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Doug at May Market 12-3 Friday and Saturday

Written by Doug Oster on .

2014 - May Market -57 700 330 s c1May Market is a wonderful gardening tradition. Photo courtesy of Phipps Conservatory, by Paul g. Wiegman
I'll be appearing at May Market from 12 noon until 3 p.m. Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th, 2015. May Market is held at Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens and is a place to get just about anything you could possibly want for the garden.
I'll be in the tent near the outdoor garden answering garden questions and signing books.
May Market is an important tradition in Pittsburgh and one thing you must have when you go there are the strawberries dipped in fondant from Rockledge Garden Club.
Here are all the details on vendors and events, I can't wait!

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Mom will enjoy these plants for years to come

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog Loves magic'Love's Magic' has the perfect name for a Mother's Day gift. There are lots of other plants which will come back each season which also have special names. Photo courtesy of Edmunds Roses

It's still too early to plant frost sensitive plants, at least that's what my mother always said. She made us wait until Memorial Day and that's usually when I plant.

You'll probably be OK, but be ready to cover the plants if it gets cold one night.

Here's a segment from Pittsburgh Today Live showcasing plants which will come back year after year and have special names for mom.

When you give plants for Mother's Day, remember, you need to plant them too!

 

 

 

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Tiny garden visitors offer unlikely beauty

Written by Doug Oster on .

INSTA blog super tight mothAThis cabbage looper butterfly posed for a portrait while sitting on 'Suncatcher' tulip. Photos by Doug Oster

blog tulips wideACan you see the butterfly?

The morning sun filters through the new leaves of maples and other trees waking up for spring.

I've been infatuated with these 'Suncatcher' tulips from Longfield Gardens, the weather has been perfect to keep them happy. While working in the garden, I noticed a cabbage looper butterfly on one of the blooms. It was still cold enough for the insect to happily sit for a portrait.

This is the butterfly which lays eggs on members of the brassica family. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards and others are the host plant for the butterfly. The larval stage is the green cabbage worm which does plenty of damage to the plants. To prevent it, I always cover plants from that family with a floating row cover. Here's a video showing how it's done.

But even though this butterfly makes cabbage worms, isn't it beautiful? You can't blame the pest for trying to perpetuate the species. There are plenty of ways to share the garden successfully with them. The key for me is to specifically target a pest or disease and try to prevent the problem without disrupting the balance of nature.

blog nice tight pollenA

While cutting some white tulips for a vase, I discovered this little bug covered in pollen down in the yellow throat of the flower. I have no idea what it is, but it looks cool.

BLOG first toadA

The first toad of the garden frantically hopped out of my path as I walked around the perennial garden. When the little guy finally found a place to sun, I got close for a picture. Not everyone thinks toads are beautiful, but I do. They eat lots of pests too, one of their favorites is slugs. They are the ultimate organic control for the pests. They just need to keep their eye out for snakes, who would love to make a meal out of the toad.

blog double suncatcherAEven though 'Suncatcher' is a single tulip, this stem formed two buds, which is unusual.

blog pretty dandelionsA

There's no doubt dandelions are beautiful, right? There's good for you too, but it's too late to pick the greens. If you're interested in trying them, wait until they are done flowering (although the flowers are edible too), and cut the greens to the ground. What comes up next will be pretty tasty. I like to through them in a salad with other spring greens.

insta ostergruss radishA

I had to grow 'Ostergruss' radish. It's my namesake, but actually means Easter greeting in German. Radishes love cool weather, these were planted a few weeks ago and can already be harvested. I'm going to wait until they get a little bigger. If some of your radishes don't head up, let them continue growing, flower and go to seed. The young seed pods are tasty and you'll get a lot of them.

BLOG insta unfurlingA

There's an area I call "The Fern Room" in my garden. The floor of the forest there is filled with these hay scented ferns. I've got an old garden chair sitting out there with another to put my feet up on. I don't get to sit there very often, but when I do, it's relaxing to sit and watch the chipmunks run from place to place not knowing I'm there.

 

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Video: How to grow mushrooms, planting dandelions and new spring blooms

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog suncatcherI've fallen in love with 'Suncatcher' tulip from Longfield Gardens. Photo by Doug Oster

In this week's Digging with Doug, I demonstrate how to inoculate a stump with mushroom spore from a 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm kit. The kits are available locally at Hahn Nursery.

Even though most gardeners try everything they can to get rid of dandelions, I'm planting them in my garden, see why.

Finally I'll show off some great looking spring blooms.

Enjoy the video!

 

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Free rose giveaway and seminar with Doug Sunday

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog flower carpet pink splashI'm giving away five Flower Carpet 'Pink Splash' roses (seen here) and five Flower Carpet 'Scarlet' this Sunday at Hahn Nursery.

I'll be presenting a free organic rose growing seminar at Hahn Nursery on Sunday May 3, 2015 at 3 p.m. I'll teach you how to grow roses without chemicals and show you how to deal with pests and diseases on the plants in the same way.

I've got 10 beautiful Flower Carpet roses to give a way courtesy of Anthony Tesselaar International. I met Mr. Tesselaar last summer and we hit it off talking about these roses and 'Bonfire' begonia, I love both of them. The company is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the rose that changed the way gardeners look at the plant.

They have kindly donated five Flower Carpet 'Scarlet' and Five Flower Carpet 'Pink Splash' in three gallon pots. We'll give them away with a random drawing at the end of the presentation.

Flower Carpet roses were bred to be tough and beautiful, that's why they are the perfect choice for growing organically. They have glossy, green foliage, bloom for months at a time and are hardy to at least zone 5.

They don't need any fancy pruning, just hack them back by about a third in the spring. They even are tolerant of road salt and high heat conditions.

These roses are not attractive to Japanese beetles and are self cleaning, meaning the petals drop off on their own.

The seminar is free, call and reserve a seat at 412-635-7475.

Hope to see you there.

Blog flower carpet scarletFlower Carpet 'Scarlet' is beautiful, tough and easy to grow.

 




 

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