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  • Upcoming Garden Events

    Sept. 30: The Nashville Herb Society presents Through the Garden Gate: A Glimpse of Edwardian England, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cheekwood Botanic Hall. Celebrate the gardens, foods and flowers that delighted Downton Abby family and friends at the turn of the 20th century. The event begins with a hearty Edwardian breakfast, followed by three speakers: Marta McDowell on Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life; Geraldine A. Laufer on Tussie Mussie – Victorian art of expressing yourself in the language of flowers; and Terry White, The English Garden event florist . Registration includes breakfast, box lunch in the garden with music, English tea and cookies. To learn more or to register, visit www.herbsocietynashvlle.org.

    Tips & tasks – September

    Cut the dead tops of coneflowers, but leave enough for goldfinches to enjoy the seeds.

    Plant cool-weather vegetables for a fall crop: spinach, mustard and turnip greens, radishes, leaf lettuce.

    Start a new lawn of cool-season grass, such as fescue, or refurbish or repair establish lawns.

    Don’t let the soil of newly planted grass dry out. New grass needs about an inch of water per week.

    It’s still warm, so continue to water and weed garden beds as needed.

    Remove dead foliage, spent flowers and other garden debris; replenish mulch as needed.

    Continue to harvest produce, which may be getting a boost now from slightly cooler weather. Keep watering sage, rosemary and other perennial herbs so they’ll be in good shape to get through winter.

    Prepare to bring houseplants back indoors: remove dead leaves, scrub soil from the sides of the pots, treat for insects. Bring tropical plants in before nighttime temperatures dip to 55 degrees.

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What else can go wrong with tomatoes?

QUESTION: My tomato plants are tall and full, and they have been blooming a lot but the blooms disappear. The flower usually dries up and falls off. Otherwise, they look  healthy. Can you tell me what’s wrong with them? – D.S.

When the weather is hot, tomato blossoms fall.

Two things could be causing tomato flowers to fall off: extreme heat and dry soil. When temperatures get above 90 degrees for several days – and we’ve had a lot of those days recently – tomato blossoms tend to drop off without setting fruit. Blossoms also drop off if the plants don’t get enough water. When the heat wave passes and if we finally get rain, you’ll probably see the tomatoes begin to bloom and set fruit again.

QUESTION: Some of my tomatoes look ripe but when I go to pick them they still have green patches that don’t ripen. – J.H.

I found information that suggests that the green patches on ripe tomatoes may be due to the tomatoes being on the interior of dense plants with heavy foliage. It’s a condition called “blotchy ripening.”

At the same Web site, which is CornellUniversity’s Vegetable MD Online, there are pictures of  tomatoes with catface, cracks, russeting, zippering and other common disorders. If you want to see just about anything that can go wrong in a tomato patch, find it here.

 

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