All posts by Dudley Vines

Tomato Hornworms are the Enemy

by Cissy Henig, SCMG Intern Let me say up front that I’m not interested in any discussion about beneficial aspects to the tomato hornworm. In this PC world, I am sure someone believes this nasty beast has some socially redeeming value. I don’t and I don’t want to hear about it. And I’m not Gandhi; I don’t give a flying hoot about all living things and sharing the earth with them, karma for killing them, etc. My world is divided into me and my tomato…

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Square Foot Gardening a Way to Increase Productivity

by Stephanie Barger, SCMG I love gardening. In many ways, it is the process of gardening that is important to me as opposed to the product. But the last couple of years, our vegetable garden has been a lot of process and very little product. While the grasses, decorative bed and herb bed thrived, veggies were non-existent. So this year, we decided to try something a bit different: square foot gardening. Square foot gardening is a grid-based method developed by Mel Bartholomew about four decades…

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Plant of the Month: Boston Ivy

by Jan Koehler, SCMG Boston Ivy Scientific Name: Parthenocissus tricuspidata Other Common Name: Boston ivy, Japanese ivy Type: Perennial Family: Vitaceae  (Grape family) Indigenous Range: China and Japan Zone: 4-9 Growth habit: Vine with holdfasts at ends of tendrils Length: 50’ Bloom Time: Spring Bloom Description: Insignificant, small white behind leaf shaded from the sun Sun: Partial shade to full sun Water: Medium Soil: Well drained, loamy Maintenance: Pruning required for controlling vine growth Suggested Use: Covering walls, garden arbors, pergolas Flower: Inconspicuous Leaf: Young…

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Plant of The Month: Lantana

by Jan Koehler, SCMG Intern Scientific Name: Lantana camara Other Common Name: Lakanam, shrub verbena, yellow sage, red sage Type: Perennial/annual depending in which zone planted and NM garden microclimate Family: Verbenacae Native Range: Tropical America and West Africa Zone: Top growth hardy USDA zones 10-11, roots hardy USDA zones 9 Height: 3’-4’ with spread 1’-3’ Bloom Time: July to frost Bloom Description: White, yellow, orange, red. Purple, often mixed in same cluster Sun: Full Water: Medium Soil: Average, medium, well-drained Maintenance: Low Flower: Showy…

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Extending the Growing Season

by Sam Thompson, SCMG past Coordinator Harvest season is typically a time of bounty and for some it is a relief because the hard work is nearly over. If you’re like me the relief is short-lived and I quickly regret the season is over. The solution is to extend the growing season a bit longer. There are a variety of ways to do that. Cover the Plants Directly One of the easiest approaches to plants protection is simply covering the plants. The key is to…

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Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables For Better Taste

From the UC Davis Post-Harvest Technology Center The flavor of fruits and vegetables is influenced by maturity and quality at harvest and by how they are stored afterwards. To maintain the freshness and flavor of the produce you buy at the market or grow in your garden, it is important to know how to store it at home. Many fruits and vegetables should be stored only at room temperature because refrigerator temperatures (usually 38° to 42°F) damage them or prevent them from ripening to good…

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Bearded Iris

by Jan Koehler, SCMG Intern Scientific Name: Iris germanica Other Common Name: Bearded iris, German iris Type: Perennial Family: Iridaceae Native Range: Eastern Mediterranean Zone:  3-10 Height: varies with cultivar; less than 8” to 48” Bloom Time: Mid-April to May Bloom Description: standards, falls and beards vary in color and size with individual cultivars Sun: Full sun (afternoon shade may be beneficial in NM heat) Water: Low Maintenance: Low Suggested Use: Sunny beds, borders, along walls, cut flowers, Flower: Showy, Fragrant Leaf: Upright, sword-like, parallel…

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Container gardening adds flexibility, decorative value

by Eydie Francis, SCMG Intern I really enjoy being able to set the tone of my garden by what I choose to put in my pots. There are so many possibilities and you can change the ambiance of an area by changing the plants in your pots. You can create a cool, restful retreat; add tropical fun; or a pop of sizzling color. If you don’t have space for a vegetable bed, then containers can give you a place for vegetables and herbs. Moving your…

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Stella de Oro daylily

by Jan Koehler, SCMG Intern Scientific Name: Hemerocallis sp. cultivar Stella de Oro Other Common Name: Stella d’oro Daylily, Stella d’Oro Daylily, Stella d Oro Daylily Type: Perennial Family: Liliaceae Native Range: Origins in Asia Zone:  3-9 Height: 12” Bloom Time: May-July with potential for repeat blooming in late September-October Bloom Description: Approx 2.75” trumpet shaped; bright yellow Sun: Full sun to light shade, but blooms more profusely in full sun Water: Low Soil: Performs best in high humus soils, but will grow in most…

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Gardening books can be entertaining as well as enlightening

by Cissy Henig, SCMG Intern I think I have almost as many gardening books as I have cookbooks. I read them like novels. Some have absolutely no relevance to where I live or how I garden. But there is nothing more comforting on a cold winter’s day when it is snowing and the roads are bad, as reading about someone’s efforts to turn the earth and grow something. So I have a lot of stories about other peoples’ gardens. I collected Beverley Nichols’ books after…

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