Tuesday’s Tips — Grab Bag

Barbara: I’ve been running around all day doing errands — I HATE doing errands. I kept feeling like something was missing, like I was forgetting something. What could it be…?

Tuesday!! OMG! It’s near the end of the day and this day is Tuesday! Ding, ding, ding!

Here are your tips — a miscellaneous trio. A little late, but it’s still Tuesday.

Banana Peels for Roses

Mary Beth swears by this tip – bury a chopped up banana peel next to each of your rose bushes and they will be happier and healthier. It makes a lot of sense. Bananas are naturally high in potassium and phosphorus. Plants need these macronutrients for fruit, flower, and root formation. Put the extras in your compost. Free fertilizer!

Geranium Budworms

Those nasty budworms make little holes in your geranium buds and eat the flowers before they blossom. They also munch geranium leaves and petunias and generally make a frassy, raggedy mess out of your plants. According to Pat Welsh, in Southern California the night-flying moth that is the parent of the budworm usually lays her eggs with the first full moon in April.

Phenology again! Although the April full moon is a marker, the timing most likely has more to do with the temperature. If you’re not in SoCal, you can probably figure out which full moon applies to you by using the average nighttime temperatures in our area which in April are in the high 40’s to low 50’s. So that means that you would spray one day before whichever full moon occurred in a month when the nighttime temperature was consistently in the high 40’s to low 50s.

So get out your BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) and spray or dust your zonal geraniums the day before the full moon, which would be tomorrow in Southern California. Repeat for three or four days. This should keep the little buggers from destroying your flowers. Do the same next month at the full moon and you should have a lot less damage from these worms.

Watering Your Potted Plants

When you’re watering your potted plants be sure you water until it runs out the bottom. This will ensure that salts in the water don’t build up in the soil and it will encourage the plants roots to grow all the way down into the soil.

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