Friday, May 15, 2009

Garden Talks May 15--Messenger, Azalea, Woodchucks in the Garden

What a beautiful glorious day!

Before work today and on a quick lunch break I sprayed Messenger on my roses, upright phlox and also on some lilacs that are struggling a little bit as they deal with heavy ledge around their roots. Also, I sprayed an old crabapple tree which is flowering beautifully this week. After the flowers are gone, that tree needs a good cut and shape! Both the lilacs and crabtree have suffered quite a bit with mildew and various leaf spots in the last several years and I think the harpin proteins that the Messenger will induce will really help them!

Induce! The active ingredient in Messenger is from a family of naturally occurring proteins called harpins. In nature, harpin proteins are produced by bacteria that cause plant diseases. Plants have a special ability to “sense” harpin proteins. It’s like an early warning system that alerts the plant when it’s under attack from something that will cause a disease (because when a bacterial pathogen is around, so is a harpin protein). When a plant senses harpin proteins, it activates its own natural responses to help fight off the attack and stay healthy. Just as our bodies respond to an infection, you can think of this as the plants version of an immune response. This "message" induces the plant to produce its own natural resources at a fast rate and thus PREVENTS common disease issues like mildews, leaf spots and other fungus and disease from attacking your vulnerable plants.

Think about plants in your yard and garden that often become set back by disease--rose bushes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, upright phlox, fruit trees, grapes and on and on. These are perfect candidates for Messenger--and Messenger works! Naturally of course!

Messenger is best applied monthly.

We sell Messenger here at Skillin's and you can check out for more information!....

I also sprayed Messenger on a leggy azalea (another old plant in my yard) that has been plagued by leaf spot for the last couple of years. The azalea is just breaking into bud (it is a tough old plant) but as soon as those flowers go by that plant is going to get a good haircut....

My work schedule has been crazy but I also still need to get out my Mole Mover tubes to ward off any woodchucks that might like to burrow in the area and get after my tender Red Sails lettuce, brussel sprouts and broccoli that I have planted. Those plants are doing great and thanks to the Mole Mover tubes I have not had woodchucks for quite awhile. I will tell you more about my wood chuck travails soon BUT I can assure the Mole Mover tubes are the ONLY device I have been able to use effectively against woodchucks. How about you? If you have a good plan drop a comment below OR shoot us an email at!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
May 15, 2009

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