Western Mountains and High Plains
Clever Gardening Technique
Powdery Mildew Control
Now is the season for powdery mildew on lilacs, Virginia creeper, apples, and other plants. Though it is late in the season, you can use this homemade remedy to halt the spread of mildew. Mix two tablespoons of oil soap and one tablespoon baking soda into one gallon of water. Apply with a pressure tank sprayer to infected plants. Repeat every five to seven days until the foliage begins to drop.
Favorite or New Plant
One of my favorite small trees is the Russian hawthorn (Crataegus ambigua). Growing 12 to 24 feet tall, it has dark green, deeply cut foliage that transforms to yellow in autumn. This tree has a spreading habit and produces fragrant white flowers in spring, followed by red fruits that persist into winter and are beloved by birds. Russian hawthorn is hardy in zones 4-9 and once established, is drought tolerant and suited to a xeric garden. As an added bonus, deer don't bother this tree.