Monday, December 10, 2018

What to do with a flower pot in winter?

Photo Credit: Linda Langelo

Decorate your pot for the holidays.  Be creative, be funny or whimsical or just festive.  The Town of Julesburg, decorates their pots every season.  It makes it fun.  It demonstrates a comradery among the town businesses. 

It is very clever to think of making a tree out of books or to think that Santa needs help getting out of the chimney.  Each year now, the Julesburg Garden Club has asked the businesses to participate.  For the third year in a row, they have increased their participation and even gotten increasingly competitive.  I can't wait to see what they come up with for next year.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ornamental Grass Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem Photo Credit: Linda Langelo

Ornamental grasses like Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blaze' can give your landscape a color change in the fall.  Blaze turns russet-red in the fall.  This will last all winter long. 

Schizachyrum scoparium is a warm season grass.  It is also a bunch grass.  The best time to divide this grass is when it is not flowering.   So early spring to mid-summer.  You want to divide them before they start dying out in the center.  So every 3 to 5 years you can divide an ornamental grass.  Some grow faster than others.  Some are harder to divide than others such as pampas grass.  Sometimes the grass will seed and you can encourage the seed to grow and remove the original plant. 

Switchgrass and Pachysandra, Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
Since the season is ending, grasses and groundcovers can be used as winter interest.  There are a wide variety to chose from with both grasses and groundcovers.   With groundcovers don't let a height requirement box you in for using maybe a shrub that grows up to 2 or 3 feet.  Using these things in mass and properly placing them in the landscape can really enhance the landscape in winter.  These types of plants also give some habitat to birds.

Top photo Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' and Giant Sacaton Photo Credit: Linda Langelo
The grasses in the top photo are great for winter interest.  The Calamagrostis can be bent over by the winter snow and after it is melted away, the grass will pop back up again.  The Giant Sacaton will  keep its graceful shape all winter.  It is slow to get started each season, but bounces back and takes you clear through winter.  

Friday, September 14, 2018


Photo Credit: Teresa Howes

These butterflies are always a welcome sight.  These monarchs rested overnight.  In Sedgwick County we have seen groups of monarchs in different parts of the county on their migration to Mexico. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Public Flower Pots

Town of Sedgwick Flower Pot
Public flower pots can bring enormous curb appeal to a town.  Sprucing up a small town can send a bigger message of being proud of your town.  It also has a welcoming appeal.

Coprinus mushrooms

Photo Credit: Randy Thompson, Coprinus mushrooms
These mushrooms are just breaking down whatever is in already dead in the grass or ground.
Photo Credit: Randy Thompson, Coprinus mushrooms
These mushrooms are not pathogenic or the cause of heart rot.  They develop after the wood is rotting.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fall Flowering Containers

Photo Credit: Mississippi State University Extension
As summer comes to a close, refresh your annual containers with some fall flowering varieties.  Ornamental Kale is a long lasting flower that can take you through the winter season. 
Photo Credit: Southern Living
Potted pansies that come in a combination of colors both mixed and solid can be great flowers for fall.  Today, pansies can do well if you plant them in late summer or early fall in pots.  During the winter when the temperatures are above freezing the pansies can flower off and on.  Their roots will continue to grow all winter and really create a show for spring.
Photo Credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Mums are another fall favorite.  They come in an array of colors to suit your outdoor décor.  They last sometimes into November.  If you are interested in mums as another flower for your landscape, you can plant them in spring.  Doing that will help give you a better root system that will survive the winter. 
Photo Credit: Pinterest

This container gets a little more creative with a mix of kale, rudbeckia, a grass and ivy.  Rudbeckia is a long flowering plant and will do well far into the fall.  The ivy loves cold weather.  Some ivy varieties are even hardy in Colorado.  The some grass varieties are hardy too.  Be creative and definitely match your outdoor décor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Vegetable Viruses

Photo Credit: Pam Ornelas
Photo Credit: Pam Ornelas
Remember next year, purchase your vegetable transplants from reputable greenhouse sources.  Purchase plant varieties that are resistant to viruses.  This is cucumber mosaic virus on peppers.  There are other virus such as tomato spotted wilt virus and tobacco mosaic virus.  Some viruses are spread by aphids or by thrips. 
Look for seed varieties that are more resistant if you chose to grow the plants from seed.  Ask the greenhouse if they carry resistant varieties to some of these viruses.  Once the plant is infected, the plants become stunted and the fruits are not edible.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Leaf Beetle

Photo Credit: Gail ODell
The little insect you see crawling on the honeylocust leaf is a leaf beetle --Chrysomelidae.  It doesn't do any harm to the honeylocust.

Oak Leaf Scorch

Photo Credit: Tyson Reents

This is typical oak leaf scorch.  It is quite severe.  What causes a scorch?  An imbalance of water between the leaves and roots.  This is a condition, not a disease.  An environmental condition can cause this including over watering.  In this case, the oak tree roots were flooded with water for 3 days.  Oaks like to be watered deeply, but infrequently.