Garden Boss answers YOUR questions!

Q: Dear Garden Boss, My neighbors are constantly peeking into my backyard to offer a running commentary on the dismal state of my garden. What can I do to make this stop?

A: There are all kinds of helpful plants out there that will save you heartache and agony.

1) Wisteria will creep into your neighbor’s yard and pull down their house like Samson in the temple, thus forcing your pesky neighbors to move. We now offer the WWE series, which includes “Hulk Hogan” with cute pink flowers and “The Rock,” which likes to creep into the kitchen to smell what YOU’RE cooking!

2) Our trumpet creepers have just come in. Michael Dirr says of these, “Plant these and run.” These vines will eat up anything you turn them loose on, including your neighbors. They are available in red, yellow, orange, yellow-orange, orange-yellow, red-orange, and puce.

Q: Wow, thanks, garden boss!
A: Yeah, no problemo.

KNOW THY ENEMY: Japanese beetles

Male Japanese beetles will fly to plants where females were feeding, or pretty much anyplace where the females are. In the morning, when the females climb out of the holes they’ve dug to lay their eggs, a bunch of males will fly over and land and try to mate with her. And she’s like, “Dudes, I just woke up, geez.”

Tomato Plant Diseases and General Afflictions

One way of outsmarting tomato diseases may be to plant a wide variety of disease-resistant tomato plants, not just one variety. Even if you lose one or two tomato plant to the disease, the other varieties could resist it. Also, space the tomato plants well apart from each other. My tomato plants were scattered around the garden, well apart from each other, and this probably saved some of my plants.

Late-Summer Planting for Fall Vegetables

To keep the ground cool while the seeds are germinating, shade it by placing a board over your rows, raising it off the ground with two flowerpots or bricks. Or use shade cloth or even sheer curtains to help keep the plants cool. When the seedlings emerge, remove the board, then mulch the ground with a half-inch of grass clippings or straw. Add more mulch once the seedlings are 1 to 2 inches tall.

August List o’ Things to Do!

August is the hottest month — allegedly, as it started out as pretty cool here in Missouri, but now the heat’s finally showing up. At any rate, the vegetable garden is going like gangbusters right now. Here’s a little list of chores for the August garden, just to keep you up to speed.

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