Your National Gardening Association weekly news for June 24, 2017

June 19 through 25 was Pollinator Week! All this past week pollinators took over and we had a great time sharing pictures and encouraging each other to grow plants for pollinators.

Recently popular question and answer from our Q&A Archive: Spider Mites on Dwarf Alberta Spruce
"My Dwarf Alberta Spruces have brown needles and are defoliating. I have been treating them once every two weeks for spider mites with a pesticide I purchased from a local nursery. I have also been treating the soil with Miracid every two weeks. They are still withering away. What can be done to save these trees?" - Click to read the answer

Articles you may enjoy:

Edible Landscaping - How to: Start an Edible Garden with Your Child

"One of the joys of having an edible landscape and edible gardens is to share them with your children and grand children. When experienced gardeners look back at how and when they got started gardening, it often involved a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent taking them under their wing in the garden."

Growing Herbs Under Lights

"Even with a bright sunroom, sun-loving herbs will need 12 to 16 hours a day of supplemental light. You have two choices: fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID)."

Bee the Solution and Join the Pollinator Habitats

"Plant and Register Your Pollinator Garden Today!"

Join the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!

"The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. We will move millions of individuals, kids and families outdoors and make a connection between pollinators and the healthy food people eat."

Grow These Annuals to Attract Pollinators

"These annuals are easy to grow, look great in any garden, are easily found, and loved by pollinators of all kinds. Bees, birds, bugs, and butterflies all benefit from the list below. These beautiful flowers serve as host plants and/or as food for the pollinators."

Special Lighting of the Empire State Building to Promote Pollinators

"This morning in New York City, to help promote the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, the National Wildlife Federation and the Pollinator Partnership were present at the ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building. If you are in the New York area tonight at around 8:30pm, be sure to cast your gaze up and admire the yellow and black stripes on this landmark building!"

Gardening Ideas from other NGA Members:

Building Pergola type structures for your garden.

By Werepanda
June 23, 2017
Building Pergola type structures for your garden.

I thought I would share one way of building some type of pergola structure for use in your yards/garden. For this application, I'm making a swing out of an outdoor papasan chair for my wifes upcoming birthday. I have also used this same building technique for a large privacy panel near the fence. This is very adaptable to most projects, so follow along if you'd like. (1,712 words - Read the full article)

Love My Vinegar!!

By bloominholes2fill
June 22, 2017
Love My Vinegar!!

The majority of us are well aware that distilled white vinegar has more uses than we can fathom, right? After all, there are plenty of books written on the subject! Well, in the Summer of 2011, I discovered a new, genius (if I don't say so myself), use for distilled white vinegar that will save you a little more time for your backyard R&R!! So what is my, best-thing-since-sliced-bread-and-insect-screens new use for distilled white vinegar? (738 words - Read the full article)

Watering Tips and Tricks For Potted Plants -Revised-

By DaisyRyder
June 21, 2017
Watering Tips and Tricks For Potted Plants -Revised-

Spring is here. Which means summer is right around the corner. Last year our region suffered a record breaking drought. And in areas where water is limited, one has to get creative when it comes to keeping potted plants from drying out in the harsh winds and baking temperatures of the season. A little bit of planning ahead can save you time and water in the future. (1,076 words - Read the full article)

Simple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer Garden

By Dima
June 20, 2017
Simple DIY Handyman Projects for Your Summer Garden

Most DIY handymen spend a long winter of stacking on garden catalogues, the entire spring in bringing outdoor space to life, while the summer is finally the time you get to actually enjoy fruits of all handy work. Whether you use your garden as your private spot for relaxation, a playground for children, or the neighbourhood party venue, it is always refreshing to add various small to not-so-small home improvements that let you, your family, and your guests enjoy the warm summer days and breezy evenings. Here I’ve set up a list of simple handyman DIY projects every garden would really use in the hot summer months. (773 words - Read the full article)

Raised bed gardening

By punk_rock_garderner
June 19, 2017
Raised bed gardening

I live in zone 8, in WA and decided to use raised beds as my soil was very clay heavy and full of rocks. (162 words - Read the full article)

water gardens

By basilbe
June 18, 2017
water gardens

For a N.E. gardener, winter is certainly a time to plan, but I still like to enjoy my gardens and share that with others. The ground is frozen, but with clippings from perennials, herbs and common house plants, I make small arrangements that please me and often surprise guests. (97 words - Read the full article)

Portable composting and earthworms

By cwhitt
June 17, 2017
Portable composting and earthworms

Living in a condo, I don't have a lot of space, so I sometimes need to get creative with my gardening. I can't imagine a garden without compost, but did not have a large permanent place to place a compost pile. And so, I took a large black pot that had once held a tree, and started using it for composting. The idea worked very well-- with added benefits. I had placed the pot in my rose bed - earthworms quickly found their way up into the pot from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. They delighted in the constant supply of fresh kitchen and yard waste that I kept putting into the pot – especially my coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells. Soon, I had an entire nursery of baby wrigglers, and my kitchen/yard waste was rapidly composted and became full of earthworm castings. Then, I had another idea -- I had a rose bush that was not doing very well - so I moved my compost pot next to the rosebush during the rainy season - nutrients must have drained out of the bottom of the pot, and baby earthworms made their way back out of the bucket and into my rose bed. Soon I noticed a great improvement in the rose bush, and a definite increase in the number of earthworms. It seems that this was a win-win situation - I was breeding earthworms, composting, and improving my soil -- all at the same time! This summer my composting pot is moving again - I have another bed that needs some soil improvement and is lacking in earthworms -- what an easy way to improve my soil!

The most popular #PolliNATION photos posted last week in our plant database:

Photo of Lantana
By plantladylin:

Photo of Saltmarsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata)
By molanic:

Photo of Rocky Mountain Penstemon (Penstemon strictus)
By dirtdorphins:

Photo of Weeping Pussywillow (Salix caprea 'Pendula')
By dirtdorphins:

Photo of Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii 'Big Momma')
By Marilyn:

Photo of Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)
By dirtdorphins:

Photo of Salvia (Salvia canescens var. daghestanica)
By dirtdorphins:

Photo of Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
By molanic:

Photo of Knautia (Knautia macedonica)
By molanic:

Photo of Dahlias (Dahlia)
By jmorth:

The most popular Landscape Photos from last week:

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

Photo by sunnyvalley:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by sunnyvalley:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by sandnsea2:
Photo by Sheridragonfly:
Photo by LarryR:
Photo by LarryR:

Noteworthy acorn tips given this week:

6 people gave for post #1479193 in "Banner for June 20, 2017 by dirtdorphins" by dirtdorphins

6 people gave for the idea "Portable composting and earthworms" by cwhitt

5 people gave for the idea "Love My Vinegar!!" by bloominholes2fill

4 people gave for a photo of Saltmarsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata) by molanic

4 people gave for the idea "Building Pergola type structures for your garden." by Werepanda

3 people gave for a photo of Weeping Pussywillow (Salix caprea 'Pendula') by dirtdorphins

3 people gave for a photo of Rocky Mountain Penstemon (Penstemon strictus) by dirtdorphins

3 people gave for a photo of Monkey Hand Tree (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon) by HamiltonSquare

3 people gave for a photo of Marigold (Tagetes 'Citron') by joannakat

3 people gave for a photo of Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) by jmorth

The most active threads this week:

Subject OP Area Replies
OT ~ The Porch Swing ~ Summer 2017CharDaylilies forum48
Shakin' one of my Oak trees ...plantladylinThe June 2017 Not-A-Raffle-Raffle!36
Weather In Your Garden ~ Summer 2017CharDaylilies forum31
How much alfalfa pellet to give veg plants?IntheswampAsk a Question forum29
Share your pollinator photos this weekdaveSite Talk forum28
Garden tour shrub/small treeCalif_SuePlant ID forum25
Soil depth questionBigtroutSempervivum and Jovibarba forum21
Stubborn taproot won't come out!keithp2012Ask a Question forum20
Support for a Healthy Lifestyle---Happy Summer 2017ViolaAnnSandbox forum20

Check out these numbers from last week: