Gardening Daily Tips 127

Weigela (Weigela florida)

Plant type: Shrub

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4b to 8a

Height: 72″ to 108″

Spread: 72″ to 144″

Exposure: full sun

Bloom Color: Lavender, Pink, Red, White

Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring

Leaf Color: Green

Growth Rate: average

Moisture: moist

Soil Condition: Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained

Form: Rounded, Upright or erect, Vase

Landscape Uses:

Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Specimen

Special Features:

Not North American native, Blooms are very showy

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Q&A: Gardening near Walnut Tree

Question: If I plant a vegetable garden near a walnut tree, will it affect my vegetables performance? The garden is not under the tree but a few of the leaves and walnuts land at the edge of the garden.

Answer: It’s a good question because walnut tree leaves and bark do contain compounds that can impede the growth of some other plants. My sense of it is this: If you new vege garden is not inundated with leaves and nuts, it’s probably fine. Right around the base of the tree is clearly another matter, but if you well beyond the outermost branches I do not forsee a problem. Beyond the growth inhibiting compounds in walnuts, shade and root competition from any kind of tree is also a factor. If your new garden area is not overwhelmed by walnut roots, and if the trees branches do not shade the new garden area, you’ll be okay. My advice is to go ahead and develop your new garden area. With the above factors in mind, if growth does not meet your expectations, you’ll have some culprits to consider. Good luck!

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Q&A: Starting Spinach Indoors

Question: Can spinach and/or New Zealand spinach be started in a greenhouse and transplanted outside in March or April?

Answer: Although it’s possible to start regular spinach indoors, it doesn’t take well to transplanting. And since the plants are hardy, spinach seed can be sown outdoors about five weeks before the last frost, so that’s the most common practice. New Zealand spinach is not a true spinach, and is not cold-hardy. It should be sown right into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Since this is a heat-tolerant plant and doesn’t bolt like regular spinach, there is no need to get it started early.

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Q&A: Blossoms On Seedlings

Question: Our zucchini and squash seedlings doing beautifully in our sunroom. The weather here is still cold, but the seedlings have sprouted blossoms. It’ll be a week or more before the weather gets mild. Should we pick off the blossoms?

Answer: I would pinch them off. At this point, you want the plant to be spending its energy on foliage and root systems, not on flowering. In my experience seedlings blossom when they are rootbound and stressed for moisture, nutrients, or space. I hope you can get these seedlings in the ground soon. I recommend direct sowing some extra seeds, too, just as insurance, in case this batch is stunted. Good luck to you!

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Tip: Carefully Try Borax for Creeping Charlie Control

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), is an invasive perennial weed that vines through lawns and chokes out grass. Although fairly indestructible, it is sensitive to boron. For creeping Charlie control, dissolve five teaspoons of 20 Mule Team Borax in one quart of water and spray over a 25-square-foot area of lawn. This treatment should not be used in flower or shrub beds as the boron can also harm the plants you care about. Do not repeat on lawns more than once.

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Tip: Evaluate Bulb Beds

Make note of gaps in your spring-flowering bulb display; then plan to plant more bulbs in fall. Choose early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties of each type of bulb to prolong the show.

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