Outdoor Living Sale August 1-31st
- 10-50% off Outdoor Furniture and Fire Pits
- 20-40% off Perennials
Save a big zucchini from your garden for our 2nd annual Big Zucchini contest! Bring in your zucchini for judging between 9 and noon on August 16th. The winner gets bragging rights and $50 MD bucks!
Top 5 Ornamental Grasses for the Tetons.
The use of ornamental grasses has grown in popularity since Karl Foerster grass was named Perennial of the Year in 2001. Ornamental grasses are wonderful for adding height or structural interest to a perennial bed or to mix in with other trees and shrubs. Mass plantings of ornamental grasses help achieve a modern look and are now commonplace in commercial landscapes. These grasses can be added to any landscape. Besides vertical interest, the seed heads have a beautiful way of capturing late summer light and give off a radiant glow. The gentle movement of the seed heads in a breeze is enchanting. The color and texture of ornamental grasses complements many perennial combinations and makes a fine backdrop for other plants. Most pests find these grasses unpalatable, making them a great choice in areas where rodents or deer are a problem. Ornamental grasses prefer full sun and low to moderate moisture. The seed heads can be left standing for early winter interest until heavy snow breaks or buries them completely. Trim these grasses to the ground each spring and fertilize with an all purpose fertilizer for the best appearance.
‘Elijah’ Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca ‘elijah blue’): This is the shortest of the bunch. Blue- grey blades are especially pretty when paired with purple and blue flowers. Grows 6-10 inches tall and spreads 8-12 inches.
Feather Reed (Karl foerster) Grass (Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’): This is the tallest ornamental grass for this area growing to up 5 feet. Feathery plumes of wheat-colored seed heads make this a standout.
Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum): Sturdy, upright steel blue stems are topped with a fine, airy seed head. Grows 2-3’ and spreads 2-3’.
Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia): Narrow, soft, bright green blades grow into a 2 foot tall clump. Long stems of fluffy seed heads rise above. This one prefers moist soils.
Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon): Spiky, blue-grey foliage is topped with long, arching stems of seed heads. Blue Oat Grass pairs nicely with blue or purple flowers and plants with burgundy foliage. Grows into a large clump 2-4 feet tall and 18-24 inches wide.
How to save seeds
August is a great time to collect and save seeds from your flower garden. Seeds need to be fully mature to be viable for next year. Mature seeds will be dry and have an audible rattle within the pod when they’re ready. To save seeds, take out some scissors and collect seed pods. Poppies, penstemon, lupine and columbine are all easy to gather. The seeds will shake right out of the pods. For compound flowers like daisies and gaillardia, the seeds are ripe when they are brown, brittle and pull easily out of the center disk. Store seeds in an envelope or paper bag. Scatter your seeds somewhere new or save them to share with a friend.
In the Kitchen
In honor of our Big Zucchini contest, here is a recipe to complement all that zucchini! No time to bake? Freeze shredded zucchini in two cup portions to use at a later date.
Mom’s Orange- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread:
Makes 2 loaves
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 ¼ cups white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8×4 loaf pans. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Beat eggs, orange zest, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients and stir well. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
What bugs us: Aphids
Aphids are tiny pear-shaped insects that pierce a plant’s tissues to suck on its juices. Aphids can be green, brown, black or white. They are often found on the tender new growth of a plant hiding on the underside of leaves or on plant stems. Their feeding curls and distorts the leaves and flowers of plants. As aphids feed, they excrete a shiny residue know as honeydew. The honeydew has a high sugar content and is a big attractant for ants. Ants feed on the honeydew and will actually defend aphid colonies to protect their food source. Aphids usually attack flowers, vegetables and many other ornamental plants. In many cases, their feeding causes cosmetic damage to a plant, but won’t harm the plant. More valuable plants like vegetables and flowers may require more intervention. Here are a few methods to get rid of aphids:
- Keep plants healthy and stress-free. Stressed plants attract aphids. Proper planting, care and placement are keys to healthy plants.
- Knock down aphid populations with a strong jet of water.
- Introduce lady bugs to feed on aphids.
- Spray aphids with Insecticidal Soap. Remember to follow label directions.
Safer™ Insect Killing Soap is 40% off through August 31st
Product of the Month:
Ortho™ Home Defense Insect Killer: Keep earwigs, ants and other unwanted pests out of your home with Ortho™ Home Defense. This easy to use spray can be applied on non-porous surfaces like flooring, foundations and door thresholds. Spray a perimeter around your home to create a bug barrier. Home Defense can also be applied indoors. People and Pets may enter the treated area once it has dried. Always follow label instructions!
Ortho Home Defense 1 Gallon jugs 20% off through August 31st
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