Q: My garden is pretty much shot, is it okay to go ahead and tear it out and get it ready for next year or even plant again?

Q: My garden is pretty much shot, is it okay to go ahead and tear it out and get it ready for next year or even plant again?
A:  Yes, you can tear it out and get it ready and yes you can replant this fall! The problem with trying to till your garden at this time is how dry it is. It would be better to wait until we receive a good rain, let the mud dry and then till. If you don’t want to put in fall crops you can put in a “green” crop, such as wheat, which you can plant from mid-Sept. to late October or sweet clover which should go in from August to early Sept. or you can plant hairy vetch or alfalfa which can be planted from Mid-August to late Sept. This will help fix the nitrogen level in your garden by making it more fertile. If you choose to plant your regular garden it is time to replant for a “salad” garden such as lettuce, radishes, spinach, turnips, mustard and other greens. Because of the cool nights they will flourish and make a great fall harvest.


Q: What plants did the Master Gardeners find to do well in this heat and dry weather this summer?
A: It is so much fun to drive around the town and notice plantings in the yards around town.  On Delaware Street the planters are doing well some plants more than others. The obvious plants that are doing well are the St. John Wort shrubs and the Lime Green Sweet Potato Plants. They are flourishing all over town! If they get too scraggly for you, trim them back and they will revive just fine. Another plant that is doing well is the Vinca’s or Periwinkles. Another great plant this year is the Mini Petunias Calibrachoa.   The plant staples that always seem to do well are Marigolds, Zinnias, Moon Flowers, Elephant Ear’s and surprising are the Kimberly Queen Ferns, and they are gorgeous! This is a great time to fertilize your annuals to get a last push for color going into fall.


Q: I keep seeing a blooming shrub all over town that has different bloom colors such as red and pink.
A:  There are actually two blooming shrubs that come to mind. One is Crape Myrtle which has many varieties and colors. Down South they can grow to be good-sized trees but not here. Make sure that the variety you like is a zone 6 which seem to be fine here, but there is always the chance that a random winter could cause loss or at least die-back to the ground like a perennial.  The other blooming shrub or tree is called Rose of Sharon and it also comes in many different bloom colors.


Q: Some of my coneflower blooms are strange looking or deformed, what is causing this?
A: The problem with your coneflowers is probably called, “aster yellow disease.” There are several flowers and vegetables that can have this problem. The plants which are commonly infected are coneflowers, marigold, daisy, snapdragon, mums and tomato, carrot and lettuce leaves. Aster yellow is caused by a tiny organism called a pyhtoplasma and is carried from plant to plant by aster leafhoppers. You cannot cure a plant with this and they recommend ridding your garden of the diseased plants.


The Master Gardeners are hosting
Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 209 North 7th in Leavenworth.
Reserve your spot, contact Joy Kromer at 913-682-2683 Space is limited! Cutoff date is Sept. 27. Cost is $20. Everything is provided but bring your own clippers!
 If you have a horticulture question feel free to contact the Master Gardeners Hotline at 913-364-5700. Stop by the Extension Office located at 613 Holiday Plaza, Lansing. KS 66043