NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

July 9, 2014

Tim's Tips: Add some color with summer blooms

As you look around your perennial gardens, do you see a lot of green leaves and very few flowers? This can be a drawback to having a perennial garden. In the spring, you buy a lot of beautiful plants that are blooming like crazy.

Once you get to late June and through the summer, the blooming is done and you aren’t as happy with the garden. There are so many summer blooming perennials that you can add to your garden to bring back that beauty that you loved in the spring. If your perennial gardens are now looking a bit blah, now would be a good time to add some new summer flowering perennials to your beds.

This past week has seen an increase in the number of people coming into the store with problems with spider mites on their plants. Spider mites are tiny garden pests that love the hot and dry weather of summer. Their population swells to massive numbers with the arrival of this weather. They suck juices out of the leaves or needles of your plants.

Any plant in the spruce family is a target for spider mites. They love verbena and can be a pest on tomatoes, too. When you check your plants, look for tiny webs between leaves. If you notice a silvery color on the leaves or needles, you need to take immediate action to control this pest. If you let the problem go, they can destroy your plants in a few weeks.

If you are not sure if you have spider mites on your plants, take a few leaves or needles that are turning color, place them in a sealed plastic bag and bring them to the store. Please do not bring leaves or needles in that are not in a sealed bag. We are not looking to have an outbreak of spider mites on our plants! Once we can determine that it is spider mites or some other problem, we can let you know the appropriate remedy for your plants.

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