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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
August 2, 2012     The Perkins Journal
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August 2, 2012

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Thursday, August 2, 2012 Home 401 S. Main St., Stillwater _ I & Garden [405.372.1647.800.678.2200 Fax 405.372.7752 Seeing Ye/low Each year I notice new growth on plants and shrubs that emerge in shades of yellow• These plants stand out from trasts. You can easily try yellow out as an accent or visual draw in your home garden. Here are some of my favorites. Carex 'Evergold' is a wonderful grass• Grow this in half day sun with regular moisture. It will perform well at the base of shrubs, holding its bright color throughout the year. A fine contrast to broad hosta foliage, I find this twelve inch selection much easier to grow than the Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa. Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lutea'; (Latin for yellow), is commonly known as Ninebark. Native to the central states and growing up to nine feet tall, this deciduous shrub works best as a background plant. Too much shade will send 'Lutea" foliage back to a pale green. The variety "Dart's Gold" tops out at six feet and rates a little brighter on the yellow scale• Both varieties require regular water and six to eight feet to spread. Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea' aka Golden Bar- berry, is one of my all-time favorite accent shrubs. Deer-resistant, sun-loving, rarely needing a trim, this yellow will turn your head! It will take some drought once established, but will retain the look of vitality if watered weekly• Small, round leaves are interspersed with thorns, growing two or three feet tall and wide. Sambucus is Latin for elderberry• The popular 'Sutherland Gold' brings brightness to a semi- shaded corner. Use it as a feathery backdrop for smaller dark-green or red-foliaged plants. As By the 'greens that dominate gardens this time of year. They provide contrasting color as amid bright red, purple and pink flowers• Many plant breeders have jumped on the wagon to introduce yellow-foliaged plants• In fact, the breed- ers Seem to be ahead of the preferences of most home gardeners. For many years, yellow color in a plant's leaves alerts us that some type of deficiency or exces- sive watering is taking place. Recently though, this color has increased in popularity with landscap- ers looking for reliable, low-maintenance con- Carex 'Evergold' is a wonderful grass. with most yellow-foliaged plants, the leaves will age to a light green. Water Sutherland Gold on a reg- ular basis and remember, this elderberry is strictly ornamental• Ingestion of the raw berries may cause nausea or vomiting. These are only a few of the choices• Columbines, Hosta, Abelia and Spiraea are also found in varying yellow hues. Use a search engine on the internet to discover other yellow- foliaged plants• Remem- ber, too much of a good thing can create a feeling of havoc and unrest. Posi- tion your plants wisely• Sometimes I wonder about the origins of phrases and with this column all the color phrases swarm around my brain. Many are used to describe human traits. I can understand "turning red" describing that actual physiological occurrence known as blushing• I can stretch to imagine "feeling blue" describing a subdued mood (since the color blue supposedly calms and relaxes our disposition)• But whoever coined the phrases "look- ing a little green" and "he's yellow" was definitely not a gardener• In the garden, green describes the pic- ture of health rather than illness. Yellow foliage is bold and daring rather than cowardly• Are you feeling a little daring? Does your garden show it? Horticulture Tips for August Ordinarily I would pres- enta.laundry list of tasks fortile August landscape. Unfortunately, the drought has taken center stage and for the water. • If you have plants that have not been mulched, please consider doing so. *Many woody shrubs and : : ::B Keith Reed is driving much of the decision making concern- in:.pur landscape. With this in mind, here are some colsiderations for this dif- ficult stretch of weather. i This goes without saying but continue to water important plants. T"to water as deeply as. possible and don't be afraid to let the soil surface dry a bit between watering. If you have new plantings, make sure and water outside the planting hole:enough that the roots will be encouraged to grow laterally and search trees have yellowing and/ or dropping leaves now. While this is indeed an indicator of water stress, it can be a good thing as this is part of a plant's survival mechanism. By prematurely dropping the leaves, water usage is greatly reduced, allowing the plant to better weather the storm. Depending on the species and the timing of significant rainfall, trees and shrubs may not try to put additional leaves on this season. If that is the case, please do not assume the plant has died without at least doing this simple check: Lightly scrape the bark near the tips of grow- ing branches. Any sign of light green tissue indicates the plant is still alive. • Do not fertilize turf- grass under severe drought stress• Nor should you attempt chemical weed control under extreme temperatures and drought stress, except in very lim- ited situations. • Spider mites have been a real problem for many gardeners this year. If you are continuing to battle them, it may be time to throw in the towel as it will be very difficult, if not impossible to gain the upper hand on spider mites in this weather. For those with limited garden space, your efforts may be better spent remov- ing the remaining plants, prepping the soil as if to replant, and solarizing it OSU to host Ornamental Plant Materials Conference By Trisha Gedon 'Anyone who wants to know the latest informa- tion regarding ornamental plant materials should make plans to attend the Ornamental Plant Mate- rials Conference slated Aug. 28 in Stillwater. The conference is spon- sored by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma State University's depart- ment of horticulture and landscape architecture and The Botanic Garden at OSU. The conference will take place at the Wes Watkins Center on the OSU campus. • "We've got a great conference planned and we,re offering partici- pants the opportunity to take home a lot of valu- able information," said Mike Schnelle, OSU Cooperative Extension ornamental floriculture specialist• "The infor- mational workshops are geared toward industry specialists such as land- scapers, nursery person- nel, greenhouse growers and master gardeners, as well as individuals who are gardening hobbyists. You don't have to be a horticultural profes- sional to attend the con- ference." Early registration is $85 and must be postmarked by Aug. 17. Botanical Garden members, Exten- sion educators, Master Gardeners and Linnaeus Gardeners may register early for $60. All reg- istration will be $130 after Aug. 17. Lunch is included in the registra- tion fee. To register for the conference, contact Stephanie Larimer at 405-744-5404, or email her at stephanie.larimer @okstate.edu. Workshops will be taught by a number of industry and academic specialists. A descrip- tion of workshops is available online at http: //www.hortla.okstate.edu/ • Workshop topics will include overviews of appropriate native and adapted non-native plants for Oklahoma and periph- eral states• "I think anyone who attends this conference is sure to gain a lot of valu- able information. The con- ference is offering a wide variety of topics, so there is something for every- one," Schnelle said. by covering it with plas- tic. This should help with insect and disease control for next year. • Read up on gardening topics such as drip irriga- tion, rainwater collec- tion, landscaping using Spider mites native plants, building healthy garden soils and Xeriscaping. If you have question or concerns about these or other Horticulture issues, contact Keith Reed. He is the Horticulture Educator in the Payne County OSU Extension office. You can contact him via email at keith.reed@okstate.edu, call 405-747-8320, or stop by the Extension office at 315 W. 6 th in Stillwater. Giant Wasp: Friend or Foe ? Someone's first encounter with a Cicada killer can be a disconcerting experience. These very large yellow and black wasps (about an inch and a half long) are fairly common in our part of the world. The assumption is that any wasp this big with a stinger must be bad. This is perfectly understandable but in reality this insect is rarely a real problem for anything other than the cicada (locust). The wasp stings and kills the cicada and drags it to its burrow where it becomes the food source for the next generation. The burrows are easily recognized as a hand sized mound of soil around a thumb sized hole. These burrows are often in bare soil areas such as flower beds and vegetable gardens. Although rare, female Cicada killers can sting people. Please note that they will generally only do so when provoked• The male Cicada killer is more I By Keith Reed aggressive but does not have the capacity to sting• These insects are normally solitary although it is not uncommon to see several in one area. With these extremely dry conditions, you can expect to see an increase in activity at water sources such as bird baths and animal watering dishes• In situations where con- trol is warranted, there are a couple of options• Any knock-down wasp product will be effective provided you can catch them when they are not moving (not an easy thing tO do). The best control option is to treat the individual mounds with a small quantity of insecticidal dust labeled for wasps• As the wasp crawls in and out of the burrow, it will come in contact with the insecticide. Retreat- ment may be necessary in the case of rain or heavy irrigation. Broadcast appli- cations of general purpose insecticides are not particu- larly effective for control of this insect• If you have questions or concerns' about this or other Horticulture issues, contact Keith Reed, the Horticultural Educator in Payne County OSU Extension office• You can contact him via email at keith.reed@ okstate.edu, call 405-747-8320, or stop by the Extension office at 315 W. 6 h in Stillwater. J I1'1' IIIIIIIIIIIII III IIIIIIII III IIIII I ' II11!'1 I III I III!1111 '