Horticulture Report: Kinnikinnick

Plant Name:  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi100_7668F.JPG
Common Name: Kinnikinnick, Red Bearberry
Plant type: Ground cover
Height:   6-12 Inches
Spread: Trailing to 15 Feet
Bloom Time: May -June
Flower Color: White tinged with Pink,  Urn-shaped and Waxy
Exposure:  Sun to Part Shade
Soil Requirements: Rocky or Sandy, Acid Soil.  Soil should not be compacted around the plants and plants should not be fertilized.
Water Needs: Low
Attributes: Firewise Pant, Evergreen, Drought-Tolerant , Cold and Heat tolerant, Fall Color,  Mat-Forming Low Shrub,  Pollen is beneficial to Native Bees, Hummingbirds & Butterflies.  Red Fall Berries are favored by birds and wildlife.
Native Habitat: Rocky, open woods; dry, sandy hills; mountainous regions
Uses: Ground Cover, Rock Gardens, Erosion Control, Footpath control.
USDA Zone:  2-6

Garden of the Month: August 2016

1156 Oak Street

When Ben Gault purchased the cottage at 1156 Oak Street in 1971, the gorgeous willow tree that now graces the front of the property was a volunteer sapling. But it wasn’t until 1979, when wife Leslie joined the household, that the garden began to take shape. She took Master Gardener training in 1981 and that’s when things really took off. Landscape Designer John Stadelman advised in the earliest stage of the garden’s development. Gardening the property is a labor of love for Leslie, and she spends a lot of time working on it.Oak Street 1

The Gaults use only organic products. Ben mows the grass, and waters — very deeply — only once a week. Leslie does almost all of the rest of the work, with occasional help from Ricardo Sabino. The property, of slightly more than an acre, stretches to Bear Creek. There is a barn, small pool, and tiny lily pond in back. Much of the back is open field.

Oak Street 2

Right now, asters and rudbeckia dominate the landscape. In the Spring, it was daffodils. Leslie has planted 82 roses throughout the property over the years, including Cecile Bruner and Sally Holmes — two among many favorites. Other than the willow, the largest trees are a wonderful spreading fruitless mulberry, and a couple of firs. Leslie more recently added a white Kousa dogwood to the center of the rose circle. In addition to rose circle she has named other planting areas throughout the yard, including fence border and long border.Oak Street 5

St. Johns Wort lines the street side of the property. A fabulous stand of purple poppies is just past the bloom stage near the house. Other plants in abundance include gaura, buddleja, clematis, daylilies, iris, verbena, daisies, and forsythia.

Oak Street 3With seating and shade, there are several places to relax and enjoy the garden. The Adirondack chairs remind Leslie of her youth on the East coast. The overall ambience is of a slower, quieter time.Oak Street 4

 

Submitted by: Ruth Sloan

Bee City: Ashland Food Bank

The Ashland Emergency Food Bank has Ashland’s first pollinator garden recognized by Bee City USA Ashland. It’s in bloom now at 560 Clover Lane. You can see it M-F,  9:00am-12:30, and get ideas for your own garden. Plant list is available.
Do you want to get your Ashland garden recognized? Visit the City’s website to learn more.
by: John Love

Composting Dos & Don’ts

Alternate layers of nitrogen-rich greens & carbon-rich browns.

Greens:

• Vegetable peelings
• Rotten fruit & Fruit Peelings
• Leaves & Grass ( green & dry)
• Coffee grounds &  Tea leaves
• Manure from vegetarian pets: rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, sheep, horses,cows, llamas, etc.

Browns:

• Dry leaves, grass and plant stalks
• Shredded newsprint (non-toxic inks only),
• Shredded Brown Paper bags,
• Unbleached paper towels, napkins, wet is okay, greasy no!
• Cardboard ( small pieces)
• Corncobs
• Straw
 
You can also add:
• Rinsed, crushed eggshells
• Pet hair, to help discourage rodents
• Dryer lint
• Wood ash

Tips:

• Select a level, partially-shaded spot for your bin with good water drainage. Be sure it is at least 8 in – 12 in away from walls, fences, bushes, doors and windows.
• Cut kitchen scraps up into smaller pieces – faster decomposition.
• Whenever you add any food layer, top it off with brown material. Keep a pile of dry browns near the bin to sprinkle on top each time you add kitchen scraps.
• The beneficial microorganisms in your pile need oxygen. If too compacted (like in a landfill), they produce methane as they decompose, which is a greenhouse gas. Leave lots of air space in your bin and mix the contents every week or two with an aerator tool, or an old broom handle.
• Collect dry leaves and grass in a separate, dry container. Then you can use them year-round.
• Compost is generally ready to use after two or three months but aging the pile another one to two months before putting it on lawns or garden will improve it.
 

DON’Ts:

WHY? They attract rodents & other pests and cause odor problems.
 
AVOID ADDING THESE TO YOUR COMPOST:
    • Grease, oils or fats.
    • Bread or bread products
    • Rice
    • Pastas
    • Salad dressings or sauces
    • Dairy products
    • Nuts or nut butters
    • Fish
    • Meat
    • Bones
    • Dog or cat feces, kitty litter, human waste – Meat-eating animals, including humans,  carry diseases, and kitty litter may contain chemicals.
    • Ash from barbecues or coal Contains harmful chemicals.
   • Weeds with mature seeds. When you spread the compost, you’ll spread those weeds, to your garden.
    • Treated wood products May contain harmful chemicals.
 

Troubleshooting:

SYMPTOM DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT
Compost is attracting pests: dogs, rodents, raccoons. Improper materials added. Use a pest-resistant bin.
Put kitchen scraps in the center of the pile and cover with soil.
 
Compost pile is wet and stinky, too much green material. Add brown material. Turn pile. Insufficient covering.
Put scraps at the center of the pile.
 
Pile is dry too much brown material. Not enough water.
Add fresh kitchen scraps. Moisten with water.
Cover pile to reduce evaporation.
 
Pile is cold Lack of nitrogen. Add green materials such as
grass clippings, kitchen scraps.
 
Compost is attracting flies. Food scraps are exposed. Cover green material with browns. Avoid adding grease, oils, meats, breads, etc (see checklist above). Cover food scraps with soil or brown material. Put kitchen scraps in the center of the pile.

DIY: Aphid Spray

Make your own insecticidal soap: Aphids attacking a rode bud and stopping it from opening

Mix 5 tablespoons of all-natural liquid soap with 1 gallon water. 

Using a hand sprayer apply soap mixture directly on the aphids. Wait an hour then spray the roses with a garden hose to remove any soap residue and the dead aphids.

Repeat as needed.