Category Archives: Horticulture Tips

The dialogue will be about how to grow plants and make them healthier.

Two Full Moons in July

Full Moons of July

Or

Full Buck Moon and Blue Moon

We just finished the wettest month (June) ever in St. Louis. Going into June we were behind the yearly average by 1.59 inches. June’s has an average rainfall of 3.83 inches; we received 10.51 inches thus we are ahead of the year by 5.09 inches. The forecast for July is hot, hot, and hot so this may dry us out; I hope.  The normal rainfall for July is 3.9 inches and the total for the year is 39.79 leaving us with only more 15 inches left for a normal year.

July has two full moons; One, July 1 which is called the Full Buck Moon and the other on July 31 is called the Blue Moon.  Read why it called the dog days of summer and what is behind the names of the full moons on The Farmer’s Almanac; http://farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2013/07/15/julys-full-buck-moon/

Bee and Misquotes

Other tidbits the Japanese Beetles are back and misquotes if they are not here they coming. (See picture) I hope we can see the full moon tonight instead of rain clouds. Hoping to see monarchs any day they were here several years ago and have not come to my garden since, but that is part of gardening; Hope.

Continue reading

DECORATION DAY

DECORATION DAY

This is my seventieth DECORATION DAY, (yes I know the name has changed) but it has always been a special day as it was the day my mother prepared flowers to decorate the graves of our ancestral history and the forgotten soldiers that had fought to make America free. From where we lived we had to trek in all four directions to visit the many cemeteries and graves this process took about a week to accomplish. I wish I could remember the stories mother told of each person that we stopped by and there location but time has eroded my mind. Continue reading

Bees and Pollinators

Bees and Pollinators

There have been many emotional talks on the decline of bees in the past few years. The graphic representations show that bee hives have declined since the mid-forties. Then when several massive bees kill in the past have happened fingers were pointed at insecticides. In order to get massive headlines, they place blame at the newest insecticide, Neonics. GET RID OF ALL INSECTICIDES. Well, that is a blown up headline-grabbing statement and not a real solution to the problem.

Let us address the biggest factor in the decline of beehives since the mid-forties one (1) there is less demand for honey and beeswax, these were both used for the war effort. The second (2) would be the demographics of America have changed; the population has moved out rural areas to the cities. Along with this families began to place alien plants around there houses ones that did not attract bees as they feared they would been sting.

With this movement has come another factor land went from land used for farming to suburban home dwellings.  Thus the removal of so much of the native bee habit has made it harder to endure. The removal of this diversity of plant material has had a great impact on bee survival.

The next headline-grabber In the past ten (10) years is a struggle of what is called Colony Collapse Disorder, this is a broad term for several ailments, one (1) deformed wing virus two (2) nosema fungi, three (3) Varroa mites, four (4) small hive beetles, and four (insecticides). This remains a concern for beekeepers but these problems are not insurmountable and they have several solutions.

To me, the greatest problem facing “THE BEES” is a disease that shall be known as “Stupid”. All applicators both commercial and privet applying any product to plants must read and follow directions correctly. There has been more damage to the bee population from “Stupid” than any other cause.

In a talk given by Joe Bischoff of AmericanHort, he shares facts that give several possible solutions that have been thought out where concerned will win.

Neonics & Pollinators

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJRqOde_zuE

Many individuals are focusing on this problem. One of the solutions is having pollination zones for both Honey bees.  This will help native insects, honey bees and butterflies. If these zones are packed with native plants it will

help the diversity of all life. There are areas in all communities that need sprucing and adding to the beauty of America. “America In Bloom” (AIB) should also take up this cause.

At least people are looking at this dilemma from a more realistic and positive resolution to this crisis. Also looking into what plants attract bees more would also help homeowners and city officials.  It is sort like that movie saying if you plant it, they will come.

© Ken Wilson, gardeningwhisperer.com 2015

This entry was posted in Horticulture TipsInsects and tagged America In BloomBeesColony Collapse DisorderHoney BeesNativenative plants.Pollinators on May 6, 2015, by Ken WilsonEdit

Dormant Oil

DORMANT OIL AND SPRING SEASONAL PREPARATION

On the eve of another snowstorm all over North America, it might be difficult to see the spring that is coming around the corner. Adding to the perception of we get this week we are still behind by two (2.5) inches, but we will catch up. Now is a great time to think about several ideas that will shorten your work time in your yard this summer. Continue reading

Flowering Dogwoods

Preparing for Spring

Pink Dogwood Enhanced

One can gain knowledge of what spring-flowering dogwood trees will be like from looking at what is occurring in the fall. In the late summer tree Dogwoods or (Cornus florida) or (Cornus rubrum) types start their groundwork for a grand spring flower show. This requires both proper water and temperatures. Several years ago when we had hot temperatures in August and with little or no rain there were little or no spring dogwood blooms the next spring. Supplementary watering should have been given early to mid-August in order to offset the dry summer. This also will intensify the brilliant fall red colors of the dogwood leaves. As seen in this picture the buds are set for a spectacular show next spring.

Native dogwoods grow at the edge of the forest and in clearings. In urban settings placed into too much shade, the tree will be thin and blooms will be meager. Yet in the full sun they tend to struggle, this is also the situation is enhanced by poor soils. One solution is using more mulch around the tree roots as this holds moisture and keeps the roots cool like as on a native forest floor.

Flowering Tree Dogwoods come in a number of common types and varieties (Cornus florida) or (Cornus rubrum)

WHITE; (Cornus Florida), (Cornus Florida Appalachian Mist), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Princess), (Cornus Florida Cloud Nine), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Daybreak with variegated leaves), (Cornus Florida Holman Gold), (Cornus Florida Pendula), (Cornus Florida Prairie Splendor).

RED; (Cornus florida Cherokee Brave), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Chief), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Sunset with variegated leaves.

 PINK: (Cornus rubrum).

©Ken Wilson & Gardening Whisperer 2014