"'Tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes!"
~ William Wordsworth, Lines Written in Early Spring, 1798
Come see Paul's Garden!
Join us for the 16th annual "Private Gardens of the Kennebunks" Garden Tour, July 17, 2010 from 10:00 - 4:00. SHINE OR RAIN. All proceeds benefit the prevention programs of the Child Abuse Prevention Council of York County, Maine. Tour nine lovely gardens throughout Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Advance tickets are $15.00 before July 1st; $20.00 July 1st through day of the event. Please call (207) 985-5975 or visit http://www.kidsfreetogrow.org for more information!
Made from plants for plants, Organic Water Wizard:
- Captures and Retains Water Vapor
- Proven Effective and Safe
- Reduced Water Usage Saves Money and the Environment
- Control or Eliminate Dry Spots
- Enhance Nutrient Efficiency
- Made from plants for plants!
Organic Water Wizard manages root zone moisture, making the most efficient use of applied waterings, rain, etc.. It includes an organic surfactant for improved soil penetration and potassium humate for enhanced performance, which in combination, create a sub-surface film which absorbs and stores moisture on plant roots and soil particle surfaces. This simple mechanism protects plants from the harmful effects of drought stress, reducing disease pressure and root shrinkage. Organic Water Wizard will result in healthy, disease resistant turf and plants that will improve the overall quality of your landscaping.
If you are looking for a trouble-free summer flowering tree to plant in your yard this year, then look no further than the Japanese Tree Lilac. If
you live in Presque Isle, Maine to St. Johnsbury, Vermont or south to Atlanta, Georgia, this beautiful flowering tree is for you. This special lilac
will tolerate winter weather down to minus 40 degrees below zero. It is the most trouble free lilac that you can plant in your yard because it is
resistant to Powdery Mildew Disease, Scale and Lilac Borer, the major problems with the lilac family of plants. This tree lilac can adapt to the most
difficult planting areas in your yard and will do quite well in planting beds in the middle of a parking lot while being exposed to the fury of winter
and heat of summer.
This unique lilac will grow into a tree rather than a bush like most of our spring flowering lilacs. It will grow 20 to 30 feet tall and spread 15 to
25 feet wide, a bit taller and wider than the flowering crabapples. The shape will be rounded to oval. The trunk of the tree is covered with a smooth
red-brown bark that resembles the cherry tree. You will notice many small horizontal tan colored lines on the bark that when young is a bit shiny. Most
lilacs are solid gray with no markings on the stems or trunks. The leaves are dark green and a bit wrinkled looking, unlike the shrub lilac that is
mostly smooth and shiny. This tree produces fall color like the other lilacs but the leaves do open early on the plant. My tree lilac will begin forming
leaves here in Maine in late March before most of my other trees.
The flower is very different on the tree lilac, as it appears to be more feathery. These flowers are creamy white, fragrant, but not as much as the
bush type. The flowers form in early June and last for 6 weeks or more, depending on the heat in June. The flowers are extremely showy in the tip of the
tree branches and grow 10 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 10 inches wide. When finished flowering, the flowers turn brown and the tree will look better if you
remove them just as you remove the faded flowers on the bush types. If the tree is getting too large for the location you planted it in, this is also the
best time to prune the tree to control the size.
Japanese tree lilacs will do best in a soil that is well drained and slightly acid, unlike the bush type, which loves a sweet soil. Plant in full sun
for the most flowers and fertilize every spring with Tree-Tone fertilizer. I also add Bio-Tone (for the mycorrhizae) to Plant Thrive liquid to encourage
a better root and more flowers. Plant the tree with compost, peat moss or animal manure to help get the plant off to a good start. Water weekly from the
time you plant to the fall. Add 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch or compost to cool the soil during the heat of summer and help keep the soil frozen during
the winter. Mulch will help hold moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing around it.
The tree lilac will look great all by itself on your front lawn or you can plant several in a row along a fence, with under plantings of perennials.
You can also plant along the street for a noise barrier or in groups to screen off eyesores. The Japanese tree lilac is a tree you should consider for
your summer garden.
This week, most of us are experiencing warm weather, humidity, and little rainfall, so be prepared to keep the hose moving from the garden to the
lawn. When watering the garden or lawn, water longer because longer is better than more often. If you apply one inch of water a week and you do it at the
rate of ˝ in of water twice a week, the water will be better able to soak down to the roots of the plant. If you water every day for 15 minutes, the
water stays on the top of the soil and evaporates quicker. This type of watering encourages the plant roots to grow up to the surface of the soil where
it is hotter and plants work harder to get the water they need. Deep watering encourages the roots to grow down deep into the soil where it is cooler and
less stress for the plant. When possible water early in the day before it gets hot, and avoid at all cost watering late in the day or disease spores will
collect on your plants, making more problems for you. To help with your watering , use Organic Water Wizard at this time. Organic Water Wizard will pull
moisture out of the air into the soil and help keep your lawn green and healthy. One quart applied to 4,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. of lawn now will pull 16,000
gallons of water into your soil in just 3 months, keeping the lawn greener with less water. For more information go to www.uwaterless.com It works very well.
Mowing of the grass now has to change because the grass is not growing as fast. Raise the blade to 3 to 3 1/3 inches high. Taller growing grass will
shade the soil, keeping the water in it better. This way, fewer weeds will develop and the grass will stay greener longer. Be sure to sharpen the blade
to help keep out disease problems. The cut edge of the grass plant must be smooth and straight so when you finish mowing the plant can create a scab on
the cut to keep moisture in and problems out. If the grass blade is frayed or jagged, the lawnmower blade is not cutting -- it is ripping the top off and
will not be able to create this scab protecting the plant. Disease problems are active now, so sharpen your lawn mower blade and if you are having your
grass cut by someone else, look at the grass and let them know it is time to sharpen the blade. It is your lawn, so train your maintenance people or they
will take advantage of you.
Check your lawn for a PINK growth on it. The pink growth will look like cotton candy that spreads from grass blade to blade. This lawn fungus called
Red Thread can spread quickly on your lawn. It also spreads with the lawn mower by blowing infected grass clippings from infected areas to uninfected
areas. It can also spread on lawn mowers of maintenance companies as they travel from yard to yard, so beware! I have had reports that Coastal Lawns is
having the problem where it has been cool and wet. Cutting back on the watering will help, and treat with Scotts Lawn Disease Control granular or Bayer
Fungus Control for the Lawn in the liquid or granular form now. Feeding the lawn will also help the grass recover faster, especially if it has not been
fertilized in several weeks. Use an organic fertilizer such as Converted Organics for summer feeding. Go to www.convertedorganics.com for more information on summer fertilizer.
Keep a close eye on your lawn for areas of slowly dying grass this summer. Summer also has its insect problems for the lawn: if you see the grass
thinning out, contact your local Garden Center about the problem for advice how to handle the problem. Call the show on Sunday at 1-800-259-9231 and I
will try to solve your problem. Do not forget to keep water in the gardener when caring for the gardens!
The best and most popular yellow and orange flower in the summer garden is the marigold. Marigolds have been grown in more sunny gardens than most
other flowers combined , and even a child can start a plant from seed on a windowsill. These bright and cheery flowers are easy to grow and reliable in
all types of soil and weather conditions. Marigolds will flower from early June right up to frost and all you need to do is water and feed occasionally.
No complicated or special fertilizers are needed, very few insects will bother them, and disease problems are minimal. Marigolds are a garden flower, not
a cut flower, as the stems are too short on most varieties, but that is O.K. because you need flowers that do not stop flowering all summer long in the
Besides yellow and orange, new hybrids now come in shades of red and even in white. The flower itself can be in the shape of a ball and round, single
and flat like a poppy, flat with large petals on the bottom and with small petals clustered on the top, and so on -- your choice is almost endless. The
color choices are just as endless, from solid yellow, orange, red and white or combinations of two or more colors on the same flower. You may think about
height, but look no further as marigolds start from the 6 inch "Lemon Drop" and range all the way up to the "Giant African," measuring up to 6 feet tall
when cared for properly.
Marigolds love the sun and when planted in full hot sun, they are at their best. Garden soils that are loose and pliable are best, but the more
organic matter you apply, the bigger they will grow and flower. If you look at a seed catalog, you will see endless varieties of marigolds. Whether you
are a new or an experienced gardener, plant some in your garden because once in the ground, marigolds will give you time to care for your other flowers
in the garden -- they are that easy to grow. The main secret to growing marigolds is to remove the faded flowers. Marigolds make a lot of flowers and
when the flowers fade, the plants make a lot of seed. Flowering plants have a goal to produce 50% of the weight of the plant in seed and then it can
rest. If you continually remove the faded flowers, the plant does not stop flowering because it needs to make seeds, so remove the seedpods and the
flowers will keep coming.
Water marigolds as needed, especially when the weather gets hot. When the weather gets hot, the plant will grow much faster than most other plants in
your garden. Fertilize every other week with Miracle Gro and you will be amazed with the growth the plant makes. You can use Osmocote timed released
pellets to save time in the garden as this fertilizer is releasing food to the plant every time you water the garden. Tall growing plants may need
staking if planted in a windy location. Marigolds have a unique character and as the plant gets taller, roots will develop on the stem of the plant and
grow to the ground to help stablize the plant. I know no other annual that is able to do this.
I love the smell of marigolds -- it is so unique and once you know it you will never forget it, so blindfold me and let me smell the flowers. My wife
cannot stand the smell, so I plant them away from her windows and she is happy. Did you know that bees prefer yellow flowers in your garden? Think
cucumbers, squash, melons and tomatoes plants--all have yellow flowers. This year plant yellow marigolds in your vegetable garden and the bees will be
able to find your vegetable plants better. The more bees in your garden, the more vegetables will develop. Try it and you will like it -- I plant
marigolds in my vegetable garden and so should you! Enjoy.
I think that most of us get very excited when spring arrives and we see our first flowering shrubs come into bloom after a long winter being indoors.
Now, how about summer and the shrubs that make our yards, patio and decks more beautiful with all that color? Sitting on your patio enjoying your family
with all green plants is nice, but add color and you will want to spend more time relaxing on the patio. My favorite family of plants is the Hydrangea
Family, with flowers covering the plant from summer to fall. We all love the Blue and Pink varieties that grow all over Cape Cod and south but how about
those of us that live in a colder climate? The Hydrangea is undergoing numerous changes right now and the new varieties are truly exciting for those of
us with cold winters. The Cape Cod varieties will survive the winter for most of us, but often the flower buds are killed by the cold winter weather. If
you live from Central Maine to Michigan and to Eastern Arizona your selection was limited but now we are in for a real treat of new hardy hydrangeas.
The new hybrids are coming from the Hydrangea Paniculata side of the family. Hydrangea Paniculatas have flowers that grow more cone-shaped 6, to 12
inches tall and 4 to 6 inches wide at the base of the blossom. The traditional blue and pink are more rounded and ball-shaped. The flowers begin to form
in late June and last well into the fall. All the new varieties will dry well and you can use them in dry arrangements. The individual flowers on the
cone have four petals 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide and are sterile. Some of the new varieties have fertile small flowers under ˝ inches wide on the same
flower, giving the flower cone much character. Along with hardiness, the plant breeders have added color to the new plants. Dazzling white, pinks, red,
and bi-colors pink and red combinations will grace your yards this summer.
Plant these new hydrangea varieties in full sun to half a day of shade gardens. Cape Cod hydrangeas want full sun for the best flowers. Soils should
be well drained and fertile, so be sure that when planting you condition the soil with compost or animal manure. The better you condition the soil, the
better it will grow and make more flowers for you. They will not tolerate wet soils at all. Fertilize in the spring with a general-purpose shrub
fertilizer such as Plant-Tone or Dr. Earth shrub fertilizer. No other fertilizer is needed to alter the color of the flower like the Cape Cod Hydrangea
needs. I love to use a mycorrhizae fertilizer on all summer flowering plants to help build a stronger root system because the stronger the roots the more
water they are able to collect, and the flowers last longer and are larger. So add Bio-Tone or Liquid Thrive shrub food a couple times a year. The new
hybrids will grow 4 to 6 feet tall and just as wide, but if you prune them in April before the foliage develops you can control the size of the plant and
not hurt the flowers. When the weather gets hot, water plants often when newly planted until the plant get well established.
Look for these and more new hydrangea varieties at your local nursery. Hydrangea 'White Diamonds,' with brilliant white flowers and a bit of yellow in
the center of the bloom, is truly dazzling looking in a perennial bed or plant border -- you must have one! Hydrangea 'Limelight' sports a full head of
flowers with a stunning hint of light green in the flower. Hydrangea 'Pinky Winkey' is an incredible two-tone flower of cream and red colored petals on
the same flower. Hydrangea 'Quickfire' is a real breakthrough, with cream, pink and red flowers on the same flower cluster--and it will bloom earlier
than most varieties. Enjoy your summer garden this year with hydrangea varieties that are hardy where you live.
This Week's Question:
Why did British sailors earn the nickname "Limeys"?
This Week's Prize:
Espoma Organic Potting Mix
- Contains Myco-toneŽ mycorrhizae
- For all indoor and outdoor containers.
- In 4, 8, 16 qt., 1 and 2 cu. ft. bags.
Last Week's Question:
Where is the heat located in hot peppers?
b. bottom half
c. top half near stem
d. stringy ribs
Last Week's Prize:
Espoma Organic Potting Mix
Last Week's Winner:
Last Week's Answer:
d. stringy ribs - gotta love the heat!
One winner per question - we choose winners from the list of those who answer correctly. Winners must be newsletter subscribers. We'll ship you your prize, so be sure to put your address in the form in case you win!
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp
- 1/2 pound pork loin
- 1 (8 ounce) package rice noodles
- 12 round rice wrapper sheets
- 1 bunch fresh Thai basil--leaves picked from stems
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup chopped fresh mint
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- Chopped roasted peanuts
Step by Step:
- Bring a medium stockpot of lightly salted water to a low boil. Cook shrimp 2 to 3 minutes, or until opaque.
- Drain, allow to cool slightly, and pat dry with paper towel.
- Peel, de-vein, and slice in half.
- Bring another stockpot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Cook pork at a low boil for approximately 10 minutes, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
- Allow to cool, and slice into thin strips.
- Again, bring a stockpot of water to a boil.
- Cook noodles until tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
- Strain, and rinse to prevent sticking.
- Fill a medium bowl with warm water.
- Dip each wrapper in water for about 30 seconds until soft and flexible.
- Lay wrapper on a flat surface, and place 2 basil leaves in center, side by side, about 2 inches from edge of wrapper.
- Lay 4 to 5 shrimp halves on basil, followed by a small amount of pork, then a small amount of noodles.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and mint, and top with bean sprouts.
- Starting at one end, roll the wrapper over once, fold both sides in toward center, and continue rolling as tightly as possible without tearing.
- The end result should be a roll approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Warm hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, and immediately remove from heat.
- Garnish sauce with chopped peanuts, if desired, and serve with rolls for dipping.