Dividing Hostas

Division should be done when shoots have quit growing at the center of a mature clump. This will greatly improve the plant’s appearance. Lift the entire clump and rinse excess soil from the roots. This will make it easier to see where each cut should be made. Use a sharp knife to make the divisions. Each division should have at least 2-3 eyes. Spring is the easiest time to divide Hostas because new shoots are only a few inches high and …

Dividing Daylilies

Plants usually bloom better if you divide clumps every 3 to 4 years. Lift the entire clump using a garden fork in early spring through mid-fall. The best time is after they have finished flowering. Start by placing the fork in the ground 6 to 12 inches away from the base of the plant. Gently push down on the handle to pry the clump up and out of the soil. Work around the root ball repeating this process until the …

Poison Ivy

The single most common cause of allergic reaction in the United States is that of Poison Ivy.  In the Midwest it grows as a crawling or climbing vine.  In the far Northern and Western areas of the U.S. and Canada, it grows as a shrub. All parts of the plant can cause severe skin inflammation, itching, and blisters. The roots, stems, leaves, berries and flowers are all toxic; producing a volatile oil called urushiol.  It is rendered inactive by water; …

Health Benefits of Plants

We’ve known for years that plants are beneficial in producing oxygen. Research has now found that plants also produce many other health benefits. Studies show that plants and flowers in the home or office increase our sense of happiness and well-being. This in turn contributes to a calmer more optimistic state of mind. Studies show that hospital patients with a garden view recover more quickly than looking at the walls or into hallways. When we are calm or relaxed we …

Flowers and Their Meanings

There is a language, little known, Lovers claim it as their own. Its symbols smile upon the land, Wrought by Nature’s wondrous hand; And in their silent beauty speak, Of life and joy, to those who seek For Love Divine and sunny hours In the language of the flowers. ~J.S.H. “The Language of Flowers”, London, 1875 Amaranth – Immortality, everlasting love Ambrosia – Love Returned Angelica – Herb of the Angels Apple Blossom – Preference Artemisia – Everlasting Basil – …

Treating for Japanese Beetles (Popilia japonica)

Have you noticed 1/2” long, shiny, metallic green beetles in your garden? Is your plant foliage becoming lacy? Chances are your garden is infested with Japanese beetles. These insects are most commonly found in the eastern half of the United States. Their infestations seem to be cyclic. After suffering a year of severe damage we sometimes go several years with minimal problems. These beetles attack over 250 different kinds of plants. Therefore, a large number of gardeners are at risk …

Home Remedies – Insects

USDA Recommends Soap and Oil for Insect Control : Household liquid detergents and cooking oils are being recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as low-cost, effective killers of garden pests. USDA scientists recommend using 1 tablespoon of detergent and 1 cup of oil – either peanut, safflower, corn, soybean, or sunflower.  When ready to use, mix 1 to 2 ½ tsp of the prepared solution to one cup of water. The detergent-oil mix has been used successfully on eggplants, carrots, …

Hummingbird Favorites

A = Annual      B = Biennial     P = Perennial Vines: Honeysuckle (P), Trumpet (P), Morning Glory (A), Scarlet Runner Bean (A), Trumpet Creeper (P), Cardinal Climber (A), Clematis (P), Weigela (P), Mandevilla A), Mina lobata (firecracker vine) (A) Shrubs: Glossy Abelia (P), Azalea – All (P), Beauty Bush (P), Butterfly Bush – Buddleia (A), Coralberry (P), Flowering Currant (P), Tatarian Honeysuckle (P), & Yellow Honeysuckle (L. flava), Flowering Quince (P), Rose of Sharon (P), Lilac (P), …

House Plants – Moving them Outdoors for the Summer

When summer finally gets here we often get the itch to move our indoor plants outdoors.  If you do, don’t forget they will all need to come back in for winter.  All this moving can be confusing to the plant and hard work for you.  Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. Do all plants need to go outdoors for the summer?  No, but almost all plants will benefit from a few months of fresh air, frequent showers and …

Papa Joe’s Herb Chart

Herb Name Hardiness Uses Light Needs Water Needs Spacing Light Shade Sun Avg. Moist Dry Basil – ‘Aristotle’ Annual Pesto – Use fresh in Soups, Sauces, Fish, Meat dishes . ***** ***** 24″ Basil – ‘Boxwood’ Annual Pesto, Tomato  dishes, and Salads, as well as ornamental.  Tight mounds of small leaves resembling boxwood. ***** ***** 24″ Basil – ‘Genovese’ Annual Pesto – Use fresh in Soups, Sauces, Fish, Meat dishes . ***** ***** 24″ Basil – ‘Mammoth’ Annual Pesto – …