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   Mar 30

Outdoor Activities

March 19: Mother Nature can be soo crule. Ten-inches of snow and it is still falling. So much for sowing peas this weekend.

March 13: As predicted, the vegetable beds are now clear of snow and heating up in the sun. If it dries enough by this weekend I will be planting peas and lettuce next Tuesday.

March 8: 8 inches of snow on theground and it is still falling; but I will still sow peas in two weeks.

February 10: Just finished rounding out the driveway corners and a storm drain before the rain comes tomorrow. The snow is over 26-inches deep in the vegetable beds but I will be sowing peas in four weeks.

February 9: What a difference a few days make. I just finished shovelling 30-inches of snow off the driveway.

February 1: Saw daffodils popping up through the soil. This is easily four weeks early for our zone.

December 17: I am not complaining, but finaly the ground is covered by a few inches of crusted snow. Now everything underground will stop being confused about what season it is. 

November 7; The soil temperature is below 50 degrees, all mirco organism activity is shutdown for the season. Now everything outside is asleep until the winter solstice. A couple of hours finishing the leaf raking, pulling up the turnip, and maybe one more pass over the lawn; and I am pretty much finished outside.

I was cleaning up around the hydrangeas and while pruning off the dead mopheads I noticed that next years’ leaf buds were already formed, just waiting for the spring before they swell up and open. How do they do that?

How do plants know when to grow and when to go dormant? It isn’t just the hydrangeas; the azaleas, forsythias, rhododendrons, the trees; they are all the same. It is as if they belong to some plant socialist state arguing for a better growing season, “We are not sprouting any more leaves until we get new mulch.” How do they know that the mulch was delivered?

Humankind has been cultivating crops for over ten thousand years but it was only about 400 years ago that we starting questioning the four element theory. The idea that Earth, Air, Fire and Water were the basis of all life on the planet wasn’t cutting it in the Age of Enlightenment. Something else was involved in the development of plants.

It took 100 years of experimentation for someone to figure out that the very thin green skin (the Cambium) between the wood and the bark was responsible for the distribution of food and information to the entire plant. In the late 1700s Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen were identified as major elements in the plant’s composition. These are the elements in sugar, the plants food source. Shortly after that Nitrogen, the key ingredient in proteins, was added. These four elements, CHON, make up over 95% of all carbon bodies, which includes us.

By the turn of the last century we figured out that sunlight was necessary for photosynthesis but plants made growing decisions at night. The amount of darkness influenced the decision to produce more leaves or convert the production line to producing flowers; a breakthrough for the flower industry to artificially change bloom times to coincide with holidays.

Left to their own devices and given a more moderate climate, our winter season leaf dropping and go to sleep plants grew year round and bloomed randomly. So how did the plants do that? The growth cycle is temperature influenced but not temperature controlled. How do plants know that killing temperatures are approaching and they need to prepare?

In the 1960s researchers identified the growth substance abscisic acid (ABA) as the plants’ regulator. Whenever plant growth needs to slow the production ofABAincreases; slowing down the entire plant not just leaves and blooms. As winter approaches levels ofABAincrease, signaling the plant to shut down. In the spring,ABAlevels decrease and the plant comes out of dormancy. So what triggersABA?

The on/off switch is a pigment called phytochrome. When we pass the summer solstice plants are already aware that daylight hours are decreasing. July may be the hottest summer month, but the plants are beginning to prepare for winter shutdown.

All of this makes sense when you think about it. These plants have finished flowering by June and are pretty boring to look at the rest of the season. Now I know the reason why I get depressed on June 21st, my ABA levels increase.

October 31; The yard survived the storm. The soil is saturated, but there is no standing water. A quick pass over the lawn when the grass dries is about the extent of the clean-up needed. I am glad so many people cleared their trees away from power lines. 

October 26; It is amazingly warm I am still cleaning beds and dividing irises. If this keeps up I will begin receiving 2013 seed catalogs before the 2012 season ends.

October 23; Free. I like that word free, especially when it doesn’t have any strings attached to it. “A free tank of gasoline when you purchase…..” Really? Even sending away for your free coupons cost the price of a postage stamp. No, I’m talking about the free that doesn’t cost money; and this time of year it literally falls out of the trees.

That’s right, I’m talking about leaves. I know, I know, leaf bags aren’t given away at the store and what about the cost of labor? Surely your personal time has a price tag? Well, it depends on your point of view.

If you view the leaves as yard waste that needs to be bagged up and carted away to who knows where, then it is an expense. I on the other hand view leaves as an organic resource; pre-packaged nutrients that breakdown over time and feed the plants; something that is better than free because I don’t have to buy those bags.

As mulch, I spread the leaves around the compost bins to keep the weeds down and slowly decompose in place. Every few years I scrape off the top inch or so and spread it around the planting beds.

They are also useful around the base of newly bedded plants to prevent them from heaving out of the soil over winter; and for covering rose bushes to protect the bud union (the swollen area where the plant stem is grafted to the root stock) and minimize winter kill.

In the spring, partially decomposed leaves can be mixed into the soil. You know those little tags that come with the plants, the ones with the planting directions that you don’t read? Some of them recommend mixing in leaf mold prior to planting. That’s right, leaf mold and composed leaves are one in the same.

If you are planning to expand a flower bed or put in a vegetable garden next year spread the leaves over the future planting area to smother the grass. It will make it easier to turn the area in the spring. Back in the last century when I was growing up my neighbor would collect as many bags of leaves as he could and till them in his vegetable garden. I had no idea of why he was doing that, I just thought he was a little off center. Now I know better and so do you.

 If you use a mulching mower and don’t have a lot of leaves covering the lawn, save your back and use the mower instead of the rake. You returned the grass clippings back to the soil all summer why not kick in some leaves.

I really cannot come up with a reason for not saving the leaves; they are just so beneficial throughout the garden. Oh, about the personal labor price tag. Remember during your last physical when the doctor suggested you get some exercise; you could spend money to join a club, or just go workout in the yard where the cost is free.

October 20; Everything is dug up; calla, canna, dahlia, glads, pineapple lily. The dahlia were cleaned and stored in peat, the other bulbs are curing in hte sunroom for two weeks. The temp is supposed to hit mid-seventies today (how crazy is that), a good day to work on the raspberry beds. See my Storing Tender Bulbs notes in the An Ounce of Prevention post

October 13; All the tender bulbs are frozen; a good thing that everything is labelled. I will be spending hte next three days digging them up for storage.

October 11; A hard frost is predicted for tonight. Time to make sure all of the house plants are in. Found some Christmas Cactus cutting hiding behind a fern. I stuck them in the ground back is June to see if they would root, and sure enough I now have six plants to give away.

October 7; By October, a lot of people have already packed away their outdoor furniture, folded up the pergola tarp and hung their gardening tools out of reach; but there is still so much to do and enjoy in the yard.

In the vegetable garden all the seeds sown in July are producing lettuce, kale, peas and turnip. The parsnip and carrots are ready to be pulled; and the remaining beans can be harvested and dried, saving the seeds for soup or planting next summer. The dahlia are still going strong and need to be deadheaded and the cool season grasses are back so the lawn has to be mowed. Hey, the Red Sox are not in the playoffs so look at the bright side, you don’t have to worry about missing a game.

Early October is a great time to transplant peony and rhubarb. Many people say that peony should never be dug up period. I just ask them to explain how the plant got from the nursery to my yard if it wasn’t dug up. The peony planted near the maple sapling ten years ago was nice; but now that the drip line of the maple tree is six feet beyond the peony it is time to move the peony.

Remove all of the stems to about two-inches above the soil line and dig about six-inches beyond the plant to minimize root damage. After the plant is dug up, hose off the roots and you will see the eyes which are next year’s stems. If you are planning to propagate the peony then each root segment should have at least three eyes. That will ensure blooms in the 2013 season.

Prepare the soil by turning in a bucket of the compost you made this summer. The finished planting depth should be no more than two-inches. The original soil line can be seen on the old stem ends you left on the plant before you dug it up. Those old stem ends will also be a marker next spring so you won’t accidently dig up the plant as you prepare the beds.

Rhubarb is even easier to transplant. To propagate, its’ fibrous root can be cut with a knife or the shovel. Work in more of that compost and the planting depth sets the crown (where the stem meets the root) just below the soil line.

The raspberry rows need to be cleaned up. All two year old canes, the ones that fruited this year, need to be cut to the ground. All new canes that are smaller than a pencil in diameter need to be removed. The remaining canes should be topped off at about four feet, just above a node; that will encourage more side growth and produce more fruit next year. The last step is to thin out the canes spacing them about four inches apart.

You will be harvesting compost to amend the soil when you transplant, and you will be adding all the yard waste to the compost pile as you clean-up. Since you cannot add and subtract at the same time, at least not in the compost pile, this will be a good time to start a second pile. Think about it.

Septermber 26: Going Dormant, I was cleaning up around the hydrangeas and while pruning off the dead mopheads I noticed that next years’ leaf buds were already formed, just waiting for the spring before they swell up and open. How do they do that?

How do plants know when to grow and when to go dormant? It isn’t just the hydrangeas; the azaleas, forsythias, rhododendrons, the trees; they are all the same. It is as if they belong to some plant socialist state arguing for a better growing season, “We are not sprouting any more leaves until we get new mulch.” How do they know that the mulch was delivered?

Humankind has been cultivating crops for over ten thousand years but it was only about 400 years ago that we starting questioning the four element theory. The idea that Earth, Air, Fire and Water were the basis of all life on the planet wasn’t cutting it in the Age of Enlightenment. Something else was involved in the development of plants.

It took 100 years of experimentation for someone to figure out that the very thin green skin (the Cambium) between the wood and the bark was responsible for the distribution of food and information to the entire plant. In the late 1700s Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen were identified as major elements in the plant’s composition. These are the elements in sugar, the plants food source. Shortly after that Nitrogen, the key ingredient in proteins, was added. These four elements, CHON, make up over 95% of all carbon bodies, which includes us.

By the turn of the last century we figured out that sunlight was necessary for photosynthesis but plants made growing decisions at night. The amount of darkness influenced the decision to produce more leaves or convert the production line to producing flowers; a breakthrough for the flower industry to artificially change bloom times to coincide with holidays.

Left to their own devices and given a more moderate climate, our winter season leaf dropping and go to sleep plants grew year round and bloomed randomly. So how did the plants do that? The growth cycle is temperature influenced but not temperature controlled. How do plants know that killing temperatures are approaching and they need to prepare?

In the 1960s researchers identified the growth substance abscisic acid (ABA) as the plants’ regulator. Whenever plant growth needs to slow the production ofABAincreases; slowing down the entire plant not just leaves and blooms. As winter approaches levels ofABAincrease, signaling the plant to shut down. In the spring,ABAlevels decrease and the plant comes out of dormancy. So what triggersABA?

The on/off switch is a pigment called phytochrome. When we pass the summer solstice plants are already aware that daylight hours are decreasing. July may be the hottest summer month, but the plants are beginning to prepare for winter shutdown.

All of this makes sense when you think about it. These plants have finished flowering by June and are pretty boring to look at the rest of the season. Now I know the reason why I get depressed on June 21st, myABA levels increase.

September 12: We are approaching the Fall Equinox next week. The spring perennials have already set their buds; too late to prune now. Will have to wait until next summer.

September 5: Winter Squash Harvest. Here is what is left after the family helps with the harvest. A few Jack-Be-Little, Sweet Dumpling, Sweet Lighting and Waltham Butternut. Those “Ornamental” are actually very tasty.

Winter Squash Harvest

Winter Squash Selection

August 31: Yarde Long Beans are. I grew Yard Long Beans this year, and they really are. These pods are past picking for eating, but in a few weeks they will dry, providing seed for next year.

Yard Long

Beans hanging on vine

August 29: Iris Propagation In my quest to plant it and forget it I have killed just about everything you can think of. All plants require periodic inspection and maintenance because insects and diseases can destroy a maple as easily as an iris. You have limited options trying to save a tree, and it usually requires hiring an expert; but irises can be problem free for years by just investing a few hours.

Tall bearded irises are the spring show stopper; commanding you to get up close to look at their flower; but they have two enemies, the Iris Borer caterpillar and the Soft Rot bacteria. Their synergistic relationship causes enough damage to make gardeners give up growing these beautiful plants altogether.

The caterpillar goes to work in April when the eggs hatch. They enter the leaves near the top and chew their way down to the rhizome; then it is an all you can eat buffet that continues to mid-August, I’ll write that again, MID-AUGUST. When they crawl out and pupate in the soil. Four to six weeks later a grayish-brown moth emerges, lays eggs on dry garden debris and dies.

Soft Rot enters the iris through any wound in the plant, and the wound is usually created by? Leaves will appear watery and pull off the rhizome easily; you will know then that the plant has been hit with the one-two punch. Confirmation comes when you dig up the iris. As soon as you get whiff of the foul smelling goop that used to be a rhizome you will understand why people stop growing it.

Prevention is the cure and the best time to start is now, when the plants are shutting down for the winter. Every three to four years irises need to be dug up and the plants separated; this is propagation by division. Overcrowding depletes the soil of nutrients; bloom production drops and the bad guys above take over. This is our opportunity to improve the soil and put up a No Vacancy sign.

Shake off all loose soil, cut the rhizome where it joins the main original rhizome, cut back the leaves into a fan shape about 5-inches long and the roots 4-inches long, and wash the plant in a liquid dish detergent/bleach solution (one-third cup of each to a gallon of water). Let the plants dry for at least one day.

Irises ready for division

Irises ready for divisionDivided plants ready for replantingRake up all dead plant material from the planting bed and remove any weeds and roots as you turn the soil and water the bed with some clean bleach solution. Turning kills many of the pupating caterpillars and removing the dead plant matter eliminates places for the moths to lay their eggs.The next day incorporate compost or peat into the soil and rake the bed. When planting make sure the top of the rhizome is exposed level with the soil, and do not mulch over it. Keep the beds weed free, remove dead plant matter in the fall and you will not have to worry about the borer.Irises replanted in new bed

Peter Coppola is a principle master gardener and gardening advocate teaching and lecturing on request. His e-mail address is mastergardener@rcn.com.

August 24; Picked all my Sweet Dumpling winter squash today. Each weighs a little over one pound; just the right size for two people.

August 22; I’ve been picking beans for three weeks and I haven’t touched the pole beans yet. I never realized how much damage the chipmunks were doing until this year. This will be my largest harvest ever.

August 12; The winter squash is taking over the garden. I am training the vines to stay on their beds, keeping the paths open; but they are into the dried beans that haven’t completed their growth cycle. The peppers aren’t happy either, I had to cut squash stems to prevent the peppers from being shaded out.

August 7; August is one of those half empty half full months. A lot of perennials have bloomed and gone but the dahlias are only beginning to show their beauty. The tomatoes are going great but the peppers aren’t. The woodchuck left the beans alone but ate all of the kale. The pessimist wants to turn everything over and plant grass, the optimist still has hopes that the squash will recover from the vine borer.

August is also arguably one of the busiest gardening months. Remember this past spring when I suggested that you inventory the irises; noting the colors and deciding what to keep, where to relocate them and what to give away? Well, this is the month it happens.

Some people complain that their plants only bloom for two weeks, PESSIMIST; the statement is correct if you only have one variety. The best way to extend your bloom period is to add more varieties and color, OPTIMIST; talk to your neighbors and offer a trade. Promote a street party/plant swap; the house with the in-ground pool should be the host site.

There isn’t really a right time and wrong time to transplant; but there are best times and late summer/early fall is best for early season bloomers. The plants I move this time of the year are; daylilies, lilies, irises and spring bulbs (if I can remember where they are).

When you dig up your plants take the opportunity to rebuild the soil by adding compost.  If you don’t have compost use peat moss or cow manure. You can never add enough organic matter and your success rate goes up with every shovel full you add. Fertilizer is not necessary now; you do not want to stimulate new growth.

Irises – By now the iris leaves have almost completely died back. The plants multiply off a central bulb called a rhizome. Cut the individual plants from the main rhizome; then cut the leaves back to about a 4-inch fan, and trim the roots to about 5-inches long. They are now ready for re-planting. Some people dip the end of the rhizome where the cut was made in a fungicide or bleach solution; others wait a day to let the wound scab over. When replanted, the top of the rhizome is at soil level.

Daylilies – Cut the daylily leaves in half, and do not cut the roots. If the clumps are very large, interlock two long handled forks back-to-back and insert them into the center of the clump. Pushing the handles away from each other will split the clump in half. Continue the process until you have clumps of two or three fans each. When replanting, spread the roots and cover the crown (where the roots meet the leaves) to about 1½ -inches.

Lilies – If you are relocating the lilies, you want to make sure you don’t leave any little bulbs in the soil. The soil should be sifted through a ¼-inch screen. Only remove the top of the lilies where the flowers were, leaving the rest of the plant as is. Replant at the same depth (6 – 8 inches) as it was growing.

Always think in odd numbers when replanting; place 3, 5 or 7 plants in a group. And be optimistic, it will rain right after you replant everything.

August 7: I ate a green bean yesterday. That doen’t sound like much, except that the bean was thirty inches long.

July 31: The winter squash is overgrowing the pepper plants. The tomato plants are taller than me, approaching seven feet. I quess that is the reason they are in-determinate, they don’t stop growing.

July 26: The garden has made a great recovery from the woodchuck smorgasbord last month. I have been picking summer squash, tomatoes and kale, and the beans will begin providing in a few days. The winter squash is vining like crazy; I might have to remove some leaves around the pepper plants.

July 18:  July is a transition month. Cool weather crops like broccoli, peas and lettuce have been harvested, creating space to sow seeds for a fall harvest. I like to plant turnip and rutabaga along with more bush beans and lettuce. The blueberries are already being picked, the raspberries are right behind them and the daylilies are blooming like crazy. Just about everything that is going to happen in the flower beds has. The only thing to look forward to now is in the vegetable garden.

With that sad thought in mind, July is also the latest month of the growing season to apply granular or slow release fertilizer around perennials or tender bulbs. It is hard to believe but the plants are already preparing for next year. As August and the cooler nighttime temperatures approach, they stop producing new leaves and stems and begin to store energy in their roots. This year’s new grow hardens in order to withstand the cold winter temperatures.

Remember those light green stems at the end of the branches back in April? They were so soft that you could wrap them around your finger without breaking them. Now they are dark green or brown and they snap under a little pressure. That is what you want at the end of the season, strong hard growth.

Fertilizer applied now will stimulate new growth that will not have enough time to harden. Translation; you will have a lot of dead branches and fewer blooms next spring. We call that winter kill. That is what you do not want.

This problem will be even more pronounced on your tender bulbs like dahlias, calla, and canna; any plant that you dig up in the fall. They will retain too much moisture and will rot in storage. If you purchase new bulbs every year this probably does not bother you; but if you grew a particular plant that you want to save and propagate next year, then you need to hold back on the fertilizer.

One of my favorite vegetable is garlic. Snickering aside, nothing seems bothers it; it is disease free and the insects and wildlife give it a wide berth. Garlic is planted in the fall and the cloves overwinter in the frozen soil; so we have to grow the stiff neck varieties in this region; and I think that is great because it gives me two harvests.

At the end of the month I will make my second harvest; pulling the plants, selecting the bulbs that I will replant in October, sharing some with my family and neighbors, and curing he rest for winter storage.

The first harvest though is the one I most look forward to. I am talking about the scapes at the end of the flower stock. These scapes can be cooked and served as a side dish; but I prefer to puree it with olive oil and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to make a pesto. Combine the pesto with sun dried tomatoes and chicken; serve it over pasta and once you taste it you will, well, ah, let’s just say that you will put garlic on your planting list. The recipe is in the recipe post.

July 16: Picked our first red raspberries Friday and some blackberries yesterday. The raspberries are sweet, but the blackberries are juicier. We have been harvesting yellow tomatoes, Little Blond Girl and Sungella, for over a week; this is the first year for Sungella and I think it is a keeper. The squash and bean plants have fully recovered from the woodchuck feast last month.

April 22; Where does the time go? The peas and lettuce are up, the flower beds are mulched, the vegetable garden fence is replaced, one compost bin emptied, tender bulbs planted; a crazy month. I understand why it is considered the busiest gardening month of the season. 

It is a Marathon – (May 2011) One of the items on my bucket list is thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, a 2,147 mile marathon stroll fromGeorgia toMaine. I remember reading about the first psychological challenge coming within only a few days of starting. Aching muscles, a few blisters and the reality of what a four month commitment is to complete the hike discourages many people and they abandon the challenge.

What does that have to do with gardening? Well, gardening is also a marathon. It begins in April as soon as the soil can be worked and continues into October and the first killing frost. Six and half months of labor preceded and ending with a few weeks of preparation and clean-up. 

May is arguably the busiest gardening month of the marathon. Sure, in April you may have already edged your planting beds, raked and fertilized the lawn, sowed peas and lettuce, and spread mulch; but that is nothing compared to the activities that you have this month.

May separates the hard core gardener from the hobbyist. The addicted and I am not saying that I am one of them, are already harvesting lettuce and picking asparagus. They have completed the marathon many times and know how to pace themselves so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

The hobbyist will squeeze a months worth of preparation into the Memorial Day weekend. They will buy a couple of six-packs from the box retailer, pull muscles they didn’t know they had clearing weeds and planting flowers, and report to work declaring their frustration with or enjoyment of gardening. That’s nice, but within a couple of months their beds will be crowded with weeds and the plants dead from over fertilizing or under watering. These are the people who drop out of the race.

This article is for the hard core gardener. Some of you are still into power tools and chemicals, that’s okay you will mellow out. You understand that gardening is a marathon and want to make it to the finish line; you just have to get past May.

 If you sowed cool season vegetables; broccoli, carrots, lettuce, spinach, turnips; the plants should be up and need to be thinned. Do not leave them between the rows to decompose in place that is not good sanitation. Put them in the compost bin, or toss them in a salad. Sow more lettuce seed for a late June harvest. The spring bulbs have passed; dead head the flowers but let the leaves continue to produce energy for next year’s bloom. If you are planning to relocate some bulbs, dig them up now and heel them in to cure in your nursery bed.

The soil is warm enough now to plant the tender bulbs; caladium, calla, canna, dahlia, elephant ear. Cool season vegetable plants, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, should already be in the ground. Tomato and cucumber plants can also go into the garden now. Annuals can be transplanted or seeds sowed. Mid-month, sow herbs and beans.

Do you have a gardening question? Send it to mastergardener@rcn.com. Peter Coppola is a principle master gardener, a lifetime gardener and gardening advocate; he teaches and lectures on the subject in the Burlington area.

March 30; Preparing the soil

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just dig a hole in the soil, drop in the plant and walk away; leaving everything else to nature? For two hundred thousand years, our hunter gatherer ancestors had that relationship with plants. The expression “If you get hungry just pick up something to eat along the way,” dates to that period.

Plantae had the system down pat. They produced pretty flowers and delicious food to attract animalia who pollinated the seed, picked the food and dispersed the seeds of future generations across their migratory paths. Then, Early European Modern Humans (formerly known as Cro-Magnons) decided to stop gathering and became farmers. What a mistake!

For 1.7 Billion years plantae, fungi and micro-organisms converted the lifeless sand silt and clay into a nutrient rich water retaining soil capable of supporting plant growth. In just a little over ten thousand years we managed to mess it up. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” recognize that expression?

Fungi and bacteria play an important role in helping plants (and humans) thrive and reproduce during the growing season; they are the core of a healthy immune system. 30,000 to 1, that is the ratio of good micro-organisms to bad; 1 trillion, the number of these little buggers in a teaspoon of garden soil; and a whole mess, the number of microbes in your yard.

These microbes are pathfinders, dissolving minerals and marking the way for roots. They are the defense shield protecting the plant from detrimental bacteria and viruses. In return, the plants provide these micro-organisms with the surplus photosynthesized sugar stored in their roots.

One level up are tiny insects that breakdown decomposed organic matter into microbe sized bites, and above them are worms and bugs who breakdown the leaves and twigs into tiny insect sized bites. In reality, our yard is a giant compost bin. That pile over in the corner out of sight is just a sad reproduction of what nature has been doing for a long, long time.

The soil temperature now is above fifty degrees and these microbes are all awake and hungry. The best thing we can do is feed them. Peat moss, manures, compost, the leaves and grass clippings you have been piling up on the other side of the stone wall; all of this “Debris” is a microbial buffet. You can never add too much organic material to your soil. Ask the people cutting your neighbor’s lawn and chipping trees. If your Town operates a composting facility go fill up some buckets.

If you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of you. Black Mold, Powdery Mildew, even Blight will be nothing worse than a minor irritant if you keep the microbes happy. Viruses invented stealth technology, cloaking themselves inside plant friendly cells. A healthy plant’s immune system easily recognizes the disguise and repels the attack.

Less watering, less weeding, less chemicals ending in the letters CIDE; it almost makes you willing to forgive that Cro-Magnon who gave up the hunter gatherer life.

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