Don Buma Blog

Blackspot of Roses

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News, Perennials.

Blackspot of roses is a fungus disease that can cause leaves to yellow and eventually defoliate. The first signs of blackspot, usually on lower leaves working its way up the plant, are leaves with dark, roughly circular spots with uneven edges. The most severe cases of blackspot occur when the relative humidity is above 85%…

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Poison Ivy

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News, Natural Areas.

Poison ivy (formerly Rhus radicans now Toxicodendron radicans) Can you identify poison ivy if you should come across this plant while weeding in your garden or out hiking? This is a vital skill if you wish to avoid the rash and irritation that results from coming in contact with it.  The old adage:  “Leaves of…

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Lawn mowing height in Spring

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News.

How low should you go on the first cutting? On tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, you can mow as low as 1 to 1½ inches. Be careful you don’t go so low that you scalp the turf though.  Actually, low mowing can speed green-up by removing old, dead grass and allowing the soil to warm…

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2015 – Year of the Sweet Pepper

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News.

Sweet peppers come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  The Colors include red, yellow, ivory, orange and purple and shapes include the elongated banana, the blocky bell, the oblong bells and smooth cherry types.  Sweet peppers are called “sweet” because they do not contain capsaisin the chemical that makes chili peppers “hot” and can…

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Spotted Lanternfly

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Shrubs, Trees.

A new exotic insect pest was recently announced by Pennsylvania agricultural officials. The Spotted Lanternfly, a colorful flying insect native to China, India, Japan and VietNam, has prompted a quarantine in five PA townships where it has been discovered. These are the only reported observations of this pest in the US so far. The Spotted…

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Pruning Nandina

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News.

Nandina, Nandina domestica, also called heavenly bamboo, is one of those plants that some people love to hate. These feelings are probably engendered by the over-use use of nandina because of its aggressive behavior. However, it is a tough and pretty much year-round interest plant with white flowers in spring, green foliage throughout the year…

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Sheet Composting

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News.

This is a follow-on to my previous encouragement that mulch leaves rather than bagging and curbing them. Compost piles are a great manner in which to turn shredded leaves into a healthy soil enriching product. However, if you are like me, the overall work required to set up and manage a compost pile does not…

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Do Plants Experience Wind Chill?

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News.

During some of the coldest  parts of the winter when weathermen report bone-chilling wind chill factors, have you ever wondered if plants also are subject to those same wind chills? Here is what Kansas State University, which sometimes experiences amazing wind chills, has to say about this topic. “Though wind chills can have a profound…

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Mulch Don’t Bag

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News.

Leaves that are falling on your lawn are a gift of nature. They represent free fertilizer, the basis for healthy compost, a wonderful soil amendment and also a quick and easy mulch that will enable your soil to retain moisture. So why do so many homeowners go through the aggravation of collecting and bagging them…

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