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By Anderwood on Aug 1, 2015 2:43 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Sungold')

Mmmmmm! These are to die for. I need to grow at least three plants of these for them to make it into the house. During peak harvest, it is inevitable to get a canker sore from eating so many of these delectable fruits.

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By eclayne on Aug 1, 2015 12:48 PM, concerning plant: Jewel Alocasia (Alocasia sinuata)

N. E. Brown first described and named this plant from a specimen at Kew Gardens in The Gardeners Chronicle (1885). Alocasia ‘Quilted Dreams’ was first described in Aroideana 7 (1984) and Alocasia bullata is Hort., nom. inval.

Per The genus Alocasia (Araceae-Colocasieae) in the Philippines, by Alistair Hay page 33 “…Alocasia sinuata is botanically poorly known,…Two forms exist in cultivation… Quilted Dreams and Alocasia Bullata…”

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By lauribob on Aug 1, 2015 10:19 AM, concerning plant: Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium 'Northern Lights')

So in the process of looking this up on the internet to add data for this plant, I don't see that this cultivar has variegated leaves. Mine matches all of the listed characteristics other than the fact that it is variegated. (I posted the picture before I realized any of this.) Now I'm not sure what I've got, or if the photo should be deleted. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if it's possible to have variations like this in a cultivar. Hmmm, what to do?

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By Chillybean on Aug 1, 2015 9:31 AM, concerning plant: Biennial Beeblossom (Oenothera gaura)

This plant came with the prairie seed mix we sowed in the fall of 2013. It is said to be a biennial, but it bloomed the next year and I have a patch of it again this year. . A bonus is this attracts hummingbirds!

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By Chillybean on Aug 1, 2015 9:20 AM, concerning plant: Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata)

I bought this in 2011 before I was really into native plants. I enjoyed seeing how they just spilled over raised flower beds we would drive by. It was purchased at some general purpose nursery, so when I was becoming more aggressive with ornamentals, I mentioned to someone I was going to yank this non-native. I assumed wrongly about its native status and he corrected me.

I am so glad I left it alone. It may not be native to Iowa (The USDA map shows Iowa, but no county info), but it is to nearby areas. I am not seeing any insects interested in this, but it does a great job for early spring color and as it fades the later plants have a chance to grow then bloom.

When weeding, I accidentally pulled a portion of the plant off, but then I transplanted it elsewhere. It actually grew and bloomed the next season. My... a plant that can thrive with my abuse!

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By Weedwhacker on Aug 1, 2015 7:37 AM, concerning plant: Winter Squash (Cucurbita maxima 'Golden Hubbard')

This is a beautiful heirloom squash with very vigorous vines. They reach a top size of about 12 pounds, and store very well. The flesh is fine grained, sweet, and actually improves in storage as it becomes less watery. Great for any recipe that calls for winter squash or canned pumpkin. The seeds are nice and large and can be easily roasted for snacks.

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By Seedfork on Aug 1, 2015 6:02 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gilded Shadows')

"cool mornings can bring out a halo not mentioned in the written description by the hybridizer, this can be seen in some of the photos"

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By Marilyn on Aug 1, 2015 12:30 AM, concerning plant: Hummingbird Mint (Agastache 'Red Happiness')

Last fall when High Country Gardens introduced this gorgeous colored Agastache, I got it and planted it into the ground and it is doing great this year. This spring I wanted to get another 'Red Happiness' and decided to plant it in a container tub on our sunny driveway. Even though Agastache 'Black Adder' and Gaillardia 'Mesa Yellow' are in the container also, 'Red Happiness' has taken over most of the space and is doing wonderfully. This is a fabulous Agastache and I love it!

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By Marilyn on Aug 1, 2015 12:12 AM, concerning plant: Anise Hyssop (Agastache Kudos™ Yellow)

I got this beauty from Flowers By The Sea this spring. This is the first year it became available for purchase. Instead of planting it in the ground, I decided to plant it into a container tub, along with three other Agastaches. I've the container sitting at the end of our side entry driveway in the front row of the 33 containers I've there and getting full sun. I couldn't wait to see the flowers and kept an eye on it daily. Out of the 7 different Agastaches that I have in different containers on the driveway, this one was the first to bloom. It is doing great and is a great container plant.

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By Newyorkrita on Jul 31, 2015 8:16 PM, concerning plant: Basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Genovese')

First time successful growing Basil From seed. I tried last spring and nothing at all came up. This summer I started seeds in reused veggie cell flats and I was successful getting seedlings.

My do they grow slowly and stay small. Now that I have planted them out in big pots I am hoping they start to grow quickly.

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By gardengus on Jul 31, 2015 7:21 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Brandywine, Pink')

I have grown this tomato for years and believe it to be my favorite for slicing, both in size and mostly in taste.
Does not keep too well, gets soft easily, best eaten fresh picked for best flavor.

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By gardengus on Jul 31, 2015 7:15 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Celebrity')

I have grown this tomato for several years and always found the plants to be reliable in abundant production, in various weather conditions.
Medium size and good multi-use tomato.

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By Newyorkrita on Jul 31, 2015 7:12 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'San Marzano')

This is my first year growing San Marzano. I simply had to try it because of the people recommending it in the Fruit and Veggies Forum. I compare it to Roma, maybe slightly larger but similar taste, at least when fresh. Very dry. No seeds. I will have to use these for stewed tomatoes this year and see how they turn out.

In my opinion, they work well for fresh salsa if you mix them with some more juicy, slicer-type tomatoes.

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By Newyorkrita on Jul 31, 2015 6:55 PM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Beefsteak')

This spring when I was buying my seedling tomato plants, I purchased the variety "Beefsteak" instead of the "Beefmaster" I had intended to buy. So this is my first year growing this one.

I am impressed with the large tomatoes I have picked, although I find that the size is variable. The plants themselves are productive, with little disease and minimal yellowing of the bottom leaves.

Flavor is excellent, although I realize taste is a very subjective thing, but I do very much like them and will probably grow them again next season.

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By Claudia on Jul 31, 2015 3:57 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Westbourne Fireside Chats')

I had this daylily in my garden from 2009 until this summer. Just as the majority of the Westbourne daylilies, it just did okay here in my zone 5b.The increase had been slow on this one. It did bloom well for me, but it had a low bud count. Bloom time was very short compared to other daylilies. The main reason for moving this plant out, though, was simply wanting to make room for something I liked better.

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By Claudia on Jul 30, 2015 8:28 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Wild Mustang')

I have had this daylily since 2007. It increased very well for me. It gets lots of buds and has a long bloom time for me. What I do not like about this plant is that it makes very fat buds, so lots of the first buds to open are not able to open completely. For that reason, I decided to remove it from the garden this year.

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By Claudia on Jul 30, 2015 8:21 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Crimson Pirate')

Crimson Pirate was my very first spider daylily. Have had this plant for several years, but finally decided to get rid of it this year. This plant was either really good or did not do much. This year was a year when it did not do much. My main reason for getting rid of this plant is that it just multiplies too fast and needs to be divided too often.

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By vitrsna on Jul 30, 2015 3:42 PM, concerning plant: (Siraitia grosvenorii)

This plant is a member of the Cucurbitaceae Family, native to southwest China, and is cultivated for its fruit. It is a caudex-forming, herbaceous, perennial vine that climbs or creeps via tendrils. Requires rich, well-drained soil and germinates in a tropical shade environment (or greenhouse), at temperatures between 70-75 degrees F (21-24 C). Germination is said to take between 3 to 6 weeks, but 3 of the 7 I planted were up in 2 weeks. It can be grown successfully in containers with very fast-draining soil. Maturation is said to occur 240 days after planting. It loves humidity. The plants are male or female (dioecious), and one of each is required for the plant to set fruit, so it is recommended to grow at least 3 together in order to assure fruits. The vine is said to be hardy to 30 degrees F (0 degrees C) although it should be protected from frost. Fruits are very sweet, can be substituted for Stevia, and are eaten both fresh and dried. The rind is often prepared as a tea. Other medicinal properties have been attributed to the fruit of this plant.
Common names for this plant are Luo Han Guo Fruit, Arhat Fruit, Monk Fruit. Momordica grosvenorii is a synonym.

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By Chillybean on Jul 30, 2015 12:53 PM, concerning plant: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Finally, I have success with this plant! It took planting 5 flats from the nursery. I asked the owner to start these for me because I had a terrible time getting any to grow here, seed or plugs. This was my last resort. My one condition was NO chemicals. He started some in a greenhouse, but they died after they germinated nicely. He said they usually prevent that with a fungicide, but I wanted no chemicals. I am still firm on that, if I purchase plants intending insects to feed off them, they better not have any 'cides on them.

He started more, but kept them outside. Because spring was cold, it took them a long time to germinate. They were quite puny when I brought them home. Once it was consistently warm, then they really began growing. I did not expect any flowers the first year, but to my surprise I am getting excellent blooms... just beautiful. Even more so with the Monarch caterpillars on them. The Monarchs do use some of the flowers for nectar, but I see more of them on the Blazingstars.

I believe I discovered why I had a hard time growing these previously. I put them in clay soil and watered them too much. They like drier conditions and sandy/rocky soil. After the initial planting and maybe watering them for a week, the only water they get now is whatever the Lord provides.

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By Chillybean on Jul 30, 2015 12:38 PM, concerning plant: Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

The Swamp Milkweed was one of my first native plants; put in a wet spot in our yard in spring 2012 as seedlings. Later that summer it was covered in the non-native Oleander Aphids. To my surprise, they came up the next spring and even bloomed, but that was the last I saw of them.

What a surprise! In a drier area of our yard, some came up this spring (2015). I sowed seeds in that patch in 2013 and they must've taken that long to germinate. There are three plants and they all have flowers! Monarch eggs have already been laid and the larvae are consuming this. So far, no sign of the aphids, but I check the plants regularly.

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