July 18, 2003

2003 Home Demonstration Gardens Schedule Changes

Last week's issue contained an article and schedule for the ISU Extension Home Demonstration Garden Field Days. Please note that there are several changes.

The correct date for the Northwest Garden at Doon is August 19 at 6:30 p.m. The Nashua Northeast Garden location has been added to the schedule. It will be August 23 at 4:00 p.m. Another date change is the McNay Garden at Chariton, which will be August 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Please refer the the schedule below for more information.

Tips for Longer Lasting Garden Bouquets

Everyone loves a beautiful bouquet on the dining table. Bouquets made from plants in our gardens are twice as nice. However, we often wish it would last longer. Make your wish a reality by picking and preparing the flowers properly. The life of cut flowers can be extended by up to 75% by following four steps.

Powdery Mildew on Phlox

Powdery mildew is a well-known nuisance on phlox. The fungus causes an unsightly powdery gray coating on the leaves. The disease tends to start on the lower leaves and work upward. By the end of the summer, lower leaves are usually wilted and dead, and the upper leaves are coated with the fungus.

In addition to detracting from the beauty of this popular flowering plant, the powdery mildew fungus also weakens phlox plants. The fungus has specialized structures that penetrate leaf tissue and absorb nutrients. The overall vigor of the plants is reduced.

Squash and the Squash Vine Borer

This is the time of year that squash vines may be looking great. However, beware of the squash vine borer. The runners or entire plant will suddenly wilt due to the presence of squash vine borer larvae in stems and leaf stalks. Masses of coarse, yellow-green excrement or frass are pushed from the holes in the base of stalks. The moths (adult stage) may be seen flying around the base of the plants during the day and are wasp-like with metallic copper-green forewings, and an orange and black abdomen.