Gardening Daily Tips June 24

Friday June 24, 2011

(Helianthus annuus)

Today’s Featured Plant
(Helianthus annuus)

Read the full profile of this plant at

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Q&A: Browning
Bracts On My Bougainvillea

Question: I transplanted my bougainvillea about 2
months ago. It did lovely until about 2 weeks ago when the bracts began to brown
and fall off. It’s planted in a location where it gets full sun all afternoon on
the north side of the house about 1 foot from the wall with a trellis behind it.
It gets watered every other day or so. HELP! What am I doing wrong?

Answer: It’s natural for spent bracts to dry up and fall off after
they’ve bloomed for a while. New shoots will continue to develop throughout the
summer and colorful new bracts will appear throughout the growing season. Your
bougainvillea sounds as though it’s planted in the right place, but you may be
overwatering a bit. Try soaking the soil around the plant just once each week
rather than watering every other day. Deep soaking will encourage deep rooting
which will help your bougainvillea cope with hot or dry weather. Good luck with
your bougainvillea!

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Q&A: Picking
Green Beans

Question: When is the right time to harvest
bush-type green beans?

Answer: You can pick bush beans as soon as they
are large enough to eat, say four or five inches in length. You want to pick
them often to keep them in production — if the beans are allowed to stay on the
bush too long, the plant will stop blooming. Regular harvests promote more
blooms, which means a longer, bigger harveset. Also, smaller beans are more
tender and tend to be sweeter. If they stay on the plant until they look knobby
and the seeds inside swell, then they will be tough and have a bland flavor.

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Q&A: Supporting
Pole Beans

Question: What is the best way to support my pole
beans? I have been using twine but it is tedious to string each spring and must
be replaced each year.

Answer: Some gardeners use heavy wire instead of
twine, some use the premade string trellis netting, others use several poles
lashed together teepee style, still others have used makeshift supports such as
a large mesh “cattle panel” attached to sturdy posts. It’s really a matter of
personal preference and what is available.

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Tip: Invite Frogs and
Toads to the Garden

Encourage all types of critters to live in your yard
and gardens. Frogs and toads eat cutworms and other insect pests. Place inverted
clay pots in shady garden spots, and chip out a piece of the pot rim to give
them an entrance to their new home.

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Tip: Grow Annual
Vines for Shade

Plant fast-growing annual vines up a sturdy trellis
to shade your porch or outdoor seating area from the hot summer sun. Morning
glory, thunbergia (black-eyed Susan vine), cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), scarlet
runner bean, and cypress vine are some options.

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80 Comic Strips Now
Available by Email!

ArcaMax has added dozens of new comic strips to its
, including Archie, Hi and Lois, and 77 others. Subscribe to as many as you like
via email, and start your day with a laugh!

Visit the Comics
and subscribe or read online right away.

— From the ArcaMax

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