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3rd Annual Big Zucchini Contest:

Back by popular demand, our Big Zucchini Contest will take place August 15th. Bring in your homegrown zucchini for judging between 9:00 am and noon. Zucchini must be grown in Teton County Idaho or Wyoming. Contest is free to enter and fun for all ages.  The winner gets bragging rights and a $50 MD gift card.

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6 Plants for Late Summer Delight

Some of our favorite flowers like columbine, peonies and lupine are finished blooming for the season. While these popular perennials are no longer in their prime, we still have many weeks left in our growing season. Keep the colors going in your garden with these late season bloomers:

ROSES:
While many people may think of roses as fussy and delicate, there are several hardy varieties like Morden roses, Adelaide Hoodless and Nearly Wild that will bloom continually through the summer.

YARROW:
We love the colorful choices of this super tough plant. Available in sunset colors, pinks and white, yarrow is also deer and vole resistant.

ECHINACEA:
Also known as coneflower, Echinacea is typically purple or white, but newer varieties of orange and yellow are beginning to become popular. Echinacea is an excellent cut flower and attracts butterflies.

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES:
August is the time ornamental grasses really start to shine. Their seed heads shimmer in the golden sunlight and the gentle sway of their stems add a magical element to any landscape.  See our August 2014 newsletter for more info.

SEDUM:
Sedums come in many forms. Most begin to bloom late summer. Bloom colors vary from pink to yellow and white. Use sedums as ground covers, in rock gardens or try them in a container (see the following container recipe). Taller varieties like ‘autumn joy’ really pack a late season color punch, especially when planted in masses.

What bugs us: Spider Mites

Spider mites are common garden pests that feed on shrubs, trees, flowers, vegetables and even houseplants. These miniscule pests cause damage by bruising the plant’s tissues as they feed leading to mottled, brown foliage. Spider mites are difficult to see to the naked eye, but their presence can be detected by webbing on a plant and brown, mottled or dirty-looking foliage. To confirm the presence of spider mites, try holding a sheet of plain white paper below suspected plants.  Tap or flick the foliage above the paper. Using a magnifying glass or the naked eye, watch for any tiny specs that move. These are mites.  Outbreaks occur under dry conditions and can seriously injure or kill a plant.  There are a few ways to control spider mites:

  • Hosing: A strong jet of water can destroy webbing, knock down and kill spider mites.
  • Beneficial Insects: Ladybugs, sold commercially, can also be released under mite-infested plants to feed on mites.

Avoiding strong insecticides such as those containing sevin, malathion and imidacloprid that kill mite’s natural enemies will actually help avoid mite infestations.

  • Sulfur:  This is often sold as a multipurpose spray such as Safer™ Brand 3 in 1 Garden Spray. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Horticultural Oil: This is possibly the best control available for the home gardener. The oil suffocates the eggs and the adults. Always follow the directions on the label.

Maintaining healthy plants will also help avoid mite infestations. Plants stressed by drought or lack of nutrients are prone to insect problems.

Try this: Sedum & Grass Container

This combination is very simple and is a great way to showcase a beautiful piece of pottery or an unusual container. It is also very low maintenance, requiring minimal watering and fertilizer.  Here’s how:

    • Select a container, making sure it has drainage holes in the bottom
    • Fill with high quality potting mix such as Fertilome™ ultimate potting mix
    • Choose a variety of sedums and ornamental grasses. Play around with a combination of heights, leaf colors and textures. Be creative and have fun! Choose a taller grass for the center or back third of the planter. Fill in with medium and low growing varieties, saving the lowest varieties for the edge of the planter.  Plan on using about 3- 4 inch plants per 12 inch diameter container.
    • Place in full sun and water thoroughly. Check water every few days and water only when potting soil feels completely dry.

Recipes from the Garden: Erin’s Grilled Zucchini and Feta salad

This simple side dish comes together quickly and is a great way to feature August’s bountiful zucchini.

      • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, summer squash or a combination. (about 3 pounds total)
      • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
      • Zest of ½ lemon
      • 1/3 Cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
      • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
      •  ¼ cup minced fresh herbs such as mint, oregano, parsley or chives, any combination
      • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare grill and preheat to medium high. Cut the zucchini into 1 inch rounds. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill zucchini rounds until slightly charred on each side and it begins to soften, about 6-8 minutes total. Remove from grill, cut into bite-sized chunks and place in a shallow serving bowl. Combine lemon juice, zest and oil and toss with warm zucchini chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with feta and fresh herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Our Favorite Things:

Stay cool and comfy this month with our favorite outdoor living accessories:

      • Sun Hats for women, kids and men
      • Coolaroo™ Shade Sails
      • Picnic Time™ folding pool loungers and chairs
      • Zinger™ water bottles
      • A Tree! Yes, you can plant a tree in August. We like maples and ash trees for instant shade in your yard.
      • Acrylic drink ware

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