Ohio Gardener

Five Common Garden Problems (and What to Do about Them)
by Carol Chernega - April 2014

After working in Midwest gardens for many years, I’ve seen the same problems over and over. Homeowners should learn how to recognize each of these problems and take care of them before they get worse.

1. Most common disease: powdery mildew. This is commonly found on peonies (Paeonia spp.), phlox and monarda, but many other plants can have it too. From the name — mildew — you’d think it flourishes in wet weather, but the opposite is true. It actually gets worse when it’s hot and dry.

What to do: The best way to stop it spreading is to cut off the plants down to the ground at the end of the season and throw out the debris — don’t put it in your compost ...   >> read article

by Michelle Reynolds - April 2014

Gather up the sticks, bamboo, rebar, twine, cord and wire. It is the time of year to make trellises for all of your garden vines. More than a cage, less than an arbor – a trellis is essentially a garden crutch for the leaners, clingers, stragglers, sprawlers and wanderers in the garden.

Trellises enable those unruly and rambling plants of all kinds to take off and do what they love to do, in a controlled manner. The plants might need a little nudge in the right direction periodically – a sling here, a fastener there. A trellis allows one to train the plants to twist and twine, wrap, climb, spiral and ascend to the sky – supporting to the plants on their journey to the light ...   >> read article

Favorite Shrubs for Midwest Landscapes
by Karen Atkins - April 2014

So often, as gardeners, what we focus on is flowers. I want flowers, I love flowers and I need flowers. But what often anchors the garden and highlights flowers best is an underpinning of solid shrubs. In fact, if your garden isn’t quite working – despite an abundance of flowering perennials – you might want to start there.

I resist any rules in gardening. After all, it is such a personal sport. But, something I have observed as a reliable guideline in my own gardens is this: perennial beds have greater impact if they are at least one-third filled with shrubs. And, shrubs can produce berries and flowers, too.

If you want to introduce some new shrubs to your beds, consider my short list, below. In our neck of the woods, deciduous shrubs only have impact six months of the year – so don’t be surprised that so many of my favorites are evergreens. You can’t lose with my short list. I promise ...   >> read article

Jack and His Woodland Friends
by Barbara Rothenberger - April 2014

One of the more delightful plants to make its blooming appearance in April through June is Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). Statewide it is generally found in rich wooded areas. Its usual height is around 18 inches, but it can be as tall as 2½ feet. Flowers are very small and on a spadix, which is covered by a canopy-like spathe. The most common color is striped, but Jack can also be green. It will produce red berries that birds will often eat. Soil preference is organic and moist. Light shade is best earlier in the growing season ...   >> read article

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