DIY Composting & Enriching Soil
August 10th, 8 am
Presentation includes proper time to plant and harvest, how to control diseases and insects, and more!
For more information, visit the Events Calendar.
|The mission of the Montgomery County Master Gardener Association is to educate the community through fellowship and demonstration using research-based gardening information.|
Flower of the month
Soft Caress Mahonia
(Mahonia eurybracteata “Soft Caress”)
Southern Living Plant of the Year
Blooms: Bright Yellow flowers in fall and winter
Plant Type: Shrub/evergreen
USDA Zones: 7,8,9
Key Features: Compact, dwarf (3’ to 3.5’), year-round interest
Flowering Season: Fall/winter
Exposure: Part sun to shade
Water: Medium in well-drained clay soil
Prune: Wintertime after flowering
Things To Do In the Garden
Water deeply, don’t rely on your sprinkler system to water adequately in summer.
Check your irrigation system for proper function-may need to extend the watering periods to make sure roots are watered.
Maintain mulch at 2-3” deep – add new mulch if needed to help conserve moisture and control weeds.
Watch hibiscus for crimping leaves. This means they’re getting too much sun.
Plan for your fall garden. Start preparing your garden for your fall vegetable planting, pull weeds, add compost.
Plant vegetables-tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. Plant herbs: basil, oregano, thyme.
Plant pumpkin seeds for Halloween pumpkins.
Plant corn, okra, black—eyed peas, beans, cantaloupe. Identify insect and fungal problems and treat with least toxic solution.
Open tent caterpillar webs in trees. Birds will eat worms. Worms will not kill healthy trees.
Feed the birds. Keep bird baths clean and filled with fresh water.
Deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage more flowering.
Eliminate standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
Ignore Fairy Rings that pop up after rains. These circular-growing mushrooms simply
indicate there is plenty of organic matter in your soil. They will go away.
Insect of the month
Milkweed Assassin Bug
There are many different types of Assassin Bugs. The most common one in our area is the Milkweed Assassin Bug. This bug is a beneficial for our gardens and easily identified by its orangey red body with black legs and accents.
These bugs are everywhere in our area and active most of the year. They eat a variety of insects including aphids, army worms, stink bugs, houseflies, mosquitoes, beetles and large caterpillars.
Assassin bugs usually hunt and travel through your garden solo. If you see a gathering of three or more bugs that share the color characteristics of an Assassin Bug, it probably is not one. It is more than likely the nymph stage of another bug that is NOT beneficial in the garden.
Step Into Our Gardens….
By Pat Sheridan, Master Gardener
A garden organized around a unifying theme is a theme garden. Ideas for theme gardens are limitless. There are Japanese gardens, butterfly gardens, rose gardens, and vegetable gardens, to name just a few. Here at the AgriLife Extension, we have several examples of theme gardens: the children’s discovery garden, the square foot garden, the fairy garden, and the culinary herb garden, and more.
Checkout the Shakespeare Garden…
Within the Herb Area lies the Shakespeare Garden:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows…” A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Rosemary, that’s for remembrance…” Ophelia
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…” Romeo and Juliet
Did you know that herbs and other plants were frequently mentioned in the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare? It seems that he was very knowledgeable of the characteristics and uses of many plants. In his day (the 1600s), plants had symbolic significance. Every mention is thought to be important to the story. His writings speak about more than 30 different herbs and flowers and the settings were sometimes in gardens.
Our Shakespeare garden features bronze fennel, creeping thyme, chamomile, yarrow, rosemary, bay laurel, tansy, rue, the red rose, but plants may vary with the season and weather conditions. We even have a bust of old Will himself to watch over the plants in his garden.
Some well- known public gardens in America that contain areas dedicated to Shakespeare are located in Central Park in New York City, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and on the Folger Shakespeare Library grounds, Washington, D.C. Closer to home, Festival Hill and Mercer Botanical Gardens are worth a visit.