Episode 53 – Fall-ing into place – celebrating our second year!

Ground Breaking Banter - Rick

This episode marks the second season of the Gardening Simplified Show, and we want to offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has listened, downloaded, and watched. We truly appreciate your enthusiasm and support, so thank you, and here’s to the next year and beyond.

But it’s not just the second season for the show – fall is also a second growing season. It is arguably better than spring for gardening and the people with the nicest gardens, yards, lawns are out there investing in them in fall.

Here is just a snippet of what we learned: decumbent growth is a thing, plants that beat the heat,  garden hoses are a pain, vines and clematis, blue is highly desired and subject to interpretation, bees and mosquitos are a big deal, “blammo” is a word. Peppers are popular, container gardening, deer resistance, fragrance, we’re weary of daylight saving time and windchimes. Weigela pronunciation. Feels therapeutic and instinctive to slap the bag of potting soil. “Lim-A-Ricks” are a means of communication, groaned at puns and Dad jokes, meteorological calendar (it’s hard to say), moon gardens and cut flowers, birds, borage is invasive, some plants self sow and some are sterile, cannas are polarizing, people need help with hydrangeas, we visited the Temple of Bloom, people like to touch plants, people love perennials, annuals today are advanced, great interest in specimen plants, cucumber cilantro martini, variegation is polarizing, garlic is fun to grow. And we can all be a little less pedantic (let nature take its course).

Speaking of lim-a-Ricks, here’s one of this show:

On YouTube, radio and podcast

Thankful for support we’ve amassed

One year is quite an accomplishment

We appreciate your acknowledgement

For us it has been a blast. 

We know that we’re a combo

That it takes some give and go

About weeds, hoses deer we have ranted

On this show that we have planted

And even the occasional “blammo.” 

Thanks for sending us a question

And even the occasional suggestion

With little control or dominion

We still will share our opinion

And try not to cause indigestion. 

So pardon the puns and prognostication

And the occasional mispronunciation

We handled occasional controversy

And made it to our one year anniversary

Still standing and dodged cancelation. 

In the fall, the weather pattern is the opposite of what we have in the spring. In the spring, we start with cold soil while the days are continually getting warmer. In the fall, we start with warm soil and day temperatures that continually are getting cooler. The most difficult time to grow and maintain new plants is in the summer months. In spring the plant is off to a quicker start than spring planted material.

Word of the day: bosky adjective \ˈbäs-kē\
having abundant trees or shrubs.

Why: Talk about a plant with a second season! Reblooming azaleas have been on the market for years, but with the Perfecto Mundo series, we aim to make them even better. See, conventional reblooming azaleas really only bloomed well in fall. They had a bit of flower in spring, but fall was – and in fact remains – their main season of interest. We selected the Perfecto Mundo series for excellent spring and fall bloom for a true multi-season performance. I picked Perfecto Mundo Double Pink azalea for today’s plant on trial because it was the very first member of the Perfecto Mundo series and it’s still one of my favorites – beautiful, pure pink flowers give a classic azalea look.

This plant is one that’s more for our warm climate listeners, or those who live in milder areas of zone 6, like out here on the lakeshore. Because one thing about all of the reblooming azaleas on the market is they aren’t the hardiest plants. The genetics that bring about the reblooming characteristic simply aren’t as hardy as other azaleas. They tend to do better for us out here on the lakeshore, especially because they usually are covered in snow when our coldest weather comes. That makes a huge difference.

Who: The Perfecto Mundo series of reblooming azaleas were developed by Dr. Tom Ranney of North Carolina State University. He and his team devoted years to creating a better reblooming azalea – one that’s equally floriferous in spring as it is in fall, that resists pests and diseases, that naturally grow with a beautiful, appealing shape. They have created dozens of varieties, many of which we are still evaluating for future introduction. Similarly, we here at Proven Winners ColorChoice have made trialing the Perfecto Mundo series our largest data collection project to date, collecting bloom time, longevity, coverage, color intensity, and more, and compiling them into a matrix that gave us an objective look at which varieties were worthy of inclusion. It has been a long, hard process, but the reward is what we think are the best reblooming azaleas on the market. 

How to grow: Perfecto Mundo Double Pink azalea is best grown in part sun/part shade (they’re really the same thing). They can grow in sun if they are mulched and on irrigation; in deep shade, they will bloom far less and the flower color won’t be as bright. Acidic soil is imperative, as it is for all azaleas and rhododendrons. You can amend the soil if you wish, though if your soil is not naturally acidic, you may find that attempting to constantly maintain ideal soil conditions is just too daunting and opt for a different plant. If you need to prune Perfecto Mundo azaleas, do so immediately after they bloom in spring. They will then take a several weeks to put on new growth before the rebloom occurs. For best rebloom, it’s imperative that the azaleas be kept growing vigorously, so provide regular water, fertilize monthly with a rose or azalea fertilizer, and avoid stress. 

If attempting to plant Perfecto Mundo azaleas in USDA zone 6, always plant in spring so they have the longest possible time to grow roots before winter hits. You’ll also want to site them in a protected spot where they are not exposed to the worst of winter temperatures and winds. You may also wish to protect them further with cones, cages, or frost blankets. 

If you’d like to add Perfecto Mundo Double Pink azalea – or any of the 320+ Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs – to your garden or landscape, you’ll find a list of local retailers here

Gardening Mail Bag - Stacey

Do you have a question for us? We’re happy to help! E-mail us or use the contact tab above. Due to high volume, we may not get to your question, so if you need an answer quickly, please reach out via the Proven Winners website.

Branching News - Rick

  • What do you buy impulsively? For us, it’s plants, of course! Especially in fall when you can find so many bargains. This survey lists 2023’s items that are most likely to be impulse buys:
Clothing – 55% Food/groceries – 50% Household items – 42% Shoes – 32% Takeout – 23% Books – 21% Toys – 20% Technology – 19% Coffee – 18%
  • A community in South Florida has an adorable problem on its hands: dozens of domesticated bunnies have overrun parts of Wilton Manors, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Two years after a resident let loose lionhead rabbits from their backyard, according to local lore, the number of rabbits now outnumber the 81 homes in the neighborhood. The furry invasion has divided the neighborhood’s residents. Some have allegedly threatened to shoot the animals or feed them to their snakes. Some want to let the bunnies roam free. Others, concerned about the rabbits’ safety, are racing to raise money to save them     The animals, which are prone to heat stroke, she says, have been digging holes in the ground to escape the oppressive heat, to the irritation of some residents. Lacking a proper source of clean water or food, the rabbits have been grazing on lawns that could be treated with toxic pesticides. The rabbits are also at the mercy of the area’s predators and cars.
  • Be careful what you thumbs up emoji! A Canadian farmer has been ordered to pay more than C$82,000 ($61,784) in damages over an emoji confusion that a Saskatchewan judge resolved by ruling that a thumbs-up image is enough to accept contractual terms.
  • Chris Achter, the owner of a farming company in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, had sent a thumbs-up emoji in response to a photograph of a flax-buying contract sent to him by a grains buyer in 2021.The buyer, South West Terminal, argued that the emoji implied acceptance of contractual terms, while Achter said he used the thumbs-up image only to indicate that he had received the contract, but not to indicate his agreement. In a summary judgment littered with 24 instances of the emoji, Judge T.J. Keene said: “I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Chris okayed or approved the contract just like he had done before except this time he used a thumbs-up emoji.”
  • BUÑOL, Spain (AP) — Some 15,000 people, including many tourists, pasted each other with tomatoes Wednesday as Spain’s annual “Tomatina” street battle took place in the eastern town of Buñol. Workers on trucks tipped 120 tons of overripe tomatoes into the main street of the town for participants to throw. The street fight leaves both the street, its houses and participants drenched in red pulp. Tickets for the festival start at 12 euros ($13). The town hoses down the area and the revelers shower off within minutes of the hourlong noon battle finishing. The festival, held on the last Wednesday of August, was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the town, located in a tomato-producing region. Media attention in the 1980s turned it into a national and international event, drawing participants from every corner of the world. Participants use swimming goggles to protect their eyes and usually dress in T-shirts and shorts. The party is ranked by Spain as an international tourism attraction.
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    Pink rose of Sharon flowers bloom on a plant with variegated foliage.

    Episode 92 – Weeding by Example

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