Mid Summer Garden Concerns
Come midsummer the garden is now in full flush and with adequate water and moderate heat plants, for the most part, are flourishing. There are several issues which may be causing problems to your plants at this point. Here is how we address some of the common issues we see here at Linden Hill.
Hollyhocks are infamous for being plagued by a fungal disease called rust, which produces reddish colored pustules on the leaf surfaces, stems and green flower parts. It also will cause early leaf drop if not treated. Fungus needs water to germinate and spread. To keep the rust at bay, keep water off the leaves and water down at the soil level. Good air circulation is also key. Removal of infected leaves (do not place in compost) as soon as pustules appear. Treating with anti-fungal spray can also help. Proper maintenance in the fall will also help break the cycle of rust. Cut back the plant after first frost and dispose of the plant material.
Black Spots on Roses
Roses can also have leaf spot issues and discoloration due to fungal infection. Again, water and humid conditions cause the disease to spread. Similar treatment of removing affected foliage on the plant, as well as any that has fallen to the ground (to prevent contamination of the soil). We like to treat this condition with Neem oil. Weekly application is typically necessary for best results.
Bagworms are a common perennial insect pest which infests a variety of evergreen species. Sometimes difficult to identify due to the similar appear of a pine cone. The insect utilized the host plant to form a cocoon. Bagworms prefer juniper, arborvitae, spruce, pine and cedar, but may also infect deciduous trees. Removal of the bags are key to controlling this pest. Cut the bags from the plant stem and dispose of them in a waste bin or burn. Weekly application of insecticide is recommended for complete control.
Phlox Plant Bug
Adult Phlox Plant bugs are small reddish-orange with a black stripe running down the back. It is a piercing sucking insect that removes the sap from tender leaves and buds on the phlox plant. They may not be visible on the plant, but the damage they cause is apparent – light spots on leaves and distorted growth. The insect lays eggs on the leaf stalks in early spring, hatching in May. Application of pyrethrum spray on a regular basis is vital for the control of this pest.
Rabbits seem to take over the garden in late June when the young kits have left the nest and are hungry foraging for food independently. Yarrow and lilies seem to be the preferred meal of choice when available here at Linden Hill. Spraying with rabbit/deer deterrent products will help repel the critters short term, but need to be reapplied frequently in order to control. Havahart traps baited with fresh veggies or fruit is another option. Total removal is difficult due to the rabbits prolific reproduction habits.
We would be happy to assist you with any of the garden concerns you may be experiencing this season.
Linden Hill is open Wednesday through Sunday 10am till 4pm
Carole VandenBerghe, Staff Horticulturist.