Berks County Horticulture Club

flowersHelpful Hints

When cleaning fruits and vegetables, special soaps or washes are not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label carefully or use plain water and a scrub brush!

Never refrigerate tomatoes (unless they have been cut) and never ripen a tomato on the patio in full sun (tomatoes actually ripen at night-- they are members of the nightshade family). Set them on the kitchen counter where they will be very happy.

Potatoes should never be refrigerated-- their starch turns to sugar when kept at cold temperatures.

When it is time to de-ice your sidewalk, steps, and driveways that have plants close-by, look for alternatives to salt, such as coarse sand. If you opt for a chemical deicer, find one that is potassium or calcium based.

A reader of Garden Gate magazine suggests planting Gladiolus at 3 different times, 2 weeks apart. She spray-paints clothes pins to match the color of the glad and attaches it low on the foliage where it's not noticeable. When she digs them up in the fall, she attaches the clothes pin to the stub, dries the bulbs for about 10 days, then sorts the bulbs by color, wraps them in newspaper and places them in mesh bags (like the onions come in). Last of all she closes the bags with the right color of clothes pin so she'll know which color of glad she plants in the Spring. (Thanks to Karen Gmitter)

Garden woes?

If your tomato or potato crop is affected by late blight, you can check for updates on the situation on the Penn State Department of Plant Pathology web site:

Websites that may interest you

How to make Soda can labels:

Impatiens downy mildew (Plasmopara obducens) is the plant pathogen that caused major losses of impatiens since 2012:



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