Butterflies and Vegetable Gardening

Newsletter 19 – Thursday, July 22, 2010

In the garden my soul is sunshine

40% OFF
Perennials, Trees & Shrubs

Buy One Get One Free
on Summer Annuals, Herbs & Water Plants
Does not include Fall Annuals – Fall Mums, Fall Asters, etc.

You won’t want to miss out on this. Hurry on in and get first choice of our remaining stock of perennials, trees and shrubs. The heavy rains and warmer-than-normal temperatures have been hard on everyone’s gardens. Now is the time to replace your bedraggled annuals, refresh your perennial beds, and plant shrubs for all-season interest. Cheer up your home with a colorful hanging plant or mixed container, pot up an herb planter for your kitchen and make several more for gifts. At these prices, you really can’t go wrong!

Anything is good and useful if it’s made of chocolate

Italian Chocolate On Sale Now

Italian Chocolate Pottery

Chocolate is, well, chocolate. Whatever its form, almost everyone loves to indulge. A new line of pottery from River Market called the Italian Chocolate collection is a no calorie, fat-free way to enjoy chocolate in a rather unique form. To further entice you, we are offering them at a 50% savings beginning today. We invite you to stop out and check out these designer pots while supplies last.

He who plants a garden plants happiness

Vegetable Gardening Hints

This time of year, we get a lot of calls about problems in the vegetable garden. Last week we talked about blossom end rot, and if you need to refer to information on how to treat it, go to our website and click on 2010 newsletters week 18. Week 17 was about Japanese Beetles and 2 issues before we discussed Earwigs (eeeeeeww!)

Several vegetable and fruit problems we get asked about include:

Example of a cracked tomatoCracked fruits – When tomatoes crack open, the problem is usually that the plants are getting too much moisture and nutrients. Cut back on water and fertilizer and look for crack-resistant varieties in the future.

Old leaves with brown or black spots, black patches at stem end of tomatoes: Early blight is a common disease that disfigures old leaves and tomatoes. Remove the leaves as soon as you see spots form, this may prevent it from spreading to the rest of the plant. Spreading mulch over the soil and keeping the leaves dry can also be effective preventive measures. Spraying with Fung-onil can help too, but only if you spray before the disease takes hold.

Old leaves with pale green spots that look water-soaked – This is late blight. Once again, remove and destroy infected leaves as soon as the spots begin to form. Prevention is key with all blights. Use mulch, keep leaves dry and spray with Fung-onil or Bonide’s organic product, Tomato and Vegetable 3-in-1 before the disease gets established. There are many varieties of tomatoes which have been bred to be resistant to blights. If you have had a problem in the past, be sure to ask us to help you choose varieties next spring. Also rotation of the location of tomatoes within your garden is important.

Large green caterpillars eating the foliage
Tomato Horn WormCaptain Jack's Deadbug SprayTomato Horn Worm

Tomato hornworms don’t get four inches long by being dainty eaters. One worm can eat your tomato plant quickly. If you’re not squeamish, an organic option is to either squash them or drop (or knock) the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water. Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew, an organic product containing Spinosad, is an easier and very effective way to keep these creatures at bay.

Example of powdery mildew on a tomato leafPowdery Mildew – is caused by a fungus that appears as a white powder on stems and leaves. Squash, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vegetables can be affected. It first attacks the vines and lower surfaces of leaves. The leaves begin to die, which affects fruit development. Powdery mildew is at its worst from late July through early September. Prevention is easier than the cure, and would include avoiding over-shading, over-crowding, and poor air circulation. You’ll want to spray with Fung-onil for prevention and/or treatment. For organic gardening we also have Bonide’s Tomato and Vegetable a 3-in-1 product that is an insecticide, fungicide and miticide and can be used up to the day of harvest.

For thee the earth puts forth sweet flowers

Coneflowers, One of the Sweetest
Butterfly Magnets

coneflower with butterfly

Birds and butterflies, color and long season blooms, what more can you want? You might think such a great plant would be difficult to grow, but Purple coneflowers and their brighter cousins are just what you need. Echinacea (ek-in-ay-see-ah) have few requirements, mainly good drainage and sun, but the purple ones will tolerate light shade. They grow in average soil just fine, but will perform well in poor or rich soil and are quite drought resistant when established.

At America’s Best Flowers we have several varieties of coneflowers that are sure to brighten your perennials beds.

"Magnus" is the original purple-pink, a perfect backdrop for all the new exciting shades. "Flamethrower" has a scarlet cone and yellow-orange petals. "Firebird" is a shorter red cousin. "Coral Reef" sports a big mounded center and stunning bright petals that droop slightly. "Pink Poodle" lives up to its name with a fluffy pink flower. "Green Eyes" immense flat cone has a green center surrounded by dark magenta ray petals.

Surround these fail-proof bloomers with coreopsis, yarrow, Black-eyed Susan and daylilies. Make room for one of the new Butterfly bushes– "Miss Ruby" or "Lo & Behold Blue Chip" and watch butterflies flock to your garden by the thousands!

A little garden in which to walk, an immensity in which to dream


Here’s a great link for all you Wisconsinites who are looking for interesting summer daytrips and events around the state: www.travelwisconsin.com. They currently have information on upcoming art fairs, microbrewery tours, and some great ideas if you want to spend some time on the water.

A dedicated gardener dwells within

If you missed Dollar Days last week, mark your calendar for September 11-19th. It’s a great time to get bulbs, fall mums and all our beautiful autumn decorating items. Or hang on to your bucks until next year—they never expire.

Friends are flowers in the garden of life

Find us on Facebook

Our fan club is growing. Please become a fan on Facebook, and invite your friends. Help us get one thousand fans and surprises will await you when you visit our page.

A garden is a friend you can visit anytime

Upcoming Events

Sat, Aug 14
IRIS Divide and Swap

Starts at 10 AM. Bring a clump of Iris to divide and swap with others! Bring a knife, a sharpie pen and plastic bags.

Sat, Sep 18
Art in the Garden

9 AM – 4 PM Local artisans and crafters will be displaying and selling their merchandise

“Lately I find myself forgetting little things.
I think I may have Micronesia.”

Michael Cunningham

Bonnie’s Kitchen

Another super-easy casserole from Pillsbury. Both kids and adults should like it. Pieces of biscuit dough bake right in with taco-seasoned ground beef.

Mexican Bubble Pizza

Serves 8

Mexican Bubble Pizza

  • 1½ lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 can (10 ¾) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can (16.3) Pillsbury Grands® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can (2 ¼ oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 container (8 oz) sour cream
  • 3 green onions, sliced

Heat oven to 375°. In 10” skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain. Add taco seasoning mix, water, and soup. Mix well. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Add pieces to beef mixture; stir gently. Spoon mixture into an ungreased 13X9” pan.

Bake 18-23 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly.

To serve, cut pizza into 8 squares. Top each serving with remaining ingredients.

“Kitchen Wizard”
My friend’s husband is always telling her that housekeeping would be a snap if only she would organize her time better.
Recently he had a chance to put his theory into practice while his wife was away.
When I popped in one evening to see how he was managing, he crowed,
“I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath.”
I was about to concede that perhaps he was a better manager than his wife,
when he added sheepishly, “When I was making the chocolate frosting,
I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl,
so I had to do all the rest.”

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627