Thursday, July 21, 2005


I am going out of town for a bit. I thought it might be good to post this page now so I won't feel guilty about not "tending" to my INTERNET garden!
Remember to protect yourself from the sun! Take water with you to the garden for well as for watering the plants!!! Be sure you apply your sun-block often. It tends to wash off with perspiration, and we ALL know that gardeners are not beyond a bit of sweat!!!


Make some notes on what you need to add to next years garden while
you can see what's blooming!

Dig potatoes after the tops have died down.

Prune off those strawberry runners to keep your strawberry bed orderly.

Buy fall mums.

Water any newly planted shrubs and trees.

Stop pruning shrubs.

Water evergreens thoroughly during dry weather.

Sow forget-me-not seed. The make an attractive carpet planting
for tulip beds

Cut off foliage of bleeding heart, which has probably become unsightly.

Apply fertilizer around peonies and scratch it into the soil. If you want to transplant or divide them, this would be the time.

Treat for Powdery Mildew. Try this recipe: 1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda, 1 gallon of water and 2-3 tablespoons of horticultural oil. Spray it on all the susceptable plants every other week or so.

Plant colchicum's and fall crocuses.

Order your bulbs if you haven't already!

Cuttings from English Ivy now will produce good house plants for

Are you remembering the lawn mower should be set at 2 1/2 to 3 inches to help the grass stay hydrated? Cutting the grass lower will be very stressful!

If you have an amaryllis outside, now would be the time to think about
bringing it inside.

Still time to sow lettuces and greens, carrots, beets and turnips (don't worry about how big they get...they ALL taste wonderful while still immature!) Then of course, there are radishes. Be sure to keep all of these well watered, also, a bit of mulch will keep the tender roots cool. As far as avoiding early frosts, a row cover will help there!

Get some netting over the blueberries! Remember the birds and small animals are great at crawling UNDER and THROUGH the netting. Try staking it so they can't reach the berries from the outside. If they get in, you'll live to regret it. Talk about a mess!!!

Any questions about August?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Common Pests of New Hampshire's Trees and Forests

I just received this link from the Upper Valley Land Trust. It is a great spot to learn about some of the things that affect our trees up here in the far north east. There are great pictures and descriptions. It's definitely worth a visit!
Common Pests of New Hampshire Trees and Forests

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Lots of folks up here in Northern New England have Coy-Dog sightings frequently. However, after reading this article, from a local newspaper, we'll have to look a bit closer! Read on for some VERY interesting observations!

The Caledonian Record

Biological Investigators Discover Wolf Ancestry

Eastern Coyotes Are Becoming Coywolves

By DAVID ZIMMERMAN, News Correspondent
Saturday July 2, 2005

A handsome, stuffed, wild canine presides over the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife's conference room on Portland Street in St. Johnsbury.

Shot in Glover in 1998 by Eric Potter, the animal, a male, is a puzzler. With its gray, tan, black, and beige pelage, it looks like a coyote. But, as Fish and Wildlife biologist Thomas Decker points out, it weighed 72 pounds at death, and it's built like a wolf.

"It's smaller than a wolf, and larger than a coyote," Decker said. "It's a hybrid" - a cross - "between a large, eastern coyote and a wolf."

He said the animal's ancestry was confirmed by genetic testing. What it is not, he said, is a cross with a domestic dog. In fact, none of the coyotes tested in New England in recent years have turned out to carry dog genes, Decker said.

In New Hampshire, Eric Orf, a biologist with the state Fish and Game Department, agrees with Decker, saying it is "wrong" to call the animals "coydogs," because they have no dog DNA.

The "coywolf" is thus becoming a poster animal for issues that biologists, farmers, and sportsmen are trying to sort out: What are the "coyotes" now seen or killed in the Kingdom? And where do they come from?

For answers, researchers are turning more and more to genetic studies, called DNA profiles. The answers that geneticists come up with will help shape wildlife management plans - and may be decisive in the question as to whether wolves should be reintroduced in New England.

In point of fact, as hybrids, wolves already are here.

Several years ago, for example, Donald "Rocky" Larocque of Lyndonville, who is a mechanic for the St. Johnsbury highway department, was hunting deer in East Barnet. It was late in the season - Thanksgiving, he recalled in a phone interview - and late in the day he encountered a large "coyote" and shot it.

The animal, a female, weighed about 60 pounds, and appeared heavyset, more like a wolf than a coyote. Larocque said he showed it to Rodney Zwick, a professor at Lyndon State College, who was impressed enough to send the animal to a biologist in Kansas. Its DNA was tested, and it was "part wolf," Larocque said.

Based on DNA tests, a picture is emerging on the relationship of coyotes and other wild canines in the Northeast, although the history is still quite fuzzy.

In the Colonial era, there were few if any coyotes in New England. Wolves were here. But, strangely, because there are so few ancient wolf specimens still around in museums, DNA research to determine what kind of wolves they were cannot be done, according to a pair of biologists, Paul J. Wilson, a DNA profiler at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, and Walter J. Jakubas, a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The scant evidence, according to Jakubas, suggests they were not "timber wolves," or gray wolves (Canis lupus), as northern and western wolves now are called. Rather, he said they appear to have been similar to the red wolves (Canis rufus) found in Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park north of Toronto. Red wolves are also in the southeastern U.S., where a captive breeding project has been started to save them from extinction.

The settlement of New England destroyed or drove off the resident wolves, according to the scenario developed by Jakubas and Wilson. In the last century, they speculate, coyotes replaced wolves, filling their empty biological niche. The researchers said coyotes appear much abler than wolves to live among people.

What is unclear, is where the coyotes came from. "We don't know," Decker said.

Eastern coyotes are larger and heavier at 32 to 38 pounds than western coyotes at 22 to 30 pounds.

The diet of eastern coyotes includes white-tailed deer, while western coyotes feed mostly on rabbits and small game. The coyote in the Fish and Wildlife conference room had four pounds of deer meat in his belly when he died. But, aside from diet, part of the reason for the eastern coyotes' larger size may be hybridization with wolves.

The Fish and Wildlife specimen and Rocky Larocque's animal certainly have wolf genes. More tellingly, a study by Wilson and Jakubas shows that of 100 coyotes collected in Maine, 22 had half or more wolf ancestry - and one was 89 percent wolf. Over half of the specimens had eastern coyote ancestry, but only 4 percent were mostly descended from western coyotes (Canis latrans).

"The [introduction] of eastern Canadian wolf genes into eastwardly expanding coyotes could have provided a composite genome [Canis latrans X lycaon] that facilitated selection of animals with a larger body size ... that may be more adept at preying on deer than smaller western coyotes," Wilson and Jakubas report in their study. The study, co-written with Shevenell Mullen of the University of Maine, is awaiting publication.

In plain language, Wilson said his work suggests the large, eastern coyotes in Canada are hybrids of the smaller western coyotes and wolves that met and mated decades ago as the coyotes moved toward New England from their earlier western ranges. The animals, he said, may become amplified in size by further crossings between the now-larger eastern coyotes and Canadian wolves.

Vermont's Tom Decker said he wants to see more evidence published to support that view. However, he said, collecting evidence is difficult since no systematic genetic sampling of the state's coyotes has been done.

The gaps may soon be filled. Biologist Roland Kays, who is curator of the New York State Museum in Albany, said he and his associates are planning a major investigation to supplement the study by Wilson and Jakubas of coyotes from Maine. Their work "opens up a lot of new questions," Kays said.

Between 100 and 1,000 animals from throughout New York and New England will need to be studied to sort out their backgrounds, he said. Kays and his associates would like to get samples, particularly whole animals, along with information on where they were from. He can be reached for further information at 518-486-2005.

The outcome of further studies could discourage wildlife officials and conservationists who have talked about reintroducing wolves to the Northeast, Decker said. The usual goal of reintroduction efforts is to preserve true species, not create more hybrids.

The other side of the reintroduction coin is that hybrids may be better suited than purebred wolves to survive in 21st century New England.

"Once you get that coyote-and-wolf hybrid," Paul Wilson said, "it is a very adaptable animal."

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Here are many of the chores you need to deal with this month. If you want to see the entire years chores you can check out my link for that. I have them all together and listed as a separate page in the little sidebar over on the right side of this page.


Order spring bulbs now for the best selection

Fertilize plants growing in containers

Direct seed kale seed for fall harvest

Sow a fall crop of peas

Pinch basil plants to promote bushiness

Side dress vegetables with nitrogen

Put nets over blueberries to protect them from birds

Dead-head (prune off) all your spent blossoms

It's a good time to sow seed of biennials and perennials

Cut back delphiniums when they are finished flowering. A complete
fertilizer at this time may encourage a second blooming.

Chrysanthemums will give a better fall display if fertilized a
bit now. You can continue pinching them back until mid-July for more blooms.

Try planting a clump of moisture loving Japanese iris where it can catch the water dripping from your air conditioner!

Madonna lilies should be divided as soon as the flowering period
is over.

Oriental poppies may be moved. Summer is the only time of the
year they can be divided successfully. Dig up the roots and cut them into 2 inch pieces and replant them in their new location.

Dahlias require little artificial watering in a normal season,
but should be soaked once a week during drought

Water your roses at least once a week

Floribunda roses will flower all summer if the old flower clusters
are snipped off regularly

This is the time for transplanting iris. Trim back foliage and only replant healthy, firm rhisomes. Set them quite close to the surface!

Start cuttings of coleus, geraniums, begonias and other plants
you want inside
for the winter.

The snow-in-summer should be pruned hard as it makes such rapid
growth at this time

When you trim deciduous hedges(ie,privot)be sure the sides slope out toward the bottom to be sure that sunlight reaches the base of the plants.

Wisteria's may be pruned now

This is a good time to attack Poison Ivy! Using discardable plastic gloves, cut the stems and paint the open wound with an herbicide on a HOT, SUNNY day!

Any questions about July?