Gardening

Saving an heirloom zinnia

This gardening season, I adopted another unique heirloom seed to try to save from extinction.  Currently, I’m saving four dry bean varieties that are not available commercially plus my own heirloom variety of tomato. Now I’m adding the first flower to my growing collection of unique heirlooms, a variety of zinnia. It was given to … Continue Reading →

Look-alike garden insects

This week while scouting for garden for pests, I came across an interesting coincidence. Two look-alike, but completely unrelated, insect pests showed up at the same time. They were in the same general area but on different plants in nearby gardens. The first insect I spotted was rose sawfly larvae feeding on the roses. There … Continue Reading →

Ugly vegetables

Gardeners are fortunate to have the opportunity to grow the freshest and highest quality vegetables. Even now when organic produce is widely available, it’s no match for home grown. When it comes to their own produce, most gardeners disregard one major criterion that defines quality ; that is appearance. Even ahead of taste, nutrition or … Continue Reading →

Prevent mildew on cucumbers

Powdery mildew is a serious fungal disease of cucumbers and other related plants. It can completely wipe out an entire crop in a garden if nothing is done to control it. Regular rains, warm temperatures and high humidities this season have come together to make ideal conditions for powdery mildew development. The standard method of battling … Continue Reading →

Cicada killers on the loose

A few days ago I noticed a fresh pile of dirt near one of my tomato plants. Looking closer I noticed a hole in the ground next to the pile and recognized the excavation as that of a cicada killer wasp. That’s a descriptive, but unimaginative, name for them since they really do kill cicadas. … Continue Reading →

Quilt Gardens tour

It’s not often in this blog that I write about places to go. Recently, we visited the Quilt Gardens, a really fun, ongoing garden tour in the Elkhart, Indiana, region. Volunteer gardeners from that area installed more than a million annuals in 18 gardens. Flowers and colorful foliage plants are arranged to reproduce quilt patterns … Continue Reading →