Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The clever garden spider - can you see them?

Ok, if you read my blog often you already know that I am obsessed with the garden spiders in my yard. But look at how clever they are......can you find them in these pictures?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cutting Hosta in Fall

One of the readers of Cheesehead Gardening had a great question last week (thanks Donna).  They wanted to know if they should cut their hostas to the ground once they start to decline in fall.  I personally think it's not a good idea to cut the hostas down for the ground in fall.  For one, many people use the same cutting tool on all of their hostas.  So if one of the hostas happens to be diseased you risk spreading it to all of your other hostas.  If you happen to be one of those people who want to have everything cleaned up in fall, one way around this would be to carry a pail with 10% bleach solution and dip your cutting tool between plants.  In my yard it would be a lot of work to cut all of the hostas down to the ground.  So I just leave them, and then in spring I simply rake up the remains.  Most of the leaves disintegrate over the winter, so it's usually on the scapes that are left to clean up.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's Blooming in the Cheesehead Garden

Coneflower 'All that Jazz'

Anemone 'September Charm'

Ligularia 'Brit Marie Crawford'

Hydrangea 'Limelight'

Mixed Four O' Clocks

Nasturtium 'Creamsicle'

Heliopsis 'Summer Sun'


Pink Turtlehead

Brown-eyed Susan

Bottle Gentian

White coneflower

Clematis 'Ice Blue'

Helenium 'Mardi Gras'

Monday, September 12, 2011

Start of the Hosta Uglies

If you are starting to see brown leaves on your hostas, you are not alone.  It's nothing to worry about, it's just what I like to call the Hosta Uglies.  Hostas on are the decline, as they prepare themselves for dormancy.  I heard on the news that our first frost could come as early as this week Thursday.  Even though the hostas do not look their best does not mean you should just forget about them.  If the weather has been dry for several days, you should still be watering them like you would when they are in their prime.  This is the time of year that a lot of people ask me if they can bring some of their hostas inside for the winter  The answer is no, hostas actually require a dormancy period in order to survive.  So if your hostas look like the ones below, don't worry they are not diseased or dying....they just have the Hosta Uglies.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Using annuals to add color in late summer/early fall

The nights are starting to get cooler here, and even though it's kind of early yet we've been waking up to 40 degree mornings.  This is the time of year when most perennials and annuals have already finished blooming for the year.  In spring when I am putting my flower containers together I also tuck annual seeds into my containers and throughout the garden.  Some of the annual seeds I plant are: scarlet runner bean, painted lady bean, hyacinth bean, morning glories, nasturtium, and four o'clocks.  Impatients that were planted in spring will bloom all summer, and now that the weather is cooler with rebound and come back even bigger and better until the first hard frost.
This arbor holds my climbing roses which stop blooming by the end of summer.  I plant scarlet runner beans, painted lady beans, and hyacinth beans around it in spring to have fall blooms.

Scarlet Runner Beans

Painted Lady Beans

Grandpa Ott Morning Glory in planter box.

Close up of a variety of Four o'Clocks

Four o'Clocks add color to a sunny corner of my garden.

Heavenly Blue Morning Glory and Nasturtium add late summer color to this garden bed.

Hyacinth Bean Vine

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day and Seed Grow for September

Happy Labor Day!  It's September, and we've heard the first frost advisory for the season here in Wisconsin.  Lucky for me it's for upper Wisconsin, not so good for those in upper Wisconsin since they had such a late spring.  School started this past week, which means back to work for me.  We also had an unusual start to the school year.  On the second day of we had a severe thunderstorm roll through our area unexpectedly.  Nothing like having students crouch in their tornado positions before they even know all of the school rules.  The storm did quite a bit of damage, and it's been 4 days since and there are many people who still do not have power.

It's time to update everyone on my Seed Grow Project Plants.
'Italian Cameo' basil is still going strong.  I've been harvesting it and eating it fresh with tomatoes right out of the garden.  It's not too overpowering, which I have found some basils to be.

 The 'Garden Babies' lettuce never did make any little lettuce heads.  I think I let it overgrow, because now it kinda has a flavor similar to grass.  It was also very dry here.  Now that the weather has cooled down I might try to grow a new batch of this lettuce.
 The 'Summer Splash' marigolds grew to be a lot taller then I expected.  Mine have great orange coloring mixed in with the yellow.  I noticed some others who are growing them have all yellow colored flowers.  I'm definitely going to be collecting seeds from these for next summer.

I'm growing with the SeedGROW project. Thanks to Renees Garden for the seeds.