It’s mid-summer July and in my studio, I hear the pitter-patter of the summer rain and as I look out the window the sun is playing peek-a-boo among the rain clouds. Everything is so green, the humming-bird at the feeder was caught by surprise as well. The adventurous side of me draws me out to discover the beauty of the passing shower. It is so nice to feel the cool rain as it falls upon my skin, these are the kind of rain storms that come and pass but bring such wonderful relief from the humidity. When my children were young it was so fun to play in the rain. If the opportunity arises pause and feel and enjoy the experience. It’s sure to bring a smile to you.
More rainstorms are forecast for later this week, beware if you hear thunder get inside, thunder can be very dangerous. A warm summer rain comes with no thunder.
The forecast is for a “La Nina” weather pattern. So far it has been true to form. Along with all the rain come conditions that can cause some problems that are usually experienced in Spring. Such as powdery mildew, and black spot just to name a few. What causes powdery mildew? It can be caused by overcrowded planting, which inhibit good air circulation especially during humid weather. Sunlight and daylight are aids, because they help the ground and plants to dry. Constant water, rain that doesn’t have the opportunity to dry will also become an open invitation. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that we can control with treatment. What to look for, any plant part that has a silvery – gray or off-white soft looking spot on your plants tissue leaf, stem or even bud. Powdery mildew is a fungal spore that can spread in humid air conditions.
Prevention, purchase disease resistant varieties, but that doesn’t always ensure your plantings are safe if the conditions aren’t right. So, here’s what you can do.
Give your plantings plenty of space, light and soil that drains properly. Which should the same feeling as a squeezed moist sponge. Pick off any infected leaves, stems and flowers. Place them in the trash. Don’t place those infected plant plants in the composting bin.
Treatment can be either homemade or store-bought. Homemade is done with 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon container – spray your plants thoroughly. When using a fungicide – please be sure to “Read and Follow the written direction. Fungicides can be as easy as copper soap fungicide, neem oil.
Black spot is also a fungal disease that attacks roses. It can be identified by the black dots on the leaves of your rose bushes that eventually turn yellow and fall off. Pick off the leaves off the plant along with the leaves on the ground and again dispose of. Don’t add to your compost pile. If not treated this fungal disease can cause cankers on the rose stems. Cankers can be pruned out and discarded, that’s a subject for another day.
Use a Fungicide soap or sulfur spray on your entire plant and again every 7 to 10 days. Prune to increase air circulation. Few other things to keep in mind, water in the morning, chose a sunny location with 6 hours of full sun. Unless other wise stated. Here is neem oil product – it can be purchased in various forms, be sure to Read and Follow All Directions prior to use. With a little bit of work your garden can be everything you want it to be. Until later, El
Whether you’re a farmer, a gardener, or any other kind of human, you’ll find something for you here.
Bring nature home to your garden with the expert knowledge of Doug Tallamy, nationally-recognized author of Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape, at Penn State’s Summer Garden Experience on Saturday, July 22.
See firsthand the newest annual and perennial flowers offered in the spring to garden center and landscape clients! Flower Trial Field Day features product vignettes of prominent industry leaders Ball Horticulture, Dummen Orange, and Proven Winners
For further information: http://agsci.psu.edu/research/ag-experiment-station/landisville