2017 Seed Sorting

The Ashland Garden Club’s Heirloom Gardeners met at North Mountain Park to sort, clean, and package seeds for Ashland Parks & Recreation’s annual seed swap to be held on February 2nd from 7-8 PM at North Mountain Park’s Nature Center. The seed swap is free and open to all ages.

Horticulture Report: Winter Flowers

Mid-Winter MadnessErica carnea…..Winter Heath

A dwarf evergreen shrub native to the European Alps which persist even under the snow. It often blooms at Christmas (“Winter Beauty”). Flowers are borne individually on the stem in masses of bell-shaped blossoms. Colors range from creamy white, rich pink, to deep ruby red (“ Ruby Glow”). Plant in well drained humus-rich soil. It needs partial shade in hotter areas. Prune yearly to prevent “legginess”.
Height 12-18”, spreading to 3 feet, so give it room.  USDA Hardiness Zone: 2 to 10

“They are adorable, these clumps of winter heather. Actually they seem to welcome the snow, for it enhances their sweet complexions.” Beverley Nichols, Down the Garden Path

Horticulture Report: Firepower Nandina

Plant Name: Nandina domesticanadina-firepower
Common Name:  Dwarf Heavenly bamboo
Cultivar: Firepower
Plant type: Evergreen Shrub
Height:   24 inches
Spread:  24  inches
Bloom Time: NonePrized for lime green leaves &  brilliant red fall color.
Exposure:  Full sun
Soil Requirements: rich, humus, well drained, acid soil.
Water Needs: 1st growing season water weekly until established, more in extreme heat.  Once established water deeply, but less frequent.
Attributes: Vibrant Fall Color,  Firewise Plant, Waterwise Plant, disease resistant,  hardy.
Uses: Urban Garden, Woodland Garden, Asian/Zen Garden, Borders, Containers, Mass plantings, Groundcover.
Note:  Firepower Nandina does not produce berries.
USDA Zone: 6-11

PEACH LEAF CURL

Taphrina deformans, commonly known as Peach Leaf Curl, is one of the most common plant disease problems experienced by backyard tree growers.  This leaf curl is a fungal disease, that affects both fruiting & ornamental peach trees, nectarine and almond trees.

Peach Leaf Curl appears on tree leaves about two weeks after leaf emergence in the spring. Symptoms include curling & puckering leaves, leaf discoloration of red, yellow, orange or even purple, and leaf drop-off.  This disease can spread rapidly to healthy leaves especially in a wet spring.  Peach Leaf Curl can defoliate a tree and its this loss of leaves stresses out the tree causing loss of fruit production, and has the potential to kill a tree if left unchecked.

The best defense growers have against peach leaf curl is to buy disease resistant varieties, so ask your nurseryman for disease resistant varieties for your area. The only way to prevent Peach leaf Curl is to control it with lime-sulfur or copper-based fungicides.  To treat, spray the tree in late December then again twice more with two-week intervals between sprayings.