First it was impatiens now a new blight is taking hold on an important woody shrub in American history. Boxwood blight is infecting every species of boxwood grown in the
Boxwood blight causes black spots on leaves that look a lot like black spot on roses. Boxwood blight spreads quickest during warm rainy periods and occurs more often in shaded areas. Another cause of transmitting the disease is overhead watering and infected tools. Infected tools include hoes and tools used for weeding. Pruners and loppers carry the disease spores on their blades after trimming and pruning. Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum is the organism responsible for the latest blight on the American landscape.
Boxwood is an important shrub in American history as well as today. According to The American Boxwood Society Boxwood is man’s oldest garden ornamental. Boxwood was introduced from Europe In the 1600s and was used extensively in colonial American landscapes. Today boxwood is important because it has replaced Taxus in the landscape due it’s’ resistance to deer. Boxwood are commonly referred to as American and English. However there are over 90 species and more than 365 cultivated varieties.
Here are some warning signs that my indicate boxwood blight in your garden. Dark brown spots appear on leaves often in a circular pattern. Shortly after the disease takes hold dark brown cankers and black streaks appear on what are normally green branches. During periods of high humidity whites spores may grow from these lesions. Sometimes though, boxwood blight symptoms appear similar to those of cold damage.
To control the blight prune away dead and severely infected branches. It is also helpful to mulch with uninfected mulch material. Check to make sure the soil is not overly soaked, and reduce irrigation if it is. During periods of heavy rain it may also help to remove mulch from under the plants to reduce places where spores show up. Make sure you disinfect your after every cut so as not to spread the disease. A spray of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water is fine.
Unfortunately fungicides have shown little effect on the disease. I would however spray with a systemic fungicide like Infuse to offer some protection from other spores entering the lesions on stems and branches caused by boxwood blight.
The Country Living Fair will be at the
Fairgrounds on June 6 thru 8. Country Living Magazine celebrates the country
life each month in its’ magazine. Dutchess County
The Country Living Fair is normally held twice a year at much larger population centers.
and are the usual venues. The
Country Living Fair draws tens of thousands of visitors. Atlanta Georgia
Dozens of talented speakers will give demos and talks on food, farming and crafts. The list of speakers include
Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of the Beekman Boys. The Beekman Boys own a bed and breakfast farm near
. There they not only
entertain overnight guests but grow most of the food served at the dinner
table. Cherry Valley
Ken Greene is a seedsman, seed farmer, and co-founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library. His unique approach to integrating seed-saving and the arts has led to presentations at National Heirloom Expo, Seed Saver's Exchange, Culinary Institute of
I am honored to be included in the “talent” as well. I will be speaking on the main stage Saturday June 7th at 4PM. I will be discussing the importance of not just shopping at local merchants but also purchasing locally made goods. While this may be hard for many items food should not be. I will focus on the direct correlation between the carbon footprint of an item and the economic footprint and how they both go hand in hand.
Community gardens are springing up all over in towns and cities throughout the
The city of Hudson Valley
alone has, at last count, thirteen community gardens. These gardens play an
important role in many neighborhoods and not just as a source of fresh food.
Community gardens have become a social gathering place. Neighbors get together at these gardens not
just to pull weeds and carrots but to discuss events of the day. Many gardens
have regular dinner or breakfast events where members share their harvest with
another over a great meal. I am somewhat jealous of community gardens. I live in
a rural area where anyone who wants a garden grows one on their own backyard. In fact where I live it is so rural my
mailbox is one mile from my house and the nearest store is five miles. Kingston
One of the remedies for my jealous rage is to help out at community gardens. I am more than happy to offer advice, give talks and demonstrations and help plan gardens like these. Anyone looking for help in their community garden or urban farm please contact me at
Especially of interest to me are gardens at schools. It is so important to keep the momentum going. While gardens at schools are a wonderful idea just as school is letting out for summer vacation early crops are getting ready for harvest. Imagine the disappointment when the busses return to school in the fall and the gardens are chock full of weeds!
Garden advice you can dig!