June 30, 2011 / July2011
What looks good now?
*Bougainvillea – We have quite a few 2gallon plants that are blooming quite well now.
*Red, Purple, & Pink Trailing Vinca – These plants will continue to bloom till frost.
*Tibochina (Princess Flower) – In 1gallon pots, they are just starting to bloom again.
Bougainvillea Growing Guide
The most frequently asked question people ask about Bougainvillea is: "What can I do to get my plant to bloom like it was when I bought it?"
In our climate
zone 8), Bougainvillea bloom best if grown in pots and located where
the roots cannot grow out the pots into the ground. If the roots are
kept restricted the plant will bloom well though it is still relatively
small. If the pot is directly in contact with the ground or buried
partly in the ground the vigorous roots can grow into the ground and
then the plant will cease blooming. Bougainvillea can be kept
indefinitely in 12" to 16" pots.
You may be astounded that a plant can provide so much concentrated color if you follow these simple steps. Happy growing!
What to do with Roses in the Summer
Those Rose bushes you bought in the Spring with those big beautiful blooms are producing fewer and smaller roses than they were just a couple of months ago. You may start thinking you bought miniature roses without knowing it. What do you do?
First of all go out and inspect the plants closely. Do it later in the evening when it's not so hot and you will be sure to take time to get a good look. Check the leaves closely for bugs. You may need a magnifying glass to see the little ones if they're present.
Tiny Spider Mites are a big problem in the hot weather. If your roses are not doing so well and you’ve done everything else you can think of, mites may be present. If so try this first; get your hose and blast them off with a strong stream of water. Do that every day for three or four days in a row. You'll only lose a few leaves - most of them bad anyway.
If your plants are still poorly you will need a miticide (an insecticide specifically for mites). Before you go to the store, check your shelves. Malathion is somewhat effective - try that before you spend more money. If that doesn't work go to the store and read the labels before you make your purchase. You'll want to get the best broad spectrum product available.
Remember that most of the granular insecticides work only as a preventive measure. Once you have bugs you will need to spray to eliminate them - probably two or three times or more – once a week for two or three weeks in a row.
Once you get control of the mites be sure to water your plants well during those hot dry days. When the rose bed is dry soak the roots well - let the hose run slowly (any time of the day) into your rose bed until it's well watered while you sit and have a cold glass of tea (or a beer). Overhead watering of roses is not recommended, especially late in the evening.
Don't neglect your spray schedule for disease while all of this is going on. Even in hot weather it is a good idea to spray fungicide for black spot and powdery mildew, even on shrub roses. They may be resistant but they're not immune. While you were spraying fungicide once every week or ten days when the weather was cooler, now you can usually drop back to once a month for this task when it's hot.
Also don't forget that roses are heavy feeders. Roses require more frequent fertilizing than most other blooming plants - at least once every four to six weeks with granular fertilizer. If you've been using a soluble liquid fertilizer (Miracle Gro or equivalent) you should use it every other time you water. Do the math and figure what's more cost efficient. Whatever you use, don't let them go hungry. Nearly any good rose food or all-purpose slow release fertilizer is sufficient.
No, the individual roses still won't be as large as they were in the spring, but they will be much nicer than they were before you applied a little TLC.
Note: In Mid September. If you trim your plants just a little harder than you have been doing all late spring and summer and then fertilize well you will be rewarded with a very good fall bloom – almost as nice as the first bloom of the spring.
Free Anti-Virus Software for the PC
As you may have noticed, we have another small business at the nursery that has nothing to do with plants. We work on PCs: specifically we specialize in virus/malware removal and wireless networking. Since you're reading this on your computer you may have a small interest in keeping your PC running smoothly. So here's a suggestion to help in that regard.
When you bought your Windows PC, along with it was an OEM (pre-installed) security program from Symantec (Norton), Trend Micro or some other company. After a certain period of time you will need to renew the paid subscription for this software for it to continue protecting your PC from virus/malware attacks that are so prevalent on the internet. If you don't pay the renewal fee the software will quit working soon after the subscription runs out. Your PC will then be wide open to attack from any virus on the internet if you are so unlucky to surf a web page where one is embedded or download any file in which one is present.
Malware can, in extreme cases, render your PC unusable. However even mild attacks can be very irritating, such as redirecting your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) to download unwanted internet pages and even unwanted software.
So what can you do besides paying the renewal subscription for this vital antivirus software? You can download and install a free antivirus program. Yes, free, you'll never need to pay for it and it will protect your PC just as well as the ones you have to pay for.
What's the catch? Quality is not free, right? You're correct to a certain extent. The software vendors that offer these free versions of their anti-virus software also sell paid-for versions and make every offer they can think of to get you to switch to them at every renewal period. However you are under no obligation to pay as long as they continue to offer a free version. These companies have been offering their software freely for years so it's not likely they'll change now.
Yes, you will get a few more features with a paid version. These features sound good and even essential in some cases, but I have been running free antivirus software for over ten years without any successful attacks on my PCs. Your secure connections (https) will stay secure as longs as you are running the latest browser version and Windows itself is kept updated. (More on that in my next article.)
If you need to renew your anti-virus software subscription and are tired of paying then go to CNET's download.com and download a free software package. There are two excellent ones available, Avast and AVG. Pick one and download it and install it. Both are very good and highly recommended. They both offer automatic download of anti-virus updates. Microsoft also offers a free antivirus program and it is a good one. If you have confidence in them go to micosoft.com and download Microsoft Security Essentials.
Before you install any new antivirus software it is necessary for you to un-install your old antivirus software. It is inadvisable to have more than one antivirus program running on your PC. They may conflict with one another rendering both useless. Go to the Control Panel and choose Programs, UnInstall a Program (Add or Remove Programs on Windows XP). Very carefully choose the name of your antivirus program from the list and choose Uninstall. (If you have a Norton product installed see note below.)
So, out with the old and in with the new. And don't forget to register it after installation; they'll need only your name and email address. Be sure to choose the free option.
Oh, and watch closely during installation of your new software, the installer may offer to install a new browser program and/or internet search toolbar. Uncheck the boxes to avoid installing them; they will add no new functionality to your PC.
Remember, the time to check your antivirus software is before your subscription runs out and before you have problems. It's much more difficult and expensive afterwards.
Note on uninstalling Norton products: Norton Antivirus and some other Norton security products are unique (in my experience) in that they almost always require the user to download an un-installer program from their website to remove their programs from the user's PC. Most software vendors include an un-installer along with the original installer program.
If you have a pre-installed Norton security product you wish to remove, first make a note of the product name and year of purchase (of the PC), then go to the Norton web site, specifically to the Norton Removal Tool Page. Select and download the appropriate un-installer for your particular product to your desktop and then double-click on it after the download completes to remove the Norton product from your PC. You must restart your PC to complete removal before installing your new software.
If your PC is acting glitchy or you have any questions about this article feel free to email me (just reply to this newsletter) or call me at 225-294-3683 after 2PM every day.
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