An article just popped up on my news feed regarding the ongoing litigation in the United States about the herbicide glyphosate. This is something I use and recommend for aggressive perennial weeds in the garden. Unfortunately, there is some hysteria over the use of this product, which to date has not been backed by objective data. I direct you to the article I'm referring to as published in the Financial Post.
Many gardens I visit in Calgary have become invaded by creeping bellflower. In Alberta, this is classified as a Noxious weed which are regulated under the Alberta Weed Control Act. This pest is quite difficult to control and can quickly overtake your gardens and lawns. Vigilance is key.
For more information on how to identify and eradicate this thug, here is a fact sheet from the Alberta Invasive Species Council:
View important information regarding Bronze Leaf Disease from The City of Calgary:
Bronze Leaf Disease
If your garden is plagued by aphids, I suggest using a natural remedy for these little pests. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own homemade solution for just pennies!
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dish soap
1 gallon water
Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle. Apply to aphid infestations ensuring all affected surfaces of the plant are saturated. Results are rapid and should be noticed immediately.
Note: After 15 minutes to half an hour, spray the plant well using your garden hose to remove any residue as it may harm the plant. You may use this remedy every 7-10 days as needed.
Until this spring, I had a lovely Mayday tree in my front yard. This tree is very early to bloom and is covered with fragrant white flowers making a dramatic display after a long prairie winter. However over the past 3 years or so it had developed an infection with black knot fungus. I had been pruning out the affected areas diligently, and cleaning my tools as recommended to prevent further infection. Much to my dismay, this year the tree did not leaf out or have any flowers. The time had come to replace the tree.
Black knot fungus is caused by Apiosporina morbosa, which is endemic in this area and affects plants in the genus Prunus. This includes cherries, plums, flowering almond, apricot, and Mayday trees. All of the boulevard trees (Schubert Chokecherry) in my neighbourhood have black knot. As the galls produced from the infection release additional fungal spores, it was an uphill battle to keep my tree free of black knot.
The gall is an unsightly black mass that can eventually girdle the tree and kill it.
Needless to say, I have replaced my Mayday tree with a flowering crabapple which is not susceptible to black knot fungus.