What's Coming Up 36: Gloves, design for ugly fence, scale, maintenance

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Gloves for all gardeners, all seasons

Euonymus scale

Design to correct for ugly fence

Environmentally friendly pest control

Cutting back roses, lavender, others in spring

Newspaper as mulch

 

Did you arrive at this page from a search of the site?  All of the topics below are included in this issue of What's Coming Up. Download the issue to learn about:

ash, Fraxinus, emerald ash borer
blue mist spirea, Caryopteris
butterfly bush, Buddleia
cutting back woody sub-shrubs
design corner, strong visual influence in design
design line, texture, color, fencing as line, visual element in design
Euonymus scale, environmentally friendly control, horticultural oil, insecticidal soap
fence line, chain link fence, design to cover fence, design to hide fence
gardener's health, skin, eczema, abrasives, cracking skin, fungi
gloves, Woman's Work brand, West Country brand, Atlas Nitrile Touch
groundcovers slow shrub comeback from cutback
hybrid tea roses
lavender
maintenance, perennials compared to annuals
newspaper as mulch, newspaper in addition to mulch
perennials hardened off
raised bed for vegetables, advantages of raised bed,
sage
slugs
Specialty Growers

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Gloves for gardeners

Over the decades I've been intimate with over 500 pairs of gloves in more than 20 styles. Currently, these four are my regulars (left): Early and late in the year I'm in Woman's Work gloves (the purple ones at left in this group, which the guys in my crew use, too). I consider them interchangeable with a very similar West Country glove (not pictured here). These are warmest so they're my choice in late winter.

I switch to the lighter Woman's Work style when it's cool but no longer icy. (They're the green pair, second from left). These Woman's Work gloves and the comparable West Country model have velcro wrist closures, which keep soil from getting inside the glove. All have padded palms and fingertips, which go a long way to cushion my hands from the wear that can trigger my arthritis-, carpal tunnel- and vibration white finger symptoms. They are my most expensive gloves (about $20) but they make up for it by out-wearing the others. Even though I use them hard every day they may last a whole season. I wear out three or four pairs of lighter weight gloves in that length of time.

By mid-spring I'm wearing the lighter Atlas "Touch" gloves and in summer the Atlas "Cool Touch." Both have long-wearing elastic at the cuffs and protect my hands well yet allow amazing dexterity and feeling.

All four of these gloves are made by national companies and are available from on-line vendors. Locally, I pick them up as needed at English Gardens, Telly's, Ray Wiegand's Nursery, Bordine's or my local hardware store (McNab's; what a great place).

For many years I've made it a condition of employment that those who work with me wear gloves. No one has protested. That may be because those who draw gloves from my collection see regular illustrations of what they do for us, as shown here (above) in the comparison of a new and worn pair of my Woman's Work gloves. Check out those fingertips and palms! The forces that wore away both padding and substance there could have easily flayed skin.

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Oil it takes to control scale...

The white flecks on this variegated Euonymus leaf are the hardened bodies of adult scales. They're difficult to kill as hard-shelled adults, simpler to dispatch when they are just starting out the year as crawlers. That time is now as the plant's new leaves emerge.

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Cutting back

(Above) These are the bases of lavender stems I've just removed in an annual cut-back. I found tiny gray-green nubs of foliage on the stems just an inch above ground, so I cut to just above those buds. Look close and you can see them on the sage cuts, too (below). They're gray dots, ready to grow.

Above: Younger stems are on the right in these groups, progressively older to the right. Notice the oldest stems have become decrepit over years, with fewer growth buds evident and more spindly or dead wood. That's because the wood of these Mediterranean natives does not fare well in hot, humid summers. Infections develop and grow on the stems, year by year.

Above: That dark space by my loppers is a dwarf spirea I cut back this week, early April. Its not-yet-cut fellows are in the background.

Here (below) is the stubby
 remnant of that spirea with all its thinnest stems removed (cut weak wood hard, leave only the sturdiest to re-sprout) and the groundcover myrtle pulled away. That myrtle would have shaded the stubs and slowed development of dormant bus that would become new canes.

 

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