Friday, August 9, 2013

Planters and Window Boxes; Dividing Irises; Mosquitoes

Sometimes I have good luck with planters, and sometimes I don't. This was a good year for my window boxes. We used a mixture of potting soil with moisture pellets and composted manure with humus. This seemed to help get us through the season. In the past, usually by August, my planters and window boxes looked pitiful. This year I am very pleased with the results. Here is a link to 10 Container Garden Tips:

If you want to "Wow" your friends and neighbors (and yourself) with your containers here is an article with ideas using the Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers idea for your containers:
A Thriller is a plant that grabs someone's attention, Fillers are plants that will fill out your pot, and the Spillers are plants that trail over the sides of the container.

2013 Irises
Also it was a good year for the irises as well as the daylilies. I'm showing you a picture when the irises were in bloom and when they finished blooming (below).

Irises seem to do better in a garden that has good drainage and lots of sun. And it doesn't help that I haven't weeded that bed either.

Early August is a good time to divide your irises.

Here is a link to dividing your irises: Or if you prefer here is a video on dividing irises: I prefer to throw out the old center part of the iris and keep the the off-shoots.

The Japanese Anemone have started to bloom. They are a very delicate flower on tender stalks with beautiful buds.

Another visitor was pretty well camouflaged.

Mosquitoes. A few years ago a friend of mine shared with me a newsletter that she had been receiving through her email Paul Parent Garden Club. I subscribed to it as well and have found it to be very informative. If you are interested in receiving the weekly edition here is the website:  There is a TAB at the top of the page to click on which says "Newsletter Signup".
The current issue had this information on mosquitoes which I thought was very informative and something you might be interested in:
Because of all the rain this summer, the mosquito population become a major problem for those working outside (along with flies, gnats and no-see-ums), so let's treat our yard so we can enjoy being outside. Most of these insect pests will spend their time hiding in thick evergreens shrubs or tall grasses during the heat of the day, and come out to feed on you as the day cools down and evening arrives. They prefer dark colored clothing over light and bright colors. If you have type O blood you will be their first choice; if you're drinking an alcohol beverage or are wearing perfume or aftershave you will also become a preferred target--and if you're all sweaty from working in the garden you will be their first choice--so take a shower before going back out to enjoy your deck or patio for that evening cookout.
To control mosquitoes, be sure to treat all water features on your property like bird baths, fountains, garden ponds, self-watering containers, water barrels at the base of a house gutter and downspout. Also check pot saucers on your deck or patio that may be filled with water, watering cans filled with water, wheelbarrows left sitting up, your snow tires left up against the garage with water in them and wet or swampy areas with standing water. Use Summit Chemical Mosquito Bits or Dunks to treat these areas and kill the larvae before they mature into adult mosquitoes. These products are organic and will not hurt your pets and wildlife if they drink them. Mosquitoes need only one tablespoon of water to lay eggs in for more mosquitoes, so be sure your empty pots and containers are upside down when you store them.
If you are interested, here is the 2013 West Nile Virus Surveillance Summary as reported from the New York State Department of Health:
It was reported on the news today (August 13, 2013) that West Nile Virus was found in Central Square, NY as well.

I would like to thank my friend and gardening buddy, Chris, for encouraging and helping me to start my own blog. Here is a link to her gardening site:
The Great Wall Of Lutz


  1. In Florida,we are able to grow only a few types of irises.Louisiana Iris and Giant Apostle Irises.Both are walking types.They bloom in the spring,and I just rip 'em up and transplant 'em somewhere else.But now I have waaaay too many.Thinking of posting them on Craig's List under Free.

  2. Hi Chris, I've tried the Louisiana Irises up here, but didn't have good luck with it. I think I had another plant that might have crowded it out. I found that Siberian Irises as well as the irises you mentioned are very prolific and can be transplanted easily and either planted elsewhere in the garden or shared with others. Thanks for the idea of posting them on Craig's list as well!

  3. Sue, when dividing g iris I also toss away the old bulb but I also check for borers on the tuber. There is a powder that you can dip it in to kill any disease but I can't think of the name of it.
    I am going to send a friend in Oregon some lily tubers in late Sept. I am going to dig them up and shake the dirt off and let them dry for a day then put them in a box with peat moss for shipping. Do you think they will make it? She will have to any them right away. Nice pics of Sacketts Harbor. I did candles for the catholic church there as you may remember.

  4. Hi Judy, I usually toss away the old bulb as well, but I know of people who have planted them and had new shoots sprout from them. A friend of mine washes her bulbs in a very weak bleach solution as well (10%) when she digs them up and divides them. But if a bulb is rotten you need to discard it. I think your irises should ship fine the way you described it. I looked it up on line and found that there is a product called Merit that's used for iris borers. And here is a link to the American Iris Society's web page for additional information: