and Shrub and apply it now to your plants! Don't wait until the next generation arrives to your garden.
If you kill all the beetles in your garden and your neighbors do not treat the plants in their garden those beetles will soon find their way to your garden--but remember your plants are protected for the entire year. So, let them come--you're ready for them.
Tree and Shrub can also be used on hemlock trees to kill wooly adelgid--another new insect that has arrived in America from a foreign country by accident and will kill your Canadian hemlocks in just 3 to 4 years if they are not treated.
Wooly adelgid will be found on the tips of your evergreen branches where the new growth was made last year on the plant.
it looks like small pieces of cotton in large numbers sucking the life out of the plant.
On hemlocks, apply it as a soil drench around the base of the tree (according to directions) in the spring and AGAIN in the fall on infected plants.
Don't mess with this pest or you could lose trees up to 75 feet tall in just 5 years, and privacy hedges of hemlock trees 6 to 8 feet tall in just 3 to 4 years.
If wooly adelgid is found, you will most likely have to check trees yearly and use the product when they are active every year to protect the plant and keep your privacy.
It is systemic and will not wash off with rain.
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Planting time is just around the corner, and I want you to be ready for some of the problems we had last year in the garden.
If you act now, you can prevent them from becoming a problem again this year.
Let's start with two major problems of tomatoes: blossom end rot and late blight of tomatoes.
Blossom end rot is a problem caused by the lack or shortage of iron, magnesium, and calcium fertilizer in your soil and environmental factors such as wet weather, dry weather, rapid plant growth and cultivating around plants.
The problem is most common when growing tomatoes in containers but is also found on plants in the vegetable garden where the soil has not been fertilized and limed properly over the past few years.
It is also common in a garden where you plant tomatoes in the same spot every year without rotating the vegetables from year to year in that location.
Blossom end rot looks like a sunken or water-soaked spot that develops on the bottom of the tomato fruit.
The spot will enlarge in time and will turn brown and black with a leathery feel to it.
A mold will grow on this spot and slowly grow inside the fruit, making it inedible.
This problem is most prevalent on the first couple of fruit clusters made by the plant and those tomatoes are the ones we want the most-- early tomatoes.
If you notice this happening on your plants pull them off and toss them on your compost pile, as there is no cure once the fruit is infected--but it can be prevented if you act now.
Blossom end rot also occurs on squash and peppers when calcium is lacking in your garden soil for fruit development.
Plants grow more slowly than normal, and the roots are damaged or fail to develop properly.
The first thing you should do is to have your soil tested before planting.
I know that all Blue Seal Feed stores test soil for free, so find a store near you.
Lime or lime substitutes like Turf Turbo or Magic Cal will quickly improve the quality of the soil so your tomatoes will grow trouble-free.
There is also a new revolutionary natural-based fertilizer made with micronized nutrients, a technology far superior to the old granular fertilizer.
It's called "Tomato Maker," and is a 4 -2 -6 fertilizer with the needed nutrients to prevent blossom end rot.
This unique fertilizer has iron, magnesium, and slow-release calcium that will correct deficiencies responsible for blossom end rot.
The product also has humates which will stimulate root growth and keep the plant strong.
Tomato Maker should be applied to the planting hole when you set our your plant in the garden this spring; if you're growing tomatoes in containers it is a must, because container grown tomatoes have more stress problems than garden grown plants.
Tomato Maker can be found at your local garden center and is made by Organic Labs.
Other causes to blossom end rot of tomatoes are extreme fluctuation in soil moisture, soils that are too wet or too dry; this is common in container grown plants.
Excessive rain or watering can rot the roots of the plant especially in a clay type soil.
Rapid growth of the plant early in the season, that is followed by dry and hot weather is another factor.
Over-fertilizing your plants with high nitrogen fertilizers and cultivating to close to the plant and damaging the roots close to the surface of the soil can also be a cause.
Late blight of tomatoes is one of the most destructive diseases of tomato plants--and if we have wet weather with cool temperatures 45 to 60 at night and warm days 70 to 85 you will lose your tomato plants and the fruit on the plant.
This was a serious problem 3 years ago and many of us lost everything in just a week or two, so prepare for it just in case it returns and watch the weather.
The disease starts as bluish gray water-soaked spots on the leaves.
As the weather warms up and humidity builds or you use overhead sprinklers to water the garden especially late in the day or during the evening hours a white downy mold will begin to grow on the lower leaves and quickly move up the plant.
The leaves will dry up, shrivel, and turn brown almost overnight.
Next, the water soaked spots will form on the stems and on the fruit of the plant.
The spots will turn dark brown, grow larger every day and will cover the entire fruit and plant; the tomatoes become wrinkled and almost cork-like.
This happens quickly, spreading all over the plant and fruit--and in just a few days the plant dies.
Late blight does not attack your tomatoes every year but it will destroy your plants when it arrives at your garden.
The blight often comes from infected seedlings that are grown in unsterilized soil or infected potato seed pieces.
Here is what I want you to do to prevent early and late blight--and if you had spotted foliage on your tomato plants last year, following these easy steps will help prevent problems this year.
Begin by cleaning the garden of all dead plant material and if you had a problem last year.
DO NOT add to your compost pile or compost maker or you could make things worse when you spread the compost in the garden.
Rotate the position of the tomatoes from one area to another as spores will spend the winter in the garden soil and infect the new plants this year.
When you plant your tomatoes this spring, treat the plant with Plant Doctor Fungicide from Organocide or Agri-Fos from Monterey Lawn and Garden, these two products are the ONLY products that will control late blight of tomatoes; they also control other diseases common to tomatoes.
Mix the product with water according to directions and dip and soak the root ball in the solution before planting.
In June, July and August, spray the plant's foliage with this same solution twice each month and your plants and fruit will stay clean and disease- free all year long.
Spacing plants 3 feet apart will also help to create better air circulation around the plants.
Water the plants by soaking the ground--NOT the foliage--and never water late in the day or at night.
You want to keep foliage dry, as disease will spread quickly if foliage is wet.
Now for two problems on potatoes--one is in the ground and one on the foliage.
In the ground, the major problem is with an insect called "wireworms" and until last year we've had no product that controlled the problem since the year 2000, when diazinon was removed from the market.
Last year we finally got another product, called "Garden Eight Granules," made by Bonide Lawn and Garden.
Just sprinkle them in the trench at the time you plant your seed potatoes in the garden, cover the seed potato with soil and sprinkle again on top of the soil which covers the seed potatoes for season-long protection.
Wireworms will stunt the plants' growth and the cream-to-yellow colored worms will tunnel through the stems and roots, and munch on the surface of the potato tubers.
The worms are hard, jointed, grow to a bit longer than 1/2 inch long and live in the soil and the tuber so they can destroy your potato crop very easily.
If they are not controlled they will also attack carrots, corn, beets, beans and other garden plant root systems--killing them or making them inedible.
The wireworm will live in the garden for 2 to 6 years before becoming a beetle and maturing to spread even more in your garden.
If you try to store the potatoes they will quickly rot and infect the healthy potatoes.
If you have not had problems in the past you will not have to treat the soil but when you dig in the garden and notice these hard shelled skinny worms that are golden yellow in color, do not take a chance! Treat the soil and keep your garden safe from this problem.
Sprinkle Bonide Garden Eight granules around your tomatoes, peppers, and other seedlings. If you have cutworms in the garden, it works well on these pests also. Just a warning!
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The weather is still cool and wet--and that means potential problems in the garden until things straighten out and temperatures warm up like a normal spring.
I want to tell you about 3 potential disease problems with this weather so you can prepare for them and minimize the damage.
The big three problems are azalea leaf gall, peach leaf curl and cedar apple rust.
They are not fatal to the plant but they will destroy many of the leaves on the plant, prevent normal stem growth, and encourage unusual growth to form on healthy plants.
I will explain each of these diseases to you and I want you to examine your plants NOW for the signs of a problem and begin to treat the problem so you do not lose the beautiful foliage and shape of the plants.
Azalea Leaf Gall: This is a problem of evergreen azaleas and is most severe in the spring during cool weather--and especially when the spring is also wet, damp, or foggy.
Azaleas growing in a garden with mostly shade and in an area with poor air circulation around the plant will have the biggest problem.
The new flowers and foliage begin to thicken; the growth also becomes fleshy and distorted looking.
As the thickening grows larger in size and eventually covers most of the leaf or flower, it will start to turn white or even pink in color, have the texture of a mushroom, and have a powdery appearance to it.
In the summer it will harden and turn dark green in color.
This all happens in the spring when the flowers begin to open.
The disease spores usually are blown in by the wind or washed into the plant by rain.
The spores need moisture to germinate and develop on the plant, so that is why it is most common during the spring season when we get lots of rainfall and cool temperatures--as the plant does not dry up, just stays wet.
A spray must be applied before the infection occurs to be effective.
If you see this growth appear on your plant the best control is remove the infected leaves at once and dispose of them with your trash.
If you do not remove the infected plant foliage, the problem will be worse next year, and will affect the plants growth and flowering cycle.
If we should have several years in a row with wet and cool weather you will lose your azalea plants.
To reduce new infection next spring, spray the plant with a copper fungicide or Zineb fungicide before the flower buds open.
Then, repeat the spraying every 2 weeks until the foliage is fully formed on the plant, usually 3 applications are needed in the spring to eliminate the problem.
Also, remove any infected foliage on the plant as soon as you see it developing.
Fertilize the azaleas in early summer and again in the spring with Holly Tone fertilizer or Dr.
Earth Evergreen plant food with Pro Biotic.
Peach Leaf Curl Is a condition caused when we have a cool and wet spring season.
The leaves are puckered and become thickened or leathery looking; others look curled and misshaped from the time they first appear on the new growth of the plant.
The new growth will appear to be swollen, twisted, and stunted.
When the infected foliage begins to develop it will turn red to orange and is very noticeable.
In time it will turn pale green to yellow--and, as the season changes to hot and dry summer weather--the infected tissue will develop a grayish white powdery material on the foliage.
Eventually the leaves will shrivel up and fall from the plant.
Fruit production will be poor and the fruit that does form will be covered with many raised, wrinkled, or irregular spots.
Infected growth cannot be cured with any type of spray and should be quickly removed with pruners--right back to old wood on that branch of the plant.
The infection occurs as soon as the buds begin to open in the spring and the new growth begins to develop in the spring.
The disease spores are splashed from the bark to the buds by spring rain and fog that keeps the plants wet for long periods of time.
The white gray material that formed on the foliage will blow back on the bark of the plant and stay until next year to infect the plant again next year.
Infected trees are weakened by the loss of foliage that will fall by early summer.
To prevent recurring of the disease next year spray the tree with Daconil fungicide in the fall as soon as the healthy leaves have dropped from the plant and again in the spring before the new buds begin to swell but before they open on the plant--middle to late March.
Clean around the plant and be sure to remove any infected leaves around the plant.
In the fall, remove any infected growth from the plant and dispose of it in your trash or burn it.
Fertilize the plant in the summer when you notice the infected leaves falling from the plant and again in the spring to help the plant get off to a strong start.
Use Plant Tone fertilizer from Espoma or Dr.
Earth Fruit Tree plant food with Pro biotic at the rate of one pound of fertilizer per inch of tree trunk diameter.
Cedar Apple Rust...Now this is a unique disease, as it requires two plants to complete its life cycle and affects both plants negatively.
In the spring or early summer, when the weather is cool and wet, a brownish green growth appears on the surface of the Juniper Virginianae or red cedar that grows wild--especially near the seashore or marshy areas.
In the spring or early summer a brownish to green growth appears on the needles of the juniper.
This growth will enlarge to 1 to 2 inches in diameter by fall and then turns chocolate brown and is covered with circular depressions.
The following spring when rainy weather arrives the depressions swell and produce an orangey growth.
The fungus will grow very little on the plant until the spring of the second year when the gall develops and quickly forms an orange-yellow growth with jelly-like horns that produce spores that are carried by the wind to apple trees up to 3 miles away from the plant.
By mid-summer orange spots develop on the upper side of the apple tree leaves and on the apples themselves.
In August the spores are released from the apple tree and are carried by the wind back to the juniper or cedar tree to repeat the life cycle.
The cedar apple rust cycle will take 18 to 20 months on the cedar and 4 to 6 months on the apple tree.
It is best to remove any galls or growth on your red cedar trees as soon as you notice them and destroy them.
If you live near the marsh or wetlands where cedars grow wild, it is best not to plant apple trees.
On the apple trees, pale yellow spots appear on the fruit and foliage by mid to late spring.
These spots will grow larger and turn orange and develop small dots on both the fruit and leaf of the apple tree.
Infected leaves and fruit will fall from the tree prematurely and the fruit is often small and deformed.
If you see this happening rake all infected fruit and foliage that has fallen and destroy it at once, to prevent the wind from moving the spores back to the red cedar plants.
The disease cannot spread from apple to apple or cedar to cedar.
It needs both plants to complete the life cycle of the disease.
In the spring spray both the apple trees and red cedars nearby with a fungicide called Zineb or Ferbam when the flower buds turn pink and again when the flowers have 75% fallen from the tree and again 10 to 14 days later.
This is a tough disease problem if you live near the seashore and all the spraying, fertilizing and care you give your apple tree will not guarantee results--your trees will never produce quality apples with all your work.
If you really want fruit trees and you see red cedars growing wild around your home, plant pears, cherries, peaches or plums instead, as they are not affected by this disease.
If you have neighbors who have fruit trees ask them if they have this problem before you invest money on apple trees.
Sometimes it is better to buy apples than go through all this work with poor results! All the best to you.
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SOLD OUT! SEE YOU IN AUGUST!
Paul Parent will be hosting a tour that includes:
- Vancouver, BC
- Butchart Gardens--55 acres of floral display!
- Cruising the Inside Passage:
- Icy Strait Point
- Hubbard Glacier Cruising
- Scenic Drive to Anchorage
- Denali National Park
- Fairbanks City Tour, a tour of the Gold Dredge # 8 and a cruise down the Chena river on the Riverboat Discovery Sternwheeler.
This Week's Question
Although they are generally called thorns, what is the correct term for the sharp growths found on the stems of many roses?
This Week's Prize:
Monterey Lawn and Garden
Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide
Agri-Fos is based on the potassium salts of Phosphorous Acid. It is very effective against Phytophthora (blights - including late blight on potatoes and tomatoes) and Pythium disease on agricultural, horticultural and ornamental plants. It also controls fire blight on apples, pears, and ornamentals and downy mildew on impatiens.
Can be used as both a preventative and curative spray.
To learn more about Agri-Fos, click here.
Last Week's Question:
What is the official Mother's Day flower in the USA (chosen by Ann Jarvis, the founder of the holiday)?
Last Week's Winner:
Last Week's Answer:
Last Week's Prize:
Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide
One winner per question - we choose winners from the list of those who answer correctly. Winners must be newsletter subscribers. We'll ship you your prize, so be sure to put your address in the form in case you win!
Are you looking for a great gift for a gardener (or yourself)? This garden
journal helps make planning and organizing easy. This journal, autographed
personally by Paul,
makes a perfect gift for gardeners. The cover holds a 5x7 or 4x6 photo and a
heavy-duty D-ring binder.
- 8 tabbed sections
- 5 garden details sections with pockets for seeds, tags...
- Weather records page
- 6 three year journal pages
- Insect & diseases page - 3 project pages
- 3 annual checklist pages
- Plant wish list page
- 2 large pocket pages
- Sheet of garden labels
- 5 garden detail sheets
- 5 graph paper pages for layouts
- 5 photo pages, each holding four 4x6 photos in landscape or portrait format
Click here to order online.
A great southern dish for those impatient for the first tomato of the season. It's also useful at season's end when frost is approaching and you still have unripened tomatoes.
What You'll Need:
- 3 to 4 unripened tomatoes, cut into approximately ¼ inch slices
- Vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease for frying
- 1 cup flour or fine-ground cornmeal 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dredge the tomato slices in the flour to coat both sides; shake off excess.
- Place in hot pan and brown quickly until golden (tomatoes should be slightly softened but not mushy).
- Adjust heat as needed. Add more oil as needed between batches.
- Place briefly on paper towels to remove excess oil, then on a large platter in a single layer.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
 You can also use coarse-ground cornmeal or breadcrumbs; if you do, you'll need to first dip the tomato slices into beaten egg.
Yield: 4-6 servings