Gardener's Corner

Join us for tips, helps, questions and answers about the gardening world. Monitored by a Certified Master Gardener but wisdom is shared by ALL.

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Gardener's Corner

Chief Walks In Shadows is a Florida State Master Gardener.
He will post information that he feels will benefit everyone as a whole. But basically this will be a question and answer group.
Chief Walks will answer all questions asked to him directly. He has over 40 years of experience. And a sizable personal research library.

We are here to meet ALL of your gardening questions and/or related subjects.



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The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. If you see a hardiness zone in a catalog or plant description, chances are it refers to the USDA map. To find your USDA Hardiness Zone or use the map below. 



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Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:44am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:44am

September is a wonderful gardening month. The last of the summer vegetables are ripe and ready for eating or preserving, apples are at their peak in many places, and it's time to clean up and preparing for next spring. The days are bright and mornings can be crisp. In more moderate climes, summer stretches yet a bit longer but autumn is in the air.

Once plants have started to peter out, it's time to pull spent annuals and vegetables. If you've had no significant plant problems like bugs or fungus, add them to the compost pile. If you have had problems, don't compost. Burn if you can, otherwise trash them.

Cut out dead shoots on roses. Destroy leaves with evidence of mildew or blackspot to diminish the probability of a recurrence in the spring. And stop feeding your roses. They need to prepare to go dormant.
Plant spring bulbs, peonies, and iris

September and October are the best months for planting spring bulbs. Decide where your bulb beds will be, then build them up with fresh compost. Beds should be deeply dug and well drained.

* Early planting in September is important for anemones, snowdrops, and winter aconite.
* Make sure tulips and daffodils go in the ground six weeks before freezing weather sets in.
* Plant lilies as soon as you get them.
* Peonies and iris can be planted from August through September. Anticipate a great show in May and June next year.

Also, now is a good time to prepare bulbs for indoor forcing. Fill clean, dry pots with fresh soil. You can leave them outside in a protected area and cover them with straw or leaves. In a month or so, after root development has had a chance to occur, you can store them in a basement or garage and gradually expose them to light and heat. They should begin to show signs of life in December.

Begonias will live happily inside throughout the winter. Next spring, you can create many new plants.

Prepare for next year's perennial vegetables now.

* Mulch rhubarb.
* Cut off old asparagus tops.
* Set up cold frames to prepare for early spring vegetables.

Annual veggies need attention now too. Where an early frost is typical, pull up tomato vines and hang indoors. The sap will be sufficient to ripen fruits. Half ripe tomatoes will ripen indoors on the counter. Green tomatoes can be turned into jam or chutney. Harvest onions before they resprout. Squash should be picked before frost. Root vegetables like beets and carrots, pulled before the first heavy frost, will do well stored in sand in the garage or basement.
September can be busy huh? Happy gardening.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:43am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:42am

Pesticide Registrations and Actions
* The FDACS has released EPA-approved wording for snake protection on sodium and potassium nitrate rodent control products.
* The EPA published its acceptance from the manufacturers for the voluntary cancellation of the final maneb product (Manex®) sold in the U.S. Existing stocks can be sold and used as labeled until supplies are exhausted. (Federal Register, 4/16/10).
* Intralytix, Inc., has requested an experimental use permit for the Escherichia coli 0157:H7 bacteriophage. (Federal Register, 4/14/10).
* On April 22, U.S. House representative K. Ellison (D-MN) introduced H.R. 5124, which would create legislation to prohibit the use, production, sale, importation, or exportation of any pesticide containing atrazine. Also, EPA announced in April that at the upcoming September 2010 meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), EPA had planned to seek peer review on its evaluation of cancer and non-cancer effects of atrazine based on both laboratory and epidemiological studies. However, because some updated results will not be available, now EPA will present and seek peer review of its evaluation of atrazine non-cancer effects based on experimental laboratory studies as well as any new experimental laboratory data completed since the SAP meeting held in late April. The Agency had hoped that new results from the epidemiological Agricultural Health Study evaluating the link between atrazine and cancer risk would be available for consideration at the SAP meeting on September 14-17, 2010; however, the results will not be available at that time. (Beyond Pesticides, 4/27/10 & EPA OPP Update, 4/23/10).

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:41am

Interested in foraging as a food source like our ancestors did?
Here's a starter web site you may be interested in.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:40am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:40am

Black Spot vs. Cercospora Leaf Spot on Roses
There are three primary diseases that affect the leaves of roses: black spot, powdery mildew, and Cercospora leaf spot. Black spot and Cercospora leaf spot are often confused because the symptoms are similar. However, each has some distinct features that can help you tell the difference.
Black spot on rose
The fungus Diplocarpon rosae produces black spots of about 2-12 mm in diameter, usually on the upper surface of the leaf (the spots don't show up the lower surface, or underside, of the leaf). Often, the spots have irregular, feathery borders, and sometimes yellowing may appear around the lesions. While leaves are the most susceptible, spots may be found on other parts of plant as well. Black spot is a fungal disease that can cause severe defoliation of affected rose plants. Considered the most serious disease of roses in Florida, black spot affects nearly all rose cultivars worldwide. It is a frequent problem for roses grown outdoors and reduces the quality and life span of the plants.
Cercospora leaf spot on rose
Caused by the fungus Cercospora rosicola, Cercospora leaf spot also causes severe leaf loss in heavily infected plants. Symptoms are circular spots, usually 2-4 mm in diameter, but some can be as large as 10 mm in diameter. The size is variable depending on the species or variety of rose on which the lesions occur. When symptoms begin to appear, a small purplish area becomes apparent. As the disease progresses, the spot will grow larger, the center of the spots turning tan to almost gray, as the infected part of the leaf begins to die. Lesions are primarily found on leaves but can also be found on other parts of the plant.
What to Do?
Luckily, because both diseases are caused by fungi, Cercospora leaf spot's impact is reduced when control measures for black spot and powdery mildew are used. Fungal sprays are available, and sanitation plays an important role in prevention. Remove dead and diseased leaves that have fallen by raking, and use mulch to create a physical barrier between the plant and fungal spores on the ground. Drip irrigation keeps the foliage dry and less susceptible to fungal infection.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:39am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:38am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:37am

Save space and grow cucumbers on chicken wire in the hot sun. Grow greens on the bottom in the same space and they will receive shade from the cukes!


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