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The Family Plot — April 10, 2014


Hi, I’m Chris Cooper. Welcome to “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Thanks for joining us. Spring is here. So gardening bugs and
diseases can’t be far behind. Today Mr. D is here to give us
advice on dealing with them. And hostas are
extremely popular, hearty perennials grown
primarily for their beautiful foliage. They’re easy to grow,
shade tolerant and today, we’re going to shed a little
springtime joy and talk about hostas. All of that and more is just
ahead on “The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South” so stay with us. (female announcer)
This is a production
of WKNO-Memphis. Production funding for “The
Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South” is provided by
Good Winds Landscape and Garden Center in Germantown since 1943
and continuing to offer it’s plants for successful gardening
with seven greenhouses and three acres of plants plus
comprehensive landscape services.. [soft music]
♪♪♪ [theme music]
♪♪♪ Hi, welcome to
‘The Family Plot.” I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today is Mr. D. Hello. Alright. And Ms. Cheryl Lockhart is here. Hi. Ms. Cheryl is a master gardener
right here in Shelby County. Thanks for joining me. Glad to be here. Alright, spring is here, Mr. D. Temperatures are going to
start warming up here soon. What about bugs and diseases? They’re probably
on the way, right? Yeah, definitely. Definitely bugs are on the way. I wouldn’t really be worried
about diseases at this point. You know you need to stay alert. If we have a wet spring, fire
blight will probably be one of the first diseases
that we would see with, you know, a lot of our pears and
a lot of flowering fruit trees, ornamental fruits. But as far as
insects are concerned, very soon we’ll have aphid
explosions and azalea lace bugs. If you haven’t already treated
your lace bugs with a sistemic back in February, then you
probably will need to do something to take out
the azalea lace bugs. Yeah, what’s the
name of that systemic? There’s several of them. The systemic that you would have
used back in the winter time would have been
Safari, Marathon, Merit or Arena. As far as the products that
you can use now if you have a controllable
sistemics is Dimethoate, Orthene, Discus,
Tempo, Diazinon, Allectus S-C, Decathlon,
Merit, Tempo S-C Ultra, Marathon. You can still go with that. Flagship, Dursban 50W,
Safari, Arena and Acelepryn. And this is out of the 2014
model of the U-T Redbook. Good! This is new information. That’s right. Also Eastern tent caterpillars. We’ll probably start
seeing them things, especially on the fruits. Again, the ornamental flowering
fruit trees like wild cherries and, you know, bradford pear
and any of those kind of things. And you usually
find those, what? — right in the crouches. Right in the limb crotch as
opposed to the fall web worm which are really
summer, fall web worms. The fall web worms will probably
surround the first of June. We will have them all summer. And those webs are out
on the ends of the limbs. But these Eastern
tent caterpillars, they usually migrate to the limb
crotches and the limb angles. And they’ll build webs. And during cloudy days, they’ll
go back to the web at night. When they’re small.. Actually, B-T
works on them anytime. They have to
actually ingest the B-T, bacillus thuringiensis, which is
Dipel or Javelin or some of the others that are out there. They have to ingest
that to kill them. It’s a stomach poison. What’s the best way to do that? We’ve had somebody ask that. Probably with a hose end sprayer
if it’s a pretty good size tree. You know you use a
hose end sprayer. But if you can catch
them when they first hatch, the oils, there’s horticultural
oils that will take them out. You know you’ll clog up their
breathing tubes and they’ll die if you catch them
when they’re real small. That same list pretty much of
insecticides I mentioned for the azalea lace bug will also
take out the eastern tent caterpillar. Insecticidal soap is another
one that works pretty good, especially on the
younger caterpillars. The smaller the caterpillar,
the easier it is to kill. The easier it is to kill! The big ones, sometimes
you have to use two bricks. [laughter]
Two bricks! Move your thumbs out
of the way, right? Now will they actually
stress out the tree? You know they can
totally defoliate a tree. And I’ve never see
them kill a tree. The tree was out back out. I’ve seen them
totally defoliate, especially wild cherry trees. They love, you know,
wild cherry trees. And you know they’re unsightly. And then if you have several
of those in your landscape, you’ll have those fully grown
larvae migrating everywhere. If you lean your hoe or your
shovel up against your shed, they’ll build cocoons between
your shovel and your house. You know, very quickly. They’ll be everywhere as they
look for a place to build their, you know, cocoon. Yeah, I usually see them on the
sidewalk just kind of hanging from a silk thread
almost in trees and things. Oh my gosh. Yeah, so that time
is almost coming. Or couldn’t you just open up the
little webbing and let the birds out in it? Disturb the web. That will help, that will help. But if the suns
shining and if it’s pretty, they’re not in the web. They’re not in the web. Right. But even if.. So, you know. But when they first, if you
catch a rainy day or something like that.. And you can tell if
they’re in the web or not. You know they’re there. I’d certainly open it up and
predators — will help the predators have access to them. Right. Of course, you know. growing up in the country I can
remember someone trying to burn them out. So we definitely don’t
advocate that you try. Don’t do that. It’s a good way to
catch your house on fire. Yeah, yes. And definitely damages
the tissue of the fruit. The fire probably does more
damage than the Eastern tent caterpillar does
eating the leaves. I’m sure. Because it burns the bark. And that opens you up for other
infections and things like that. Yeah, so we definitely.. Don’t do that. Don’t get an oily rag on the end
of long pole and set it on fire. You’re gonna
damage other things. Yeah, we don’t want to do that. Any other bugs that
we need to know about? What about ants? Ants? Something that when
it warms up that, you know, they’ll
start coming in. And I’ve got a little bit
of information on ants here. And I would use a bait for
the ants rather than the insecticides. I’ve got a whole list
of those here somewhere. You know spiders and things
like that can also be a problem. But on the ants
indoors, go with, you know, Combat Ant
Killing Gel is a good one. Hot Shot Ultra Liquid Ant Bait. You know outside you can use
Amdro or Spectracide Ant Shield, Hot Shot Maxattrax Ant Bait. You know those are some
good ones for outdoors. Go with barrier sprays
that contain Bifenthrin or Beta-cyfluthrin or
Lambda-cyhalothrin, which are the
synthetic pyrethroids and, you know, barrier sprays around
the outside of your property. But you know clean up. You know don’t have places. You know be sure that you
follow good sanitary practices. clean up. Don’t give them a lot of other
things to eat other than the bait that you’re providing them. And you need to be careful using
these insecticdes if you have pharroh ants
because pharroh ants, if you spray, many times it
just causes them to move. So you need to know what
kind of ant that you’ve got. Identify what kind of
ant that you’ve got. Okay. And quickly, has the cold
weather had any affect on ant activity that we
know of, you think? You hope when you have a real
cold winter like we’ve had that it will reduce
insect population. Don’t count on it. They might experience it
but don’t count on it. Don’t count on it he says. Nah, you just better be ready. Wow. Get your sprayer cleaned out. Get it cleaned out
and get it ready to go? That’s right, that’s right. Wow. Alright, thank Mr. D. That was some great information. There are a number of gardening
events going on in the next couple of weeks. Here are just a few
that might interest you. [theme music]
♪♪♪ Alright Ms. Cheryl,
let’s talk about hostas. Everybody likes hostas. Beautiful foliage. So what do we need to know
about hostas this time of year? Well they’re hardy. herbacious
perennials as you know. They’re easy to grow. They are starting
to pick up now, which is.. Yes sir. Which excites me and probably
every other hosta grower to see them coming up. I look forward to their
beautiful leaves as they start to grow. And I walk around my garden. I make sure that
the garden is clean, which helps keep
away pests, slugs, snails. So I keep the mulch
off of my hostas. And if I use a mulch, I use a
light covering of a mulch or soil conditioner or
pine bark or pine needles, which helps deter
slugs and snails. And even though some
people may protest, I also like to use Bug-Geta. Use it now while there’s nothing
else for the snails and slugs to eat to help keep
those populations down. Or there is a more
organic chemical. Is it? I think it’s what it called? It’s iron pot ash. You helped me with that. That’s another one to me. I saw it at the big box stores. I would wait just a little while
before I would start to divide my hostas. You want them to have a
first flush of leaves. But anytime the
soil is workable, you can divide your hostas. If you divide
them in the spring, then they are.. They won’t be quite as big. If you wait until the fall
like when it’s not quite so hot, August or September, you can
divide them a little harder then, double in half
or maybe in quarters. Now since we’re
talking about dividing. how do you do that? Do you use, you know,
spade or trials or your hand? How do you go about
dividing your hostas? I take my pots. I grow many of my hostas in
pots because I have issues with voles. Okay. The nasty little
devils in the garden. And good garden practices
will help keep away the voles. Okay. I would take my
pot, dump it out, cut the hosta. I have a knife. I use an old knife. And please remember to
keep your tools clean. You can use a bleach. Like that shovel back there? Shovels can be used. I said unlike that shovel. That shovel is not clean. Keep your tools clean if you use
a bleach solution between going from hosta to hosta to hosta. You can help eliminate
diseases between your hostas. Okay. Hosta Virus X is the most
wildly dreaded disease. It cause.. You can see it in your hostas if
they have a bleeding between the veins. It looks like if you had water
color paints and you dropped that on the paper. You know and it
kind of bleeds out. You’ll see that in the
veins of your hostas. It’s a virus? It is. Also causes the leaves to kind
of like pucker and crunch up. And you can obviously see
that the plant is diseased. If you have a
diseased plant, destroy it. Do not divide it,
do not share it. Get rid of it. Replace it. Do not compost it. Throw it away. So I would just divide them. Look for the divisions
in the plant itself. You might want to
take the dirt off, wash all the dirt off. And you can see the divisions
and cut between the roots and between the divisions. Then repot it in a pot. If you’ve bare rooted it,
you want to get good soil, good potting soil in the pots. You want to make sure your soil
is light so you can add little soil conditioner to
it, maybe some humus, something to keep
the soil light. Put a little cone shape. Put your hosta roots
down over that cone. And then put it in the soil. Keep it even with the
level at the top of the dirt. Don’t bury them too deep. Alright. And then water it and then
out a little more dirt in. Water it again and let it grow. Well listen to our expert here. That would work
for a lot of things, I think. Yeah, that’ll probably be good
for fruit trees and everything else. Yeah, I think it’d do
just about everything else. And in the ground, you want
to make sure if your soils are really heavy and compacted,
you want to add some soil conditioner, some
well-rotted maybe leaf mold, compost, aged manure —
thank you — to the soils. Correct, yes, uh-huh. Add that to your garden soil. Mix it all together. You want to make sure that
your holes when you plant your hostas, they
don’t grow real deep. Use wider is better than deeper. Maybe about a foot deep, wide. Depends on how
large your hosta is. Exactly the same thing. If you have a bigger hosta,
you probably want a wider hole. If you have mini hostas,
you’ll want a littler hole. Plant your minis to the front of
your flower beds or even better yet, minis look
beautiful in pots. They look beautiful in troughs. And they.. Let me ask you this. Oh, you’re doing good. Do you have to divide
your hostas though? No, you don’t. You don’t have to. A lot of people never
divide their hostas. But some of us like
to share our hostas. And if your hosta.. If you know it does
not have disease, if ti doesn’t have
foliar nematodes, if you’re sure of that or if
it doesn’t have hosta virus X, by golly divide that hosta
and share it with a nieghbor! It’s a great way to make a new
friend is to share your hostas. They’re considered
the friendship plant. Okay. Now look, while we
have a little time left, what are some hostas
that grow well in our area? Do you know of any? Yes sir, I sure do. Thank you for asking. Okay, good! My personal
favorites are the blues. Okay. But hostas, as you know, people
buy them for the leaf color or the leaf shape or the size
possibly or the either from the minis which could be like a
venusta or to the huge which could be Empress Wu. A giant hosta that is very
beautiful is blue angel, which is a beautiful cascading
mound of blue-grey leaves. Has beautiful long-lasting
flowers and that are lavender to near white. And that blue hostas are a
better situated if you site them in morning sun or just
a little more shade. As I said, hostas
are shade tolerant. They do like sun. That’s why we grow them. Because they live in the shade. Right. They do like sun. But they don’t like in
the middle of your yard, July, 100 degree heat. They will just
immediately begin to burn out. Can you name us a few more? Yes! Yes, yes yes! We definitely want to get a few
more of those names out there. Alright, 2002 Hosta of the
Year is Hosta Guacamole. It’s a beautiful attractive
medium green margin with centers chartreuse —
chartreuse centers. Okay. They could become brighter
during the growing season if they’re sited in a
little more sun. It has an ovate shape
leaf moderatly wavey. It’s a beautiful hosta. You oughta have it. Everybody should have that. You can remember that. Hostas are named
after food sometimes, people sometimes,
places sometimes. Can you give us one more? A good hosta? 2010 Hosta of the
Year, First Frost. Another beautiful
blue medium to large, blue-green centered leaves with
a yellow margin in the spring which changes to a white
margin as the season goes on. It’s a thick substanced hosta. It has pale lavendar flowers. It was the 2010
Hosta of the Year. It’s very beautiful. You would love to have it. And this year’s Host of the
Year for 2014 is Abiqua Drinking Guard, which is a cut hosta. It’s puckered. Very beautiful blue-green. You’ve gotta have it. When do they have the
hosta beauty pageant? I don’t know. But we thank Ms. Cheryl
for that information. Great job, good information. Now this is our Q and A session. Ms. Cheryl, if you want to,
jump right in there with us, okay? Here’s our first
question, Mr. D. It says what is that purple
flower plant that I’m seeing along the roadsides? And guess what. You happened to bring some. Isn’t it pretty? Came from the roadside. How about that? That’s Henbit. Mhm. Look at that. Look at the long leaves
arranged in a whirl up top. Beautiful purple, pink, reddish
flowers is in the mint family. So you have a square stem, okay? Very nice lookin’ plant. And the thing is, you see a
lot of it together on the road sides. And they look like wild flowers. The farmer’s fields right now. Yeah! Where they had corn last
year are almost purple. They have a purple hue to them. And it’s mostly henbit. There’s also one purple dead
nettle are sometimes confused with it. And Henbit it a lot easier to
control than the purple dead nettle. So this is what
you hope you have. The 2-4-D products do
a good job on Henbit. Sometimes you might want to go
with the ones that have like two or three ways. Isn’t that right? You know more
about this than I do. Three ways work pretty good for
that because they control your broad leafed weeds. And again, this is a
winter annual broadleafed weed. So it’s going to go away? It’s going away. Before it goes away,
it’s going to drop seeds. It’ll drop seeds next year? It’s also gonna.. I mean as thick as it gets, it
can severly stress your summer perennials or summer annuals. It definitely could. But it is pretty. Not as pretty as your
hostas but it is pretty. So there you have it. It’s your Henbit
in the mint family. Alright, here’s
our next question. Can I use horse
manure in my garden? If so, how much is too much? And Ms. Cheryl told us that
you can actually use composted manures for your hostas. So what say you, Mr. D? Of course you can
use horse manure! Of course you can! It is actually a little
stronger than cow manure. The analysis of
horse manure is .6, .3, .6. So that’s the average analysis,
N-P-K analysis of horse manure. And it probably would be really
hard to over fertilize going to something that week. Most of your benefit is going
to come from additional organic matter that’s added. And I will be sure to.. You know, use the
dry horse manure. You know, let it compost some. Okay, dry. I kind of try to stay away
from fresh horse manure, especially.. Stay away from any of the fresh
manures in your garden because of E. Coli and salmonella
issues and things like that. But if you let it go
through a, you know, composting process
and a drying process, it’s good organic matter. So yes, of course
you can use it. And in many cases, horse
manure is mixed with saw dust. It’s used as bedding
or something like that. And that even lowers the content
of it but it ups the organic matter content. Yeah, it’s a good product. But if you’ve got a
horse, sell your horse manure. Oh, sell it? Yeah, sell it because
it’s a good product. Because your gardeners
will like to use it. Go ahead, Ms. Cheryl. I just wondered how long you let
it compost before you use it. A year? Six months? It probably doesn’t have to be. It depends on the
weather conditions. You know it goes through that
process pretty quickly during the summer time. And you know it may take a
little bit longer in the winter time. But you know you’ll know. It actually —
the smell changes. You know it doesn’t smell
as much like horse manure. You know it doesn’t smell
like fresh horse manure. It smells like
composted horse manure. Just kind of use your
common sense on that. And that’s a good question. Because we get
that question a lot. Yeah, that’s a good question. And I am very, very concerned
about folks using the fresher materials in food crops. Because of the,
especially E. Coli issues. You know E. Coli is in manure. And we’ve had cases of
strawberries that have been fertilized wtih, you know,
organic material like that that have created problems. And then also, greens. Here’s our next question. What varieties of fig trees
grow best here in Memphis? You know we need to have Bill
Calbert come on here and talk about figs. Talk about these figs! Yeah, I’ve got a fig publication
that’s somewhere in my stuff. But it’s the standard varieties
when I worked down in Mobile, we recommended down there
also do well up here and it’s Eastern brown turkey. And it’s Celeste. It’s Alma. Fruits and nuts —
figs and home planting. Brown Turkey, Celeste. Green Ischia is one
recommended for Tennessee. Magnolia and Alma. Now if you’re growing figs, this
winter had to be tough on you. Some of the varities are
more cold hardy than others. The Brown Turkey is supposed to
survive temperatures down to 10 degrees. We received temperatures a
lot colder than that this year. Yes we did. Celeste is winter hardy to zero. Grren Ischia is not as cold
hardy as either Celeste or Brown Turkey. So you know 15 would
probably get that. Magnolia is winter
hardy to five degrees. If you have figs and you suspect
that you may have some damage, be sure you give them plenty of
time to come out this spring. And you know, don’t be in too
big of a hurry to get out there with your pruning
shears and all that. Mother Nature probably did
a lot of pruning for ya. All you’ve got to do is go
out and remove the dead tissue, you know, later on. I would suspect the breba crop,
which is the crop that fruits on last year’s wood, probably
aren’t going to have any of that this year. Probably won’t have any breba
crop or any early crop this year. All of your crop will be in the
fall on current season’s growth, you know. Alright. Just kind of keep
an eye on them. These varieties oughta
do the trick for you. Okay, well thanks Mr. D. Thanks, Ms. Cheryl. That’s all the time
we have for today. Remember, we love
to hear from you. Send us a letter or an e-mail
with your gardening questions. Send your e-mail to
Family-Plot-at-wkno-dot-org. The mailing
address is Family Plot, 7151 Cherry Farms road
Cordova, Tennessee 38016. You can also follow us
on Facebook and Twitter. That’s all we
have time for today. Thanks for watching. I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join us next time for
“The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South.” Be safe! [theme music]
♪♪♪ (female announcer)
Production funding for “The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South” is provided by Good Winds Landscape and Garden
Center in Germantown since 1943 and continuing to offer it’s
plants for successful gardening with seven greenhouses and
three acres of plants plus comprehensive
landscape services.. CLOSED CAPTIONING
PROVIDED BY WKNO-MEMPHIS.

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