Pictures of Pansies

pictures of pansies white

White Pansies by kapa65 at Pixabay

One of the favorite cool weather flowers is the little pansy.  The pansy is hardy and easy to care for.  In spring they are in all the local stores and are sold like made.  Everyone is ready to brighten their lives with some color after a cold gray winter.  Pansies come in hanging baskets, urns, peat pots, and arrangements.  They are presented just about every way possible.

Many pansies are purple.  And many have purple petals mixed with other colors.  But these happy face flowers come in yellow, orange, white, lavender and red, and combinations of all those colors, as you can see by the pictures of pansies below.

yellow and purple pansy

Photo by ckindschuh at Pixabay

purple and orange pansies

pansy red pansies

Photo by bineshab at Pixabay

pale pink peach pansy

Pale Pink Pansy by Shirley at Pixabay

lavender blue violet pansy

Potted Purple Pansies by cocoparisienne at Pixabay

orange pansies pansy

Orange pansies by bykst at Pixabay

white purple pansy flower

White with Purple by wmope at Pixabay

All these pansy photos are free for use and can be found at the Pixabay site. Many thanks to the photographers for capturing the beauty and variety of these little flowers.

Cold Weather Crops: Lettuce

lettuce growing garden

Growing Lettuce

Some of the best cold weather crops include lettuce. I sprinkle the seeds into my raised bed where I don’t have to worry about disturbing the ground unintentionally. Tomorrow is Saturday and I’ll be outdoors cleaning up the yard a bit. There is a lot to do. I live downhill from the road, and my front yard is right on the road. What this means is that all the sand and salt from the winter plowing and snow-blowing is covering some of my gardens and lawn. There is always a lot of raking to do to remove the old leaves, and the sand along with them. The wheelbarrow has been buried, but I think it’s reachable by now.

I’ll check at Job Lots and see if they have seed packs. Lettuce is easiest to grow from seed. I had good luck with the mixed lettuce seeds last year. I grew some in Spring and Fall, cutting off the small leaves as they grew.

5 Free Pictures of Blue Hydrangeas

Because my blog is mainly about hydrangea plants and flowers, I thought I’d bring to attention some pictures of blue hydrangea flowers that are free to use as you please. Download any size on the Pixabay site  (click on the image to view the page at their site) and use on your blog, website, stationery, and printables. These pictures can also be used commercially, with no need to give credit to the photographer, or site. Of course they would love it if you do.
I’ll also do other colors like green, pink and white. (Coming soon.)  In a few months I should have some photos of my own to add.
Here you go.   Click the image if you can use it yourself.   Continue reading

Late Blight Tomato Disease With Pictures

DSC05255Until last summer I had grown crops of delicious tomatoes without any problem. Then, suddenly my beautiful, tall plants, which were loaded with nearly ripe tomatoes, began to turn brown.  I watched in horror as day by day they looked worse, and each tomato became deformed with brown spots.

I knew nothing of blight, or late blight, which is more appropriate I think, but I did do some research to try and discover what was wrong in my garden.  I rotate my crops each year and no tomatoes had grown in this spot before.  I carefully pour over my gardening books so I know which crops should follow which, and which ones like to be paired in the garden.  I thought I had done everything right, and with the crops looking so darn good – it was depressing, to say the least, to lose all those luscious tomatoes.  After all, I wait a whole year to be able to pick fresh tomatoes from my backyard each August!

What I have found is that blight affects potatoes and tomatoes.  It was the cause of the Irish Potato Famine in 1845.  I didn’t grow potatoes last year.  But I had six, celebrity tomato plants growing nicely when it hit.

The first signs are brown spots on the leaves and stems.   There is no way to stop the progression as the leaves curl and die.  Big dark spots form along the stems and also on the tomatoes themselves.   I even picked the green tomatoes, hoping they would possibly ripen fine, but that didn’t happen.  It was the year of no backyard tomatoes.  I swore I’d never garden again!  But alas, here it is March and I’m already wondering how to avoid this problem when I plant tomatoes this summer.  Even ugly, old, rotten tomato blight can’t stop a gardener.  I’ve had all winter to get over it.  (Now it’s ice dams I despise.)

tomato blight picture

A picture of blight on my tomato plants – August 2014

The disease is caused by a pathogen that can migrate to infect other areas easily. It can survive from season to season, but needs a living host.  For those of us who live in the northeast, temperatures are so cold over the winter (remember February anyone?) that the disease usually does not hang on from season to season.  It tends to bother potatoes more in that way, as it can survive on tubers still underground.  This is according to the Cornell University article link below.

So when we start fresh this season, how do we make sure our backyard tomato plants will not fall victim to late blight just as those tomatoes begin to ripen? Buy blight-resistant tomato varieties. According to this article, found on the Cornell University site, ‘Mountian Magic’ and ‘Plum Regal’ are two to look for. The Cornell page also lists more at the bottom. I notice that my favorite ‘Celebrity’ is not there.

(Buy Mountain Magic Hybrid Tomato Seeds 10 Seed Pack by OrganicSeedSupply at Amazon.  They are non-GMO and organic.)

Long time farmers and growers will already know that plants should be watered from the bottom to keep water off the leaves.  Any leaves that look infected should be removed right away and bagged up to throw away.   Be sure you are seeing late blight and not another disease or issue that can look similar.  Don’t allow volunteer plants to grow.  Start with quality seeds or buy good, healthy plants.

Cool temperatures and wet conditions – or high humidity – is the enemy.  All we can do is hope for better summer weather and pray for a good crop.  By the time you see the effects of late blight, you can probably kiss those beautiful tomatoes good-bye no matter what you do.  At least our lives do not depend on our crops.  We can buy from the Farmer’s Market if need be.

ripening tomatoes vine blight

grape tomato plant with blight

Late blight affected the grape tomato plant as well.

brown spot on tomato

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