Your National Gardening Association weekly news for June 17, 2017

June 19 - 25 is Pollinator Week!

All week we will be telling gardeners about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. We want to see a million pollinator gardens established across North America. Visit this webpage for more information and to participate.

Recently popular question and answer from our Q&A Archive: Dropping leaves on river birch
"I have several river birch trees planted near each other. Each year about this time they start dropping leaves and this continues until fall. The leaves make a mess of the yard all summer. I've tried to research what the problem might be, but there seem to be a number of potential reasons. How can I determine the cause and then know how to treat the cause? Thank you." - Click to read the answer

Articles you may enjoy:

Gardening for Children- Growing Vegetables from Seed

"These kid-friendly vegetables provide an inexpensive gardening opportunity that produces results with little effort. Your child will fall in love with growing their own plants, learn about how plants grow, and all about the process of producing the food they eat from seed to harvest."

Best Herbs for Indoor Growing

"In recent years, many new varieties of herbs have been introduced, some of which do better indoors than the traditional varieties. Here are 10 herbs notable for their consistent, compact growth habit and strong flavor."

Plant Milkweed to Help Monarch Butterflies

"Monarch butterflies are amazing creatures. These strikingly colored, orange, white, and black butterflies migrate up to three thousand miles every year to spend the winter roosting in large groups in mild winter areas of Mexico and California. Unfortunately, they are also in deep trouble. Over the past twenty years, the number of monarchs has dropped precipitously due in large part to loss of habitat."

Here's to Rose of Sharon

"I first noticed the hardy shrub called rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) while traveling one midsummer across the southern plains. I saw it over and over again, blooming bravely in dooryard gardens despite the sizzling heat"

Gardening for Butterflies

"Gardening for butterflies is a suspenseful art, a bit like holding a picnic and wondering if your invited guests will show up. It's because butterflies are choosy insects. Any"

Squash Bug

"Squash bugs are found throughout the United States. Adult bugs are flat-backed, brown, about 1/2 inch long; the immature nymphs are shaped like adults but are whitish with black legs."

The Cole Crop Family

"Gardeners often group broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi together as "cole crops". Cole is the German word for cabbage, hence the term "cole slaw". Cole crops are hardy and grow best in cool weather. An easy way to remember this is to think how much "cole" sounds like "cold" or "cool"."

Gardening Ideas from other NGA Members:

Recycling lamps ...Part 2

By Suga
June 16, 2017
Recycling lamps ...Part 2

Recycling floor lamps that don't work anymore ...... They make great planters (90 words - Read the full article)

Kill Virginia Creeper...not quite organically

By greene
June 15, 2017
Kill Virginia Creeper...not quite organically

Not long ago NGA member WARYR1 posted a query in the Ask A Question Forum. "What is an organic way to get rid of Virginia Creeper?" The question received many excellent replies; to date there are 23 replies - one suggestion involved pouring herbicide into a trash can and stuffing the vines into the can - the purpose of that method was to contain the herbicide and reduce risk of damage to desirable plants. (829 words - Read the full article)

Non toxic, recycled wasp (yellow jacket) traps

By UndertheSun
June 14, 2017
Non toxic, recycled wasp (yellow jacket) traps

How to create a wasp trap using empty water bottles. The idea behind it is, the wasps grab a bite to eat, then fall into the soapy water. (374 words - Read the full article)

Strawberry Fields Forever

By Suga
June 13, 2017
Strawberry Fields Forever

Paint "strawberries" from walnuts! (156 words - Read the full article)

Hail yes!

By Charlemagne
June 12, 2017
Hail yes!

Many of us have daylilies that we leave to the fickle fate that Mom Nature provides and we deal with whatever the outcome is. Sometimes Mom gives us hail. (171 words - Read the full article)

Tomato plants for free

By Englishgardener
June 11, 2017
Tomato plants for free

We were all taught to remove the lateral shoots when growing Tomato plants. This is the shoot that appears in the axis between the stem and leaf, also known as Axial shoot, suckers etc. The removal of these shoots would enable the plant to put all of it's energy into fruit production. We were advised to pick out and discard but not anymore!!!! (80 words - Read the full article)

Hosta Light Requirement Tidbits

By Hostalady
June 10, 2017
Hosta Light Requirement Tidbits

Hosta light / sun requirement tidbits (with examples) gleaned from my experience. (243 words - Read the full article)

The most popular images last week from our plant database:

Photo of Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Edith Wolford')
By dirtdorphins:

Photo of Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Little Raven')
By Lilydaydreamer:

Photo of Rose (Rosa 'The Poet's Wife')
By csandt:

Photo of Rose (Rosa 'Abraham Darby')
By evermorelawnless:

Photo of Yellow Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava)
By p3bog:

Photo of Pig's Ear (Cotyledon orbiculata)
By Baja_Costero:

Photo of Border Bearded Iris (Iris 'Lady of the Night')
By Orsola:

Photo of Rollers (Sempervivum globiferum subsp. hirtum 'Hedgehog')
By Patty:

Photo of Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Harriet')
By springcolor:

Photo of Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
By p3bog:

The most popular Landscape Photos from last week:

Click an image to view the names of the plants in each photo.

Photo by LarryR:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by TexasPlumeria87:
Photo by ge1836:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by ge1836:
Photo by Runswithscissors:

Noteworthy acorn tips given this week:

15 people gave for post #1469838 in "Banner for June 10, 2017 by krobra" by krobra

7 people gave for a photo of Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Edith Wolford') by dirtdorphins

6 people gave for post #1473584 in "Banner for June 14, 2017 by parttimegardener" by parttimegardener

5 people gave for post #1471689 in "Banner for June 12, 2017 by evermorelawnless" by evermorelawnless

5 people gave for the Landscape Photo #6351 by LarryR

4 people gave for post #1471573 in "Some roses in Utah gardens................" by Paul2032

4 people gave for a photo of Rose (Rosa 'Strawberry Hill') by JanneA

4 people gave for post #1470739 in "Banner for June 11, 2017 by rocklady" by rocklady

4 people gave for the idea "Tomato plants for free" by Englishgardener

3 people gave for the idea "Strawberry Fields Forever" by Suga

The most active threads this week:

Subject OP Area Replies
June 19 - 25 is Pollinator WeekdaveSite Talk forum42
ID Help, Please...wcgypsyPlant ID forum29
The wrong vegetable? Really weird...KerpowAsk a Question forum26
Open to ALL suggestions. Let's hear!!!kay_peaAsk a Question forum23
Weed killer in compost pileTK66Ask a Question forum23
Banner for June 14, 2017 by parttimegardenerparttimegardenerSite Banners forum17
Time to kill off those unwanted peonies!frankrichards16Peonies forum17
Assorted Newbee questionsMariposaMaidSempervivum and Jovibarba forum17
Mystery shrubMuddy1Plant ID forum17

Check out these numbers from last week: