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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #138 --- Quebec was fabulous and now for the Crab Apples.
August 26, 2013
Quebec City was an amazing week of learning and garden touring and reconnecting with old friends. Coming home to a garden needing attention and a list of other chores and responsibilities has been a bit exhausting. It has also delayed this issue of Dallying by couple of days. We will strive to get back to Friday publishing by the end of this week. Let me first rave about the delights of Quebec City as a tourist destination, especially for those of us with a passion for gardening. You can see a bit about the city’s own gardens at the above link. There are, of course, three levels of government each trying to beautify their particular parts of this historic site. We also went on more than a few garden visits to a wonderful selection of public and private gardens that I will tell you about, over the next few weeks. The Assistant Gardener came down and joined me for a few days and we spent one whole day after the symposium just being tourists and exploring the many historic sites, restaurants and the occasional, local designer’s clothing shops. As we toured the city enjoying its delights we were truly impressed by the ever present plantings and realized that we had never visited in the summer before. It has always been a ski destination and as gardeners we had missed so much of its charm. Go and enjoy!
Time to answer a few questions. If you have a gardening question just ‘reply’ to this newsletter and send me your query. I try to answer most of the questions and the ones that I answer here are those that I think will have the widest interest. You can also find the latest garden updates on the front page of gardening-enjoyed.com. I try to change it every few days so check back often.
Spencer Asks? I have a question for you. My potato plants grew tall and while I was hilling them as they grew, I guess I couldn't keep up as the plants have fallen over from being top-heavy. If I just leave them like that will it impact the development of the potatoes? Also, you mentioned in one of your write-ups that potatoes can be harvested when the tops of the plants begin to fade - what exactly does that mean?
Ken Answers! Most potatoes will flop over from their own weight and that is normal and will not affect your yield, it just takes more of your garden space. Start to harvest when the plants fade, ie. the leaves start to turn yellow and brown as they complete their life cycle.
Ann Asks! I have a peach tree that probably was started from a peach pit. It is quite large, and loaded with fruit. But they look like small plums and haven't gotten larger. They are still green, as well. It's neighbouring , named variety peach tree also has branches bending with fruit. Those fruits are not as small and are colouring up. Any idea what is happening?
Ken Answers! My best guess would be that the seedling tree has reverted back to the original peach and is not giving you the results of the years of breeding that the named variety is.
Bernice Asks? I have a Rose of Sharon just beside my deck. It has grown very tall and despite some pruning has overwhelmed my small townhouse garden. It is full of bumblebees and wasps. The wasps have become a real problem now so I cannot sit outside, and taking food or drink out there would be suicidal. Once is stops blooming, do I cut it right back, or take it right out? When it was 'new'ish it was delightful with its double blue/pink blooms. Now it's 7-8 ft tall and about as wide.
Ken Answers! If you want to dig it out and get rid of it then it doesn’t really matter when you attack. Pruning it does need to be done about now, after it finishes flowering. That will allow it to grow in the spring and produce new flower buds on that new growth.
Margaret Asks? Hi Ken, I have a problem with my Zucchinis. Lots of vines and flowers but no zucs! This also happened last year. What am I doing wrong?
111 Trent St. W.
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