This is a place for me to organize all the horticulture topics I study and write about. Everything from plant identification and pest control to garden center marketing and greenhouse production.
Since it spring I’ve been busy visiting my favorite garden centers to see what’s up and selling. We have had an exceptionally cold, rainy spring which is not unusual for the midwest. Very few days have hit 80 and nights have been especially cool. A couple late frosts sent customers back to the garden center for replacements and retail is ready with more! The cool nights have been especially hard on tropicals like coleus, tuberous begonias and hibsicus planted at the traditional end of May when the chance of frost is nil. Night temperatures hovering at 40 degrees, while not freezing, are enough to send some of these unacclimatized tropicals into a permanent meltdown. I watched my nighbors fuschia basket turn black overnight. I did have the fleeting thought a couple times to throw blankets over some tropicals on my deck but never did. At this point they are somewhat hardened off. They don’t look very good but a week of good ol hot and humid Wisconsin summer weather will perk em right up.
Pansies, diascia, nemesia and osteospermum are happy however and we have enjoyed our long cool season with them.
Mosquitoes of course are thriving and in full force with all the rain. We all had hopes that the exceptionally cold winter might have killed them off but no. It will be interesting to see what effect the hard winter had on Japanese beetle. I seemed to be developing a healthy population in my yard. I have a spring in one corner where the grass stays nice and green all summer. Last summer my son and I enjoyed digging out those fat grubs as thick around as your thumb and feeding them to the goldfish in our pond!