A vast array of summer annuals (Statice, Johnny Jump-Ups), perennials (straight from the gardens of the MG's), VEGETABLE transplants (peppers, okra, cukes, and melons to name a few), hard to find HERBS (including calendula, borage, anise, and rue), and heirloom tomatoes (Mortgage Lifters, Brandywine, Tiny Tim, Black Krim, and Rutgers), and MUCH, MUCH more!!!
Master Gardeners will be on-site all throughout the day to assist with all your gardening questions!!!
Grown naturally by the experts:)
Come see us at the Greene County Fairgrounds this Saturday!!!
Cash, Check, Visa/Mastercard accepted!
Lots of homegrown goodness coming your way this weekend at the BSMGA Plant Sale! Cookbooks are now on sale with lots of delectable recipes! They are also packed with helpful gardening tips!
COME SEE US!!!
Christmas trees are a traditional part of the festive holiday season, and for many people the fresh scent of a fresh cut tree invigorates the spirit of the season. Wayne Clatterbuck, a professor of forest management and silviculture with University of Tennessee Extension says the most popular Christmas trees grown in Tennessee are Virginia pine, eastern white pine, eastern red cedar, Fraser fir and Scotch pine. These and many other trees imported from other states will be available in all sorts of retail locations.
Clatterbuck offers these tips for consumers on choosing and maintaining a fresh cut Christmas tree:
1. Measure the dimensions of your space. Don’t forget the ceiling height, of the area where the tree will be placed before buying the tree. This will help you select the right size and shape of tree.
2. The easiest method to obtain a fresh tree is to cut one from a Tennessee Christmas tree grower. For a directory of Christmas tree growers, visit the Tennessee Department of Agriculture website: http://www.picktnproducts.org/Flowers_trees/
3. Trees in Christmas tree lots may have been cut 4 to 6 weeks before they appear on the lot. Make sure to test the tree for freshness by placing a branch between the thumb and forefinger of your hand. Pull your hand toward you allowing the branch to slip through your fingers. The needles should bend but not break, and adhere to the branch. If they fall off in your hand, the tree may not be fresh enough. A second test is to lift the tree a few inches off the ground and drop it on the stump end. Some interior brown needles should fall, but if green needles fall in abundance, find another tree.
4. To keep your tree fresh, cut one-half to 1 inch of the bottom of the trunk. Immediately place the stump end in water. Keep water in the tree stand at all times. A cut tree can absorb 2 or 3 quarts of water the first day indoors. If the base of the tree dries out, sap from the tree will form a seal that will not allow water absorption. Water additives to enhance the “freshness” of the tree are not recommended. Only use clean water in your tree stand.
5. The tree should be placed in a cool area. Keep your tree away from fireplaces, heat registers, radiators, heaters and televisions.
On another note, Clatterbuck recommends that homeowners inspect their Christmas tree lights for broken insulation or faulty sockets each year. Always unplug tree lights when you are away from home and before you go to bed.
The National Christmas Tree Association website is a wonderful source of information on Christmas trees: http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/default.aspx Choose the Education subheading for information about Christmas trees.
Frost is on the pumpkins, but gardening season isn't over yet. Gardeners still have plenty of tasks during autumn.
Here are some tips to help you keep your landscape and garden in top shape:
Shrubs and trees
As the season changes, pests seek shelter for the coming winter, and the brown marmorated stink bug is no exception.
The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive pest that feeds on many crops and ornamental plants during the growing season and then continues its pest status as it invades homes to overwinter, said Karen Vail, University of Tennessee Extension urban entomologist.
“Mechanical exclusion is the most effective approach to provide long-term control. Think of all the places that stink bugs can enter the home and then deny them entry,” Vail said. “Seal cracks around door frames, windows, utility penetrations, siding and wood fascia and other openings with appropriate materials such as quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.” Vail adds that homeowners may need to add or reinforce weather stripping around doors and windows to provide tighter seals or add door sweeps if light can be seen under a door.
The entomologist also recommends repairing screens on doors and windows and installing screens behind crawl spaces and soffit and attic vents. “Use chimney caps or screens when appropriate and remove window unit air conditioners, if possible, as this is a common entry point,” Vail said.
The brown marmorated stink bug is shaped like a shield, mottled brown and gray and has characteristic white bands on the fourth antennal segment as well as alternating dark and light bands on the sides of the abdomen.
Vail said the bugs can be removed with a vacuum cleaner, but she cautions that you should be prepared for an unpleasant odor if large numbers are vacuumed at once. “Another removal option takes advantage of the bug’s dropping behavior,” she said. “A straight-sided, one-half - to 1-gallon plastic container with an end cut off can be placed under the bugs and the bugs brushed into the container using a piece of cardboard or a broom. This container can also be dragged up a vertical surface, such as a wall, window or drape, where the bugs have aggregated so they will drop into the container,” she said. After capture, the bugs can be put in a sealable storage bag and discarded or drowned in soapy water.
Vail recommends against indoor application of insecticides for several reasons. “Bugs that die may provide food for other pests such as carpet beetles, which in turn could damage woolen clothing and dried, stored products. Foggers may kill bugs that are present at the time, but won’t provide much control after the room is aerated. Misapplied foggers have resulted in fire or explosions,” she said. Vail also noted that sprays directed into cracks and crevices will still allow bugs to emerge. She recommended sealing cracks and crevices instead.
If exclusion methods aren’t working completely, Vail recommended professionally applied outdoor treatments of indoxacarb, dinotefuran, pyrethroids or pyrethroids combined with neonicotinoids around windows, doors and other entry points as is done for other occasional invaders. “In general, pyrethroids are faster acting than other chemistries; however, new pesticide labels limit professionally applied pyrethroids to 1-inch bands around windows and doors when the surface is over a hardscape,” she said. Vail adds that it is best to spray perimeters in the fall before the bugs start aggregating on structures.
Insecticides will have limited persistence outdoors in the sunlight and rain and may have limited effectiveness against preventing the brown marmorated stink bug from entering structures.
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issue at the local, state and national levels.
Now is a good time to plant trees and shrubs since dormant plants will be under less stress. Newly installed deciduous plants require almost no watering during the winter months, but don’t forget a thorough initial watering, which is paramount. Monitor newly planted evergreens such as junipers, hollies and arborvitae for watering needs if rain is sparse. Even in winter, a plant with leaves on it will transpire. Winter wind drying can hurt an evergreen tree that lacks sufficient moisture.
October is a good time to control broadleaf weeds such as white clover and wild garlic.
To make leaf removal less of a chore, rake them before they accumulate deeply. If you have a fescue lawn or moss garden, it is even more important to keep the leaves off of it. Compost or use them as mulch in your beds. You can also till them into your soil, and by spring they will be composted. Leaves on the lawn can be chopped with the lawnmower and left in place if not too deep.
Remember that seasonal mums are more valuable as compost than as “keep around plants” after they’ve faded. Don’t be tempted to plant them because even if they establish themselves, they rarely live up to your expectations the following year. Chrysanthemum “Clara Curtis,” “Ryan’s Yellow” and “Sheffield Pink” are good, reliable perennial cultivars that perform well and make good additions to the landscape.
October is the preferred time to plant ornamental kale, Swiss chard, and pansies. These are lovely additions to the fall and winter landscape, as well as being edible. Look for the winterbor and Russian kales as they are more reliable in cold weather than the kales known commonly as "flowering cabbage."
Don’t forget to bring in your tropical plants and houseplants before frost. Many plants don’t like it when the temps drop into the 40’s.
Wash your pumpkins, gourds and winter squash in a mild bleach solution before displaying or storing to help prevent rot.
In the last couple weeks, there have been numerous reports of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) damage on blueberries, brambles, and grapes. Tennessee counties reporting spotted wing drosophila trap catches or damage to fruit crops include Unicoi, Anderson, Greene, Warren, Grundy, Franklin, Coffee, DeKalb, Cannon, Moore, Franklin, Davidson, Cheatham, Sumner, Lawrence, Benton, and Gibson.
This pest apparently overwinters in many areas of the U.S. and seems to be active practically year-round here in the South. It can reproduce on all sorts of weeds and other wild plants that produce soft fruit. SWD is spreading rapidly and they should be about everywhere in Tennessee within the next couple years. Besides small fruit crops, it is also a pest of cherries.
We are currently transitioning from a detection phase 'have we got them?' to "hey we got them, how do we stop them?' phase. A chemical control program is warranted if the adults are being detected by using the sugar, water and yeast baited traps or the larvae are being found in fruit. Fruit can be visually inspected for the presence of larvae and damaged fruit. Fruit can also be placed in a plastic bag with either salt or sugar in a water solution.
If possible, start your spray program early, when fruit first start to show color (varaison for grapes) and continue up to harvest (obey pre-harvest intervals). Spray on a 5-7 day spray schedule. Reapply insecticide after heavy rains, which have been common this summer.
Organic growers should definitely spray on a 5 day or shorter schedule. The OMRI approved insecticides that are the most effective are Entrust and Pyganic. An on-line MSU Extension raspberry and blackberry publication states that Entrust has a 5 day residual and Pyganic has only a 2 day residual. A similar MSU Extension blueberry publication states that Pyganic has ~ 3 days of control. Whether 2 or 3 days, the residual is short and thorough spray coverage is essential with any insecticide. Use a sprayer that can apply a high spray volume with enough pressure to turn over leaves and get adequate insecticide into the densest part of the plant where many adult flies are found. Try to rotate between organophosphate/carbamate insecticides, pyrethroids, and spinosyns with each application. Insecticide recommendations for SWD are available at: http://www.smallfruits.org/ SmallFruitsRegGuide/index.htm.
SWD can develop in leftover fruit on the plant or in dropped fruit. Some have suggested that collecting fruit that can't be sold and disposing of it in a manner that will kill SWD larvae and other life stages is a worthwhile practice. Fruit needs to be buried beneath 30 cm (1 foot) of sand to prevent emergence of the adult SWD flies. Other options include placing fruit to be disposed of in a plastic bag and placing it in the sunlight or the freezer. Place larger amounts of fruit in a sunny area of the ground, cover with a sheet of clear plastic and seal the edges with soil to heat and kill all life stages present. Detecting spotted wing drosophila damaged fruit and being able to sort it out is challenging to say the least. Dr. Hannah Barrack, NCSU Entomologist, addresses some strategies that growers can use post-harvest to decrease the chance of sending infested fruit off for processing such as holding fruit at less than 41F and sorting out soft fruit.
For additional information, please refer to the following links:
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, attacks only ash trees. It is believed to have been introduced into Michigan 15 to 20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has been found in numerous states including Tennessee. Typically, the emerald ash borer beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation.
The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from April until September, depending on the climate of the area. In Tennessee most EAB adults would fly in May and June. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.
TDA officials urge area residents and visitors to help prevent the spread of EAB:
One of the best things you can do for your garden is to add some of nature’s best fertilizer – compost.
Compost is one of the best mulches and soil amendments you can use. Among its best qualities is that it’s free!Adding a steady diet of compost to your garden will help improve your soil fertility and stimulate a better root system in your garden plants. If you have clay type soil, compost will help loosen it up, if you have sandy soil, compost will help you with water retention. It is well known that dark and rich soil is one of the best environments to grow plants. Compost is a vital part of making your garden into a haven for growing things.
Waste materials from your yard and kitchen scraps are the best sources of organic matter for your compost pile. Kitchen scraps in particular are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. The organic matter in compost provides food for soil microorganisms, which is a vital part of keeping soil in a balanced, healthy condition, so few if any amendments need to be added to your soil.
Following are a few tips to help you get started composting:
Set up a compost bin in a discreet place in your yard. A bin will save space, quicken decomposition, and keep the yard looking neat. Many commercial bins are available; however, you can make one from a variety of
Too much of any one composting material will slow down the decomposition process. If you have all grass, all leaves, or too much of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile.
Avoid adding meat scraps and dog or cat manure to your compost.
Heat builds up with a big pile. Try not to get much bigger than about three feet by three feet.
Keep your compost aerated. If you are using a compost tumbling bin, tumble it when you add new materials. If you are using a pile method, turn it with a garden fork when you add new materials.
A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active. Don’t let your pile dry out.
Just as too dry is bad, too wet is also something that you should avoid. Make sure your compost pile doesn’t get so wet that it’s soggy and stinks.
Compost is ready when it is dark brown, crumbles in your hand, and is fairly earthy smelling. Mix compost into your flower and vegetable beds. Work one to two inches of compost into the top three to five inches of soil.
If your compost pile’s performance is less then you expected, check your moisture level and give it a good turn to encourage decomposition. Additionally, although normally not needed, commercial products are available which add beneficial microbes to your pile and can help speed things up.
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