As I do every year, I will pick out some super vegetable and garden plants for myself this week with help from the horticulture technology students at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
The annual sale is open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Horticultural Education Center at 670 Eastern Blvd. The horticulture center is next to the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, which you should visit while you are there. Don’t miss it.
The botanical garden has been especially beautiful this year. Take a walk through the new daylily garden first. There is a wonderful display of violas there, along with brilliant sedums, and spring-flowering shrubs, annuals and perennials.
And don’t forget to go back to the botanical garden Saturday to the exceptional Gardenmania event at the botanical garden. Gardenmania will offer vegetables and ornamental plants. The garden’s experts will teach you how to grow them and answer your questions.
There will be activities for children and adults. Local companies with exhibitor booths will feature vendors, speakers, workshops, learning tables, food, beverages and fun.
The FTCC horticulture plant sale on Thursday and Friday will feature dozens of exquisite vegetables. Some of my favorites are peppers, extra sweet and mild to super hot and Asian-style eggplants that are long, slender and tender for easy slicing. I like the huge black beauty, too.
I’ll have to have some of the specialty packs. My favorites are the salsa pack with cilantro Pokey Joe, early Jalapeno, and salsa tomatoes and the Asian vegetable pack with Asian long purple eggplants, Thai long green eggplants and Thai dragon chile peppers.
Other packs include hers, such as Asian packs with red and green perillas beloved for Korean cuisine, Thai basil and lemongrass.
There are dozens of house plants, succulents, and hanging baskets.
Essential summer annuals, such as petunias, marigolds and vincas will be available in flats and collections as well.
Some of my most beautiful daylilies will be available at unbelievably low prices.
Dear Roger: I have five Crape Myrtles that never bloomed this summer. They have been in the ground about 10 years and have bloomed (but not copiously) in previous years.
This past winter we trimmed them back as suggested by a nursery, but no blooms occurred over the summer, although the bushes are very leafy.
I have another type of C. Myrtle that bloomed profusely all summer, was cut back at the same time, and are still blooming and putting out new growth. What could be the cause or cure of the non-blooming bushes? Thanks in advance for your advice. — Dee, Southern Pines
Dear Dee: Here are the main reasons that crape myrtles don’t bloom:
1. Too much shade.
2. Too much fertilizer or too little.
3. Not enough water.
4. Attacks by insects and disease.
5. Summer temperatures that are too cool and growing season that is too short. (This never happens here.)
6. Lack of trace nutrients.
7. Soil that is too acid or too alkaline.
8. Late damaging frosts that cause new growth to come from damaged tissue. Pruning off cold-damaged stems cures this.
Since you describe your plants as leafy and healthy, we can eliminate insects and diseases, lack of fertilizer, lack of water, incorrect pH, lack of trace elements and late frosts.
That leaves shade. Are your plants too shaded? Are you sure you are getting vigorous new growth? If you are not, fertilizer and water will help. Is the crape myrtle that bloomed in a spot that stays more moist? Does it get more fertilizer?
Take stock of these details and an appropriate course of action should become evident.
Send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-424-4756. Message plant and pest photos to that number, or send samples to Roger Mercer, 6215 Maude St., Fayetteville, NC 28306 Please include your telephone number.
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