Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cemetery Plants

John in the Bronx asks:
I am looking for suggestions of plants for a cemetery plot. The conditions are full sun all day. As you might realize one cannot get to the cemetery everyday to tend to our plants. Can you suggest something that can put up with the conditions for a week at a time without any human intervention. I am interested in something flowering as well as an attractive non-flowering plant.
Answer: Planting something in a cemetery usually means you need something small that can take some challenging conditions. A small rose "The Fairy" has pink flowers all summer long, grows to no more than two feet tall and wide and is very tough. Another plant you might like is Spirea japonica with the word golden in the title. Unlike the usual Spirea that grows five feet tall and wide, these golden-leafed shrubs grow no more than two feet tall and wide and have lovely golden yellow leaves. Be sure to check with you cemetery for rules about plants on grave markers.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Grub Control

It is not necessary for the anyone to spread potentially hazardous toxic chemicals on their lawn to try to stop the spread of grubs in the turf. Milky Spore (Bacillus popilliae) is an environmentally friendly alternative that is easy to apply and does not pose any harmful threat to children or pets. According to Cornell University, between 1939 and 1953, over 100 tons of spore powder was applied to turf in over 160,000 sites in the U.S. as part of a government program. Larval numbers in the turf decreased 10- to 20-fold and the population stabilized at this new low level with corresponding reductions in the levels of adult beetle damage.
According to the U.S EPA, spores of Bacillus popilliae infect larvae (grubs) of Japanese beetles, eventually killing the larvae and preventing their development into adult beetles. As a pesticide active ingredient, the spores of this bacterium are approved for use on lawns and ornamental plants around residential areas. The spores also infect larvae of some closely related beetles, but do not infect other non-target organisms, such as other insects, birds, mammals, earthworms, and plants. No harm is expected to humans or the environment from use of pesticide products containing spores of B. popilliae.
Before you jump to a potentially hazardous conclusion, I urge you to take a look at the Web site of the maker of Milky Spore, St. Gabriel Laboratories at and consider using this product.
Milky spore is widely available on the Internet and in many better-quality lawn and garden centers.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring Gardening Events

Lots of great garden talks, plant sales and other events on tap over the next couple weeks:

A Day to Learn About and Enjoy Forests
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County, NY
On Saturday, May 19 from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m., there will be a special opportunity to learn about the incredible value of our forests at the Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra, NY. Free. Registration is required by contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County at 518-622-9820.

Plant and Book Sale, Claverack Library, Rt 9H and 23B, Claverack, NY. Saturday May 19th from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday May 20th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thousands of books and plants and lunch, too!

Wildflower Festival, Saturday, May 19th 10:00 - 3:30at Catskill Native Nursery, 607 Samsonville Rd., Kerhonkson, NY 12446, 845-626-2758 or Come celebrate our native wildflowers, fruits, shrubs, trees & herbs.Plants, pottery and garden art for sale. FREE TALKS & WORKSHOPS.

Fordhook Open Spring Planting Event, Burpee's Fordhook Farm, Doylestown, PA, Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. contact or 215-674-4900.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Hyacinth bean WAMC call

Susan from Cohoes, NY sent in this message in response to a recent call on my garden show on WAMC. (By the way, I will return to the airwaves on Thursday, May 17 th)

To the woman who called Vox Pop about something purple to cover her barn, I say Hyacinth Bean! Easy to start from seed,transplant out after all frost. I ran twine 12" apart up to the roof of our barn which was soon covered in lovely bronze foliage, lavender pea-like flowers and beans the color of eggplant. The south side of our barn was covered by August! Seed from Johnny's, Cooks Garden and others.