Monday, May 25, 2009

This image is Bloodroot, the earliest bloomer of spring. It doesn't last long, but it is so beautiful. I try to make time to go out and just look at it waving in the breeze. It has seeded itself everywhere, so I sometimes have to reduce the size of a colony, moving some plants into the woods.

The Repellex tablets are all in, so the deer should avoid my hostas, daylilies etc. I discovered this fantastic product several years ago and went from my hostas being eaten down to the stems, to the leaves lasting all season. The advantage of the tablets is that since it is systemic the whole plant is protected, even the new shoots, and it lasts all season long. The tablets are extremely bitter and are a blessing in our deer populated area. Repellex makes a spray too, but the tablets are so handy and work so well. A number of sites carry them, so when I want to order more I go to Google and search for "Repellex tablets" and find the best price. I usually buy a container of 500, so it lasts for several years. I still spray liquid fence or some other deer protection occasionally, especially early in the season before the tablets are absorbed by my plants. Sometimes it is good to use more than one product, as deer seem to get used to whatever you use and will attack a plant that you thought was protected. It is a constant battle with the deer, the beavers (who were harvesting many of our trees and killing others) and the slugs. 

Several years ago we had a real infestation of slugs. You could almost hear the armies of them marching toward the garden after dark, and my hosta leaves were in shreds. I did resort to poison on a limited basis, but didn't like that solution. I also hand picked them after dark when they were out in force. I dropped them into a container of water with Dawn (I think any dishwashing detergent would work) and they died very quickly in that solution. I then thought of spraying a mixture of Dawn and water on the plants and found that it seemed to repel the slugs. For several years now I have been doing this, and my hostas stay relatively slug free until the end of the summer, when I get a little lazy and forget to spray. I am not sure if it is the spray or just coincidence, so if anyone tries this please let me know how it works for you.

I think this has been a fantastic spring with the flowering plants putting on an amazing show. The daffodils were the best that I ever remember, and the Olga rhododendron has been breath taking. I have also noted that from New York to Maine the lilacs are lovely. Let's hope the rest of the summer is as lovely.

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