Gardeners rejoice at recent rain
Cydney Steeb column (July 10, 2013)
Amazon along with plant markers so I can remember the names of all my new plants and where I planted them come next spring. The beetles are gone, but I'll try it out when the fruit starts to ripen to keep the birds away, then next year for the beetles.
Beware: Wild parsnip
As I drove into work this morning I was reminded to mention "beware the wild parsnip." It's just beginning to grow to its full height along moist roadsides. Look for a plant two to four feet tall with flat yellow flower clusters, called umbels because they are shaped like umbrellas. It looks similar to Queen Ann's Lace except the flowers are yellow. Avoid skin contact with the toxic sap of the plant tissue by wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants when clearing roadside ditches or other wet areas. The juice of wild parsnip in contact with skin in the presence of sunlight can cause a rash and blistering and discoloration of the skin known as phytophotodermatitis. The best way to get rid of wild parsnip is by finding it early in its invasion when there aren't many plants. Cutting the root of each plant just below ground level can help stop the spread. This can be done with a dandelion-digging fork, a sharp shovel, or spade. If the population is large, a power brush-cutter is sometimes used. Regular mowing, or grazing by cows, keeps wild parsnip from flowering and making seeds. DON'T weed whip them in shorts.
How does your flower garden grow?
Do you have a flower bed without anything blooming? If so, you could consider adding coneflower, veronica, daisies, lupine, gaillardia aka blanket flower, penstemon, daylilies, or monarda, all of which are blooming now in my gardens. You may also want to consider native plants. I picked up several recently to add to my woodland garden.
Cydney Steeb, Advanced Master Gardener, can be contacted at Emmet Conservation District, 3434 M-119, Harbor Springs (231) 439-8977 or email@example.com. Her Gardening Wit and Wisdom column runs every Wednesday.