Planting Tips & Trends

What is Downy Mildew?

Impatiens downy mildew is a foliar disease that is capable of complete plant devastation.  Although sporadic back in 2004, today the disease seems wide spread and here to stay, at least for some years to come.

How does it spread?

Water splashing spores off an infected plant can spread the disease, but perhaps the most alarming method is the wind.  Air currents can carry the infected spores for hundreds of miles, until they finally settle in a flowerbed somewhere.  Which means if your plants are located in an area that receives wind your impatiens can get downy mildew.  Plant these flowers with caution.

Early Symptoms:

Light-green yellowing or stippling of leaves

Subtle gray markings on upper leave surface

Downward curling of infected leaves

White downy-like fungal growth on underside of leaves.

Advanced Symptoms:

Leaf and flower drop resulting in bare, leafless stems

Infected stems become soft and plant collapse under cool, wet conditions.

Once a plant is infected it can not be saved. Remove any infected plants and discard to help prevent spreading.

Recommended alternatives that love the shade:

New Guinea Impatiens

Divine New Guinea Impatiens

Begonias

Torenia

Coleus

 

These plants can be safely planted in a flowerbed that has shown evidence of the disease.  All of which are in stock and ready for you at Bengert Greenhouse.

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Dividing Plants

Older plants that have been growing for years will eventually start to die out in their centers. To keep them healthy, you will need to lift and divide these plants. Dividing perennials is also beneficial for controlling the size of plants and allowing them enough space to increase in number. Lastly, dividing plants helps to …

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Fertilizing

Regularly fertilizing a soil that has been enriched with compost is not required for most plants, as they will obtain the nutrients they need. Your garden may benefit from one to two applications of a balanced fertilizer in early spring and again in early summer. Overfertilizing can harm plants, while the right amount of fertilizer …

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Mighty Mato

The future is now and its at Bengert Greenhouses. To good to be true you say, look at the actual Mighty Mato photos from a comparison study below!

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Mulching

Using mulch has many benefits. Mulching your garden protects the plants by keeping the soil cool and moist, and also helps the soil conserve water, prevent weed growth, and resist insects. Also, as mulch breaks down, it provides nutrients to your soil for your plants. Dried grass clippings, shredded leaves, pine needles and straw are …

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Pruning

Pruning encourages the plant to expend its energy on producing new blooms instead of going to seed (and ending its life cycle/going into dormancy). For delicate stem plants such as pansies, nasturtium, and alyssum you can simply pinch off the dead flower at its base using your fingers.For harder stalk plants such as sunflowers or …

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Spring Bulb Planting

It’s almost Spring which means it’s time to start thinking about planting bulbs for your summer garden. If you missed the fall planting season, don’t worry! There’s still time. Late-planted bulbs may bloom later than normal but perennials will be back on schedule for next year. Start with a spring clean up. Cut perennials back that …

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Winterize Your Plants

The flakes are falling! Perhaps you’ve been too busy enjoying the ups and downs of Western New York weather to put much thought into winterizing the last blooms of the season. Put your garden to bed for the the winter before the freeze hits.  Snow both protects and endangers plants, acting as insulation (similar to …

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