A few new things to look forward to in 2013…

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, Ornamental Peppers | Posted on 31-08-2012

One of the trends that I really like are edible ornamentals in the landscape merging pretty with productive.  Two on this list fit that category:

‘Toscana’ a strawberry that produces pretty pink flowers followed by pretty and delicious fruit. Can be used as a hanging basket by itself or incorporate into a mixed container.

And my favorite, an ornamental and edible pepper ‘Cayenneta’ pepper that is a cayenne/ornamental cross.  It has a compact habit and produces an abundance of decorative and edible fruit.

Up-And-Coming Varieties for 2013 – Today’s Garden Center Website – Article.

Garden 12 – Tracy Blevins – Picasa Web Albums

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 30-07-2012

Garden 12 – Tracy Blevins – Picasa Web Albums.

2012 County Fair Flower & Vegetable Show Entries – Tracy Blevins – Picasa Web Albums

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 30-07-2012

2012 County Fair Flower & Vegetable Show Entries – Tracy Blevins – Picasa Web Albums.

Dog Days of Summer Event at Grossman’s Garden & Home

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 28-07-2012

Grossmans Garden & Home: 

Dog Days of Summer
Saturday,  July 28th: 9am to 1pm

Free community event to raise awareness about local pet adoptions and therapy groups/services while featuring fun products for you and your pets!

Highlighting…

• Rescue Groups, Pet Adoptions & Therapy Dogs
• Trainers, Pet Walkers & Doggie Day Cares

Featuring…
• Gourmet Locally-Made Dog Treats, Dog Utility Packs & Clothing
• Pet Inspired Stationery & Home Decor for you
• Raffles, Giveaways & more!

US Drought Monitor

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 20-07-2012

US Drought Monitor.

Explanation of drought classifications:  http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/classify.htm

Rochester region in moderate drought | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening | Posted on 20-07-2012

Rochester region in moderate drought | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com.

Get A look at the Emerald Ash Borer Up Close. Really Close.

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Emerald Ash Borer, Gardening | Posted on 12-07-2012

Updated NYIS Emerald Ash Borer Identification page.

From the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program:

“We are excited to announce the Updated NYIS Emerald Ash Borer Identification page at http://www.nyis.info/index.php?action=identification.  Check out the NEW high-resolution photos of EAB and look a likes Buprestid Beetles.  This updated page is great for comparing a sample to EAB (and to help in your decision whether it should be sent in for official identification) as well as for Wasp Watchers monitoring  Cerceris Wasp nests.  And, they are just beautiful photographs.”

 

 

Take the NYSDEC Be Green Great Lakes Survey

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, Lawn Care | Posted on 12-07-2012

Just received the following information on a great survey being conducted by the NYSDEC on homeowner lawn care practices.

“Be Green Great Lakes Project and Survey

Considering how to care for your lawn, garden and foliage? Take a few minutes to answer the NYSDEC Be Green Great Lakes Survey on current land care practices at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22G3RRXBXWU. Responses are welcome from New Yorkers outside the Great Lakes basin too.  DEC is seeking feedback on how New Yorkers maintain lawns, gardens and foliage and manage pests in those areas.

Be Green in the Great Lakes is a project conducted by the Division of Materials Management, at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. It provides outreach for the public and land care businesses regarding options to conventional synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. For information on the project, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/76234.html . The project is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. “

Tree Selection

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, Trees | Posted on 26-06-2012

Recently someone asked me about replacing a tree in their front yard and establishing a shrub bed underneath.  Careful consideration of the tree choice is important because a lot of very commonly sold trees  really do not like to share their root zone with other plants or even grass.

Most trees have shallow roots that spread out but don’t go very deep.  You will need to consider that whatever you plant under the tree is sharing water and nutrients with that tree. This requires more watering of the shrubs you put under the tree to get everybody established and during periods of drought.  It is best to find a tree that does not have a very shallow root system.

Stay away from Maples for this reason.  Also stay away from Ashe trees (also in the maple family) because of the emerald ash borer problem.   And also stay away form anything in the Black Walnut family because the roots emit a toxin that prevents other plants even grass from growing under or anywhere near them.  Oak trees have nice deep roots, but there is one caveat:  Deer love acorns. So you will attract deer to an oak tree and then they will eat your shrubs.

There is one more thing to consider about trees: some on the lists below are considered ‘messy’.  Kentucky Coffee tree produces huge pods that fall off each fall.  So when you go to a local garden center ask about how messy the tree is or what kind of seed pods or flowers does it produce.   Magnolias, Sweet Gums and Catalpas also are considered messy trees.

Here is a link to a pdf from the University of Minnesota Extension on Planting under Trees: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/8237ppt.pdf

Fine Gardening has a list of trees that tolerate underplanting better than others at http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/planting-under-a-tree.aspx

Below is a list of trees that I would consider

Smaller Ornamental Trees: ServiceBerry (amelanchier), Hornbeam, Yellowwood,  Carolina Silverbell, Dogwoods, Redbuds, Hawthornes, CrabApples, Crape Myrtles (some can be very large)

Medium Trees: Katsura (love this tree), Thornless Honeylocust, Stewartia (beautiful bark)

Large Trees: Ironwood, Sourwood, European Mt Ash (not a true ash), Little Leaf Linden or Silver Linden

And then the shrubs for underneath…I would go to your local garden center and pick the tree first and then the shrubs.  Just let them know that is your plan. And then just be specific about what you want and they should know what they have to match that.  Here is some things to consider for shrubs:

Size: tell them you do not want to prune them and want them to stay a certain size.  Slow growing, dwarf shrubs would be a good choice.   Keep in mind the ultimate size of your tree and scale the shrubs down to that tree.  Large tree = larger shrubs; small ornamental tree = dwarf or low spreading shrubs.

Shrubs to avoid: barberries, burning bushes, eunoymous, (invasive, lots of pruning and pest problems)

 

Got Blight?

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Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, Tomatoes | Posted on 13-06-2012

Tomato growers can now check a new national website, USAblight, on the geographical reported cases of Late Blight.

Late Blight is a fungus pathogen that easily spreads among potato and tomato plants. It is hard to identify since the early signs often look like other problems such as drought stress, leaf spot, early blight, etc.

For more information on Late Blight, how to spot it and steps to try and prevent it, go to http://www.rodale.com/late-blight