• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
What's Bloomin'


Jerusalem Artichokes alias "Indian Sunflowers"

Here is some helpful information from a reader about "Indian Sunflowers":

Squash Vine Borer Unwanted Summer Visitor

I just checked squash raised beds in a community garden in our area that is under attack from the Squash Vine Borer. If you have squash in your garden, this link will give you excellent information that could help combat this pest - if not this year, in future growing seasons. Don't give up - FIGHT BACK!


Greywater - What is it???

In my Friday, June 22 column, I made suggestions of how to recycle water from several areas of the home. Later I read where some communities had written and legalized rules about using greywater in the landscape for environmental reasons - so I made calls to our local city officials who handle environmental issues regarding groundwater and sewer systems in Fort Wayne.

Call Before Digging - You Dig??

Although I nearly missed mentioning this in April there is still time to tell you about the importance of calling 811 before digging. 

Don't Miss the Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale

Plant sales are always popular in our town. Every year we all watch for dates and times so we can take advantage of not only the plants, but the event of going there and doing that. I know I do and with gas prices what they are, I'm also always looking for bargains close by. Plants, locally grown, are being offered at most of these sales. They are potted up out of donors gardens or grown in a greenhouse and are often quite unusual and special. 

The Tomato - Heirlooms are a Gardener's Best Friend

More has been written about the "lowly tomato" than any other garden vegetable. Gardeners with little more than an apartment deck head for the garden center each spring and purchase tomato plants for their container or even a deep-welled box or hanging pot. To grow and eat tomatoes right off our own vines is one of the season's greatest pleasures. Sometimes people who don't like  fresh tomatoes want to grow them - just for the fun of it as well as to see this amazing plant produce.

Powdery Mildew

I borrowed the following from a web site on the subject of Powdery Mildew. It said what I wanted to say, and said it well. Hopefully this explanation will help others deal with this pesky stuff that always seems to attack some plants more than others - like lilacs and peonies for instance: 

Is it too late to stop weeds from taking over the lawn and garden?

Even though we are having weird spring weather, and everything is blooming early and temperatures are more like Florida and places south, there is still plenty of time to get out your pre-emergent and stop a lot of weed growth in the lawn and garden. 

Warm Days in mid-March in the Garden

The sunshine this week has made the spring bulb plants pop. My tree peonies are making lots of silent noise, getting ready for their show - and they will put on a show believe me. That is one plant everyone should consider a "must have" in the landscape. No flopping when blooms set on and if they are pruned from the bottom up, they will grow larger and taller and be a small tree in the garden.

More About Clematis

I answered a question about pruning Clematis in this weeks' column but there is more information I could have shared - so thought I'd ramble on about it here. 

Home & Garden Show - Over Too Soon

The show as always was a breath of fresh air and walking through the Garden Gallery, looking and brushing my fingers  lightly over the myriad of plants that had been brought in made me want them all. But not having a truck or greenhouse (and enough money), I  just satisfied myself with looking and looking. I did notice at one kiosk that they were offering tomato and various pepper plants plus basil, etc.

Use Plastic Milk Jugs & Liter Bottles For The Garden

Save those empty plastic milk jugs and liter bottles for the garden or for your container plants - then when you are through with them, toss them in your yellow lidded recycle bin. Here are two neat ideas of ways to use them in the garden.


This spring David Austin introduces two delightful new English roses to American gardeners. Follow the link and read all about these beautiful new selections - and order one or a few for your garden if you wish. There is also information on how to successfully grow English roses: http://www.gardennewsbreak.com/david_austin/releases/2012_intros/index.html. That information is good news because most of us think that roses are difficult to raise - but read this:

What To Do Tonight?

If you are anxious to begin gardening, you can head out into your garden and begin cleaning up for spring. It is a great time to prune back the grapevines, rake up all the dead vegetation, and even add some well-composted manure and compost around all your perennials, shrubs, and trees. In the meantime, when you have done all that and are still impatient to begin actual gardening, start seeds indoors - even plant some early, cool weather vegetables in your vegetable garden or raised bed.

Tips about Tomatoes and Broccoli

Starting tomatoes in the house is a good idea. Very often we start them in a window which doesn't really give them the light they need and they grow spindly stems and roots. They really benefit from more direct light from either grow lights or under florescent bulbs (one warm, one cool). But anyway, once the seed has germinated and you see the second set of leaves developing, you need to transplant the whole thing, dirt and all, carefully, into a larger pot of soil (think from 4 inch to 6 inch in size).

Geese - the good, the bad, and the ugly

I mentioned Canadian Geese in the column for Friday, February 17 -  and "mention" is really all I was able to do. What I said hardly covers the subject but if you have a goose/geese problem, go to this link and something there will hopefully give you ammunition to rescue your pond or property from these messy interlopers:


Boston Ferns in Fort Wayne

Here are some tips if you have Boston Ferns you bought in the summer for your porch or patio and are trying to keep them happy - or if you adopted one as strictly a house plant and aren't having a lot of success. The following tips should help keep that exotic plant happy and give you many years of pleasure and ooooohs and aaaaahs from friends when they visit.

Are Aphids Our Enemies?

Did you know, there are two sides to every story - even in the garden? For instance, the lowly aphid that most of us think of as evil. Well, here's another side to look at. 

Aphids are sometimes our friends because their very presence tells us that our plant is in need of some attention if it is to survive. 

Ricky Kemery, the Horticulture Educator


Ricky Kemery, the Horticulture Educator at the Allen County Extension, put a link on Facebook citing an article about why our honeybees are dying off. These findings are a big step forward in solving what has been a mystery for some years now. To read this very important article, go to: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2012/120111KrupkeBees.html