May

“In My Garden” is about what local gardeners are doing to care for their indoor and outdoor plants.  Seasonal advice is valid year after year, so scroll down or select the current month from the IN MY GARDEN menu .  Contributions are welcomed – add your comments!

Perennials  Divide, fertilize, top dress perennial beds with 1″ -2″ organic matter such as compost or composted manure.

Nincompoop Mulch  As an annual fundraiser,  BDHS sells Nincompoop organic mulch which is made up of composted straw and manure. For more info about Nincompoopclick here.

Lily Beetles  These bright red beetles emerge from ground to munch on plants in the lily family, including the earliest varieties of Fritillaria (checkered lily).  Combat these pests by hand picking – the beetles drop to the ground when disturbed, so take advantage of this characteristic and place a jar of soapy water under the plant and let them plunge to their demise.  NEEM oil, often sold as a leaf shine product, can be sprayed on the emerging foliage of lilies to make the plant unpalatable to the beetles and their larvae.  NEEM oil will not kill the beetles.  Eggs are orange and laid in a line on the underside of the leaves.  As the larva mature, they surround themselves with frass (insect poo) making it a messy job to kill them.  Rinse the frass off and you will see the plump orange larva that are destroying your plants.  A beneficial insect with an appetite for lily beetles has recently been released in the Ottawa area.  In time, the lily beetle pest may become less of a problem for lily growers. For more info about Lily Beetles, click here.

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