Gardening Daily Tips August 16

Tuesday August 16, 2011


Pieris, Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica)

Today’s Featured Plant
Pieris, Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica)

Read the full profile of this plant at ArcaMax.com.

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Q&A: Treating Iron Chlorosis on Citrus Trees

Question: What are the best iron supplements to use on citrus tress and what should the watering schedule and amounts be?

Answer: You can use Ironite for your citrus trees in amounts as recommended on the label. The amount you use will depend upon the size of your trees, and the frequency is generally every 3-4 months. The package label will explain in detail. Citrus trees take a lot of water so if you have a drip system you may need a single 2 gallon emitter, or several (again depending upon the size of your trees) and you may need to water for 30-60 minutes 2-3 times a week during the summer months. Wish I could be more specific, but frequency of watering really depends on the size of your trees. Best wishes with your citrus trees.

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Q&A: Heirloom Seeds

Question: What are heirloom seeds?

Answer: Heirloom seeds come from older varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. These varieties are often ones that had been used for decades or even hundreds of years, and many were almost lost to the trade. But recent interest in the characteristics of varieties that “grandma used to grow” has brought these wonderful plants back into public demand. Sometimes they don’t have the qualities that large-scale operations need, such as ripening all at once, disease resistance, or uniform appearance. But they have other appealing features, such as unique flavor, fragrance, color, shape, etc., that fell out of fashion or was lost in the development of newer varieties. Most heirlooms are open-pollinated, too, so you can save the seed from year to year. If you haven’t tried some of the heirlooms, do so, and I’m sure you will be pleased!

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Q&A: Saving and Storing Vegetable Seed

Question: Some of the packs of seeds I’ve ordered (tomato, okra, peppers, etc.) contain thirty or more seeds. I don’t need to plant this many. How can I best save some seeds for next year? Also, can I simply save some seeds directly from the inside of the pepper for instance? What is the best method for doing this?

Answer: Generally, it’s best to store seeds in airtight containers (baby food jars and film canisters are great) in a cool, dark place where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate very much – a shelf in the basement is a good choice. Be sure to label and date the jars to prevent future mysteries! If these are seeds you’ve collected, make sure they are completely dry, or they may mold in storage. As seeds age, their germination rate drops. Some seeds remain viable for many years, and others really aren’t worth saving. It’s not usually worthwhile to save seeds from hybrid varieties, since the next generation won’t necessarily produce the same quality of plants and fruit. If you want to save seeds from your vegetable garden, allow the fruit to fully ripen, almost to the rotten stage, then scrape out the seeds and let them dry in an airy place. Once the seeds are completely dry, put them in airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark location.

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Tip: Harvest Seeds of Flowering Annuals

If you favor serendipity, let annuals that readily self-sow, such as cleome, cosmos, four-o-clocks, nicotiana, and love-in-a-mist, do what they naturally do, that is, self-sow. But, if you prefer to exercise a bit more control and self-determination, gather the seed before the seed heads start releasing the seeds this summer. As they turn brown, clip them into paper bags. Set the bags on a porch or in the garage. Depending on the stage they were picked, seeds will either immediately fall to the bottom of the bag, or do so in about a week. Once most of the seeds have fallen, place them in a labeled container. Either scatter where you want them in the garden this fall or next spring, or start them indoors.

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Tip: Avoid Cultivating Soil During Hot, Dry Weather

Avoid cultivating the soil around flower and vegetable plants during the hot, dry weather, because loosening the soil causes it to dry out faster.

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Reader Photos Being Discontinued

Dear Readers,

Unfortunately, we will be having to discontinue the Reader Photos section of this ezine when we launch a new format later this week.

For several years, reader-submitted photos was a very popular feature. Participation has since declined and we can no longer justify the expense in maintaining this feature.

We thank everyone who used the feature. The photos will still be available on the Web site for a short period of time following their removal from the ezines.

Sincerely,
ArcaMax Editors

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Today’s Reader Submitted Photos

Click an image above to see full size and read caption.

To see more of our subscriber photos visit our full Photo Gallery.

Enter your Gardening Daily Tips pictures so you can show them off to other readers right here in this ezine and on the ArcaMax.com Web site. Click here to submit your photo.

Sincerely,
ArcaMax Editors

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One thought on “Gardening Daily Tips August 16

  1. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

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