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Friday, July 1, 2016

MPA PUBLIC POLICY FOOD & GARDENING FOCUS - Planting, Nurturing, Eating & Purchasing



July 1, 2016
MILWAUKEE |  Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC continues to advance "Info Sharing" through TIPS, engagement of opportunities, paradigm shifting and networking.

Flowers and containers

Divide old clumps of bearded irises and replant.

The big chop – chop oriental poppies, lupins, delphiniums and geraniums right down to the ground once they have finished flowering - be brave and be brutal - the new leaves will be an ornament and some may flower again.

Support tall delphinium stems with individual canes.
Cheat and fill any gaps in your borders with container-grown perennials. Dahlias will keep colour going until the first frosts so are a great autumn brightener in mixed borders.

Pick sweet peas regularly - this is in effect early deadheading and will ensure continued flowering. Remember sweet peas are thirsty plants so keep them well watered.

Go for instant impact and colour in your garden or on your terrace with a ready planted container; or for a special occasion sink whole containers into your borders for a fabulous instant makeover!

It is summer - watering

General tasks and garden maintenance

Water thoroughly once or twice a week rather than little and often - this encourages plants to put down roots in search of water rather than coming up to the surface. Remember, though, that containers and hanging baskets need watering every day and sometimes even twice a day if it is hot and windy.

Water is a precious commodity - instigate good practices such as using kitchen and bath water (as long as it is neither too dirty, greasy nor full of detergent) for watering, collect rainwater in butts (available from the centre) and investigate ways to recycle water for your irrigation. Avoid using tap water for lime-hating plants such as camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas - they will not thank you for it!

Pests

Pests love warm weather, so be on your guard! Caterpillar and aphid infestations can be dealt with by hand if caught early enough, but should the situation career out of control you will have to resort to insecticides or grin and bear it! Greenfly and blackfly especially love the heat and don’t forget aphids and other sap-sucking insects can transmit viruses so don’t give in to the sympathy vote. Try to attract beneficial insects by growing a wide variety of plants - ladybirds and their larvae are consummate aphid predators, as are lacewings and even wasps.


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