Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
To identify which problems are your worst, examine leaves and stems. Heat and drought stress will show up as burned or drooping foliage, but may also indicate other problems.
Roses face a host of problems, but the two most common ones in my summer garden are blackspot and spider mites. Blackspot is pretty self-evident, with its namesake showing up on leaves.
Eventually, the same leaf will turn yellow and then drop to the ground. Once a leaf has blackspot, it cannot be reversed. Instead, the leaf should be destroyed and not composted to prevent spread of the disease. In more humid climates, powdery mildew can be as troublesome as blackspot, but in my part of the country, it is only evident in spring when we have rain. Certain roses have better disease resistance than others, and the best way to combat disease is to plant these cultivars unless you want to implement a spray regimen. There are natural fungicides, but not everyone agrees on their effectiveness and environmental changes, so Iíve come to rely upon disease resistant cultivars instead.
Not truly insects, spider mites are tiny sucking creatures related biologically to spiders, which feed on plant cells. They are not exclusive to roses, but during drought conditions, spider mites seem to love them best. Lacewings and lady bugs (lady beetles) eat spider mites as do predatory mites like Phytoseiulus persimilis. If you see spider mite damage on a particular plant, try ejecting them with a strong blast of water. Be sure to spray under leaf surfaces also, but do so in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oil also work, but shouldnít be used with current high temperatures.
A garden with a healthy insect population of lacewings, lady bugs and other natural predators helps mitigate the 'bad' bug population. You can increase the beneficial insects in your garden in two ways:
Another voracious insect is the grasshopper. Grasshoppers are difficult to control, and they are a particular nemesis during drought conditions. There isn't much to be done this summer, but next year, in early spring, spray water throughout the garden and sprinkle NoLo™ bait on leaves. According to the Biocontrol Network, NoLo™ bait is a grasshopper suppression bait, filled with Nosema locustae spores, which is "non-toxic to humans, livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, or life forms other than grasshoppers and species of insects closely related to grasshoppers" like crickets. Although it is pricey, I only use it once in spring, and usually only every other growing season to keep grasshoppers in check. Birds, lizards and rodents also eat grasshoppers.
Because plants are summer stressed, build up their immunity by giving them a natural, water-soluble food. I spray plants with foliar fertilizer during the summer months about every two weeks. With such high temperatures this summer, I’ve been forced spray very early before the sun is fully up, and I drench the soil around plants avoiding the leaves as much as possible. Unless leaves dry, water droplets magnify and burn them.
For much of the country, it’s been a long, hot summer. A month or two, and it will be over, but now is a good time to get out early into the garden and check up on your plants to have a better fall show.