Garden Blogs I Dig
Every once in a while my nonchalant approach to gardening goes awry and ends up biting me in the.....well in this case, the aster. It's peak bloom time for my New England aster, but the poor girl isn't looking too good these days.
I'm confident my asters are infected with (dun dun DUNNN!!!) rust disease. The blooms are not flourishing and the leaves are splattered with tiny rusty blemishes. Many times rust can be found on the underside of the foliage, but these are rearing their ugly heads on both sides of the leaves. There are many species of rust but the most common to attack asters is Coleosporium asterum.
Rust is a fungal infection that thrives off two or more hosts for survival. Coleosporium asterum often depends on the Puccinea species as an alternative host. I found my culprit. There just happens to be a 45 foot pine tree about three feet away from those asters, and the pine wins this match.
As much as I hate doing it, I've decided to dig up the suffering asters and throw them out since I can't compost diseased plants. Bye-bye asters, you gave me several good years.
If anyone has any tips on treating rust disease, please share!
After six or seven years, many plants in my garden are fully matured and have grown into big bullies! Lately I’ve notice a couple trouble-makers who are pushing out their smaller, less aggressive neighbors.
For instance, this Aster, which I’ve cut back twice earlier this year, is huge! There used to be a couple mums resting at its feet, but they are suspiciously missing.
I’ve battled this Persicaria for years. I should know better: its known to be invasive, spreading my rhizomes. In the past, I’ve successfully maintained it by pulling out the unwanted rhizomes after cutting it back in the fall. However, since having my son there is less time to maintain and in turn its gone berserk. My plan is to dig it up this fall, bury some bottomless buckets or pots and replant the rhizomes in the buckets. I’ve heard this is a good way to restrict aggressive plants.
I have to take some sort of action. I saved this poor Penstemon from a choke-hold the Persicaria had on it last month. Poor guy still hasn’t fully recovered from the attack. Why not just get rid of the Persicaria all together? Well, I really like this plant other than its bullish attitude. The flowers are long lasting and a stunning vibrant magenta, and it provides great height.
In the same bed, I have this gigantic sedum. This guy is less aggressive and more just…BIG.
Its so enormous that its not strong enough to hold up the weight of its own flower heads! A couple good rains and it went limp.
My goal for this fall is to divide and conquer these garden bullies. No more Misses Nice Guy, you plants are going to shape up! I’m sure with a little TLC we can all get along.