Monday, May 18, 2009
Pretty Thripin' Petunias!
Redbush wonders if this cold weather is ever going to end. Today's temperatures even make her bulbs shutter! This a.m., it was -3 degrees. She longs for the day when she can put out her bedding plants that she keeps putting back in the garage at night, then again putting them out in the morning. Oh, yes, they have already become hardened to the weather, she is sure! This year for the first time, she didn't buy one of her favorite flowers to plant, - petunias. Everyone that she talks to has this flower as one of their staples in their pots with gorgeous blooms that reach for a width of about three feet in diameter. One of her best friends, a rancher's wife always makes her jealous with her beautiful petunia pots that last from early summer to late in the fall. When Redbush tries to grow them, they last for the first few weeks, then the blooms start to droop and other buds won't bloom, just shrivel up and die. A terrible bug called thrips have attacked her petunias for the past five years, or so, thus she has decided to stop growing this flower. (Sniff, cry, sniff!) The bugs go into the flower of the plant, and suck all the nectar out. Then, what you're left with is a drooping bloom, brown undergrowth and leaves, and a slimy film on all the buds, and flowers which then end up dying. She has tried every control substance-chemical possible that has been recommended by gardening places, and gardening friends. She has even tried to make a concoction of cigarette butts and about 12 other interesting ingredients that she had a friend who majored in biology gave her a recipe for. That didn't kill them either, but the stench just about killed Redbush, so she gave up that idea! These tiny black bugs which are about the size of an aphid are also hard to get rid of because they fly. She hopes you don't have these bugs in your area. She is going to miss trying to grow them again this year, but, she won't miss the heartache when she tries to save the plants to no avail again! She hopes you have a wonderful Monday, and a relaxing Victoria Day!