July 14, 2000


While hostas are terrific plants for shady locations, a number of other perennials are wonderful additions to the shade garden. One of the best perennials for shade is astilbe, or false spirea. Astilbes have beautiful spike-like clusters of flowers that sway gracefully in the wind. Flower colors include white, pink, red, and reddish purple. The flowers are borne on stiff, upright or arching stems. Astilbe foliage varies from dark green to bronze. The astilbe's combination of colorful flowers and attractive foliage make it a perfect complement to the bold coarseness of hostas.

Harvesting and Storing Tree Fruit

In order to obtain the highest quality fruit, apples, apricots, peaches, pears, and plums must be harvested at the proper stage of maturity. Once harvested, proper storage is necessary to maximize storage life.


Harvest apples when the fruit are mature. There are several indicators of apple maturity. Mature apples are firm, crisp, juicy, well-colored, and good flavored. Fruit harvested too early are astringent, sour, starchy, and poorly favored. Apples harvest too late are soft and mealy.

Red Thread on Turfgrass

Photos of red thread can be viewed at the Plant Disease Clinic website under "Plant Diseases".

Slime Mold on Turfgrass

Photos of slime mold can be viewed at the Plant Disease Clinic website under "Plant Diseases".

The presence of slime mold on turfgrass is more of a curiosity than a problem. Slime molds are primitive organisms that are considered fungi. They feed on decaying organic manner and other organisms in the thatch layer and soil.