Friday, August 05, 2011

Growing Good Garden Phlox

Friday, August 5, 2011

A quiet day on the mountain. Birds are talking back and forth and a doe just moved through tall goldenrod to snack on fresh cut field grass. She looked up towards my office window a couple times, but breakfast seemed more important.

There are television channels numbered "3" all over the US and Vermont has its very own Channel 3 from Burlington,Vermont. I know the station well as it started broadcasting soon after our family moved to Vermont in the early 50's. We were the only family in our area with a television and people came to sit and watch. The antenna came with us from New York and as city relatives came for visits they brought their old antennas which my father kept adding on to our antenna until he managed to get a reasonable signal from Channel 8 in Poland Springs Maine. Hard wind storms messed antenna alignment up and cause fatherly expletives which fortunately were not aired. Stuart Hall was the weather man back then and farmers listened attentively to crop reports. TV and weather reports were different back then but news and the family listening together were a big part of rural life in the 50's.

Channel 3 airs a garden report and offers gardeners fresh information each week. Last night there was a piece about growing garden phlox and mention was made of Serenade said to quell powdery mildew and other fungal problems on our favorite garden phlox. I have heard about this product but haven't tried it and cannot offer an opinion. I can speak about phlox because I have finally learned how to grow them better. Knock on wood but my current crop of +25 varieties is fungus free. They are not growing in the shade or against a woodland border. The soil is river alluvial in nature and sandy loam in most places. The land leeches some dampness from the adjacent river but it is never wet on the top and there is never any standing water even after a heavy rain. The slope of the land and the rise and flow of the close by river keeps a fairly steady air flow which keeps the plants dry. Together, these variables keep the area phlox-perfect.

If you chance to stop by Vermont Flower Farm, look down field from the parking area and then towards the river. The phlox are in full bloom now so they are easy to notice. Walk down and then tell me what you think. I think they are special!!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a raven sits in the maple above the compost pile apparently telling friends what I just dumped on top. I doubt they will enjoy banana peals.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

Stop by and we'll help you grow your green thumb!
Phlox up top is Spinners

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