Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

June, 2014
Regional Report

Web Finds

Tomato Staking Techniques Evaluation
The key to growing good tomatoes is to trellis, cage, or otherwise support them. If you don't, fruit-laden branches are likely to break and fruit touching the ground is prone to rot. There are many ways to support tomatoes, however. Which method is best for you? Tomato Staking Techniques Evaluation from the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County shows several different ways to support tomatoes, including advantages, disadvantages, and comparative costs. Click on photos to see larger version.

Favorite or New Plant

Coneflowers
Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) are growing in popularity as people discover the plants' beauty, hardiness, and adaptability. Intense breeding efforts have yielded flowers in a range of colors, including various shades of purple, red, orange, yellow, and white. Look for Orange Meadowbrite, Ruby Giant, Fragrant Angel, and the Big Sky Series, including Summer Sky, Sunrise, Twilight, and Sundown. Check out Double Decker coneflower, too. The flowers sprout an extra set of petals above the cone as though another flower has perched there. And Tennessee coneflowers (E. tennesseensis) flowers have petals that curve upward for a completely different look. Plant a combination of coneflowers and you'll see why they're so popular.

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