September Happenings

The fall months here in New Hampshire bring us so much beauty — by way of both fall colors and perfect weather. They also bring us some creepy-crawly roommates. For more about these invaders, check out Linda V’s October Hort Tips.

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At our September General Meeting, Betsy, Linda V. and their Environment & Conservation committee gave a short presentation about the 2019 Beautification Mini-Grant award recipients. Seven grants, for a total of $1800, were awarded. The recipients were:

  • Portsmouth – Greengard Center for Autism, entrance planters
  • North Hampton – Rye Beach Little Boar’s Head Garden Club, North Hampton Beach parking lot restoration part 2
  • Exeter – Folsom Acres Condo Association, planting to screen compost area
  • Exeter – Yoga Life Institute, plant herbs and edibles
  • Exeter – Intersection of Drinkwater and Hampton Rd., add stone perimeter to garden begun last year
  • Exeter – Tenant’s Council of the Exeter Housing Authority, add a perennial cutting garden for residents
  • Isle of Shoals – Star Island Flagpole Garden Sustainability Project

Star Island Flagpole garden
Star Islamd
Star Island
EHA Tenant’s Cutting Garden

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Speaking of General Meetings, Susan has in introduced an interesting new project for our meetings:

What will we see at the October meeting?

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How does sipping wine & tasting cheese on a chilly fall evening in a lovely home, surrounded by happy friends, sound? If you’re curious, go the the Promise Tree Page to have your questions answered.

Lee C. has shared some shots of her late season gardens…

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And finally, mysterious aliens were spotted admiring our flower boxes at the Exeter Bandstand. Probably snipped some cuttings to take back home with them.

Intrepid photographer: Jill C

Tomato Hornworm Invasion

20140803_082952I have seen signs of tomato hornworms on my tomatoes. Dead and dying stems are the sure sign that they are invading. But today I discovered one of the invaders! It turns out that he is being invaded by his own attackers: a small wasp that is taking over and consuming his body. I was very happy to see all these little white eggs on his back when I discovered him today. As these hatch more will be available to help take care of any other tomato hornworms that may be lurking. This is one of the reasons I do not use chemicals on my plants to take care of pests, mother nature can do a pretty good job on her own if you just give her a chance!  Patti

The Horror!

Deer PestSue Johnson here!
I need help BIG time!  I believe that all the deerses in this area have had a smorgasbord these past few nights.  I have ALL the leaves chomped off of at least 30 some odd hostas.  And that of course means my garden looks like it has single celery stalks sticking out of the ground.
I have never had a problem like this in the almost 30 years of living here.  Obviously, they can’t be salvaged for this year, but what about next year?  What can I do to prevent their ravenous chewing?
Any suggestions will be certainly appreciated! Please leave a comment, give me a call or send an email.



Web Master’s note: Here is a video with some info on keeping out deer. Also plant some barberry in your yard. Deer hate them. Help Sue out! Send her your suggestions.


My October Green Garden Monster


Why am I posting a photo of this big ugly tomato hornworm now in late October??  Because much to my surprise when I was cleaning up my garden this weekend, I came across this bugger in my tomatillos!!

Just about the same time, Max came by to clip some sage for the herb wreath program so I brought her back to see it…she can attest that the thing REALLY blends into the foliage as she was putting her face closer and closer to the plant until she realized it was right in front of her!

I was also surprised to learn that the tomato hornworm and the related tobacco hornworm are pests of the “nightshades,” or Solanaceae family of plants. These include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatillos, tobacco, and petunias.  I have encountered these very creepy creatures before on my tomato plants in the summer but was totally shocked to find this 5 inch monster in my tomatillos this time of year.

They grow from a tiny egg that is the size of Lincoln’s chin on a penny so I am not surprised I missed that.  But as adults they are hard to miss.  They are very creepy looking in a bright green skin with small spots along the sides that make it look like it has many eyes and an actual horn on its backside!

The good news is that when I turn over my garden in the spring, it will kill about 90% of any larvae that have overwintered there so I have a fighting chance to keep them out next year.

For now, I am just thankful that I was wearing gardening gloves that day…

Reported by Patti


Planning A Poison Garden

“Behind the walls of my apothecary garden are other rare and even more dangerous plants. Many I acquired without fully understanding their uses – perhaps I found a name mentioned in some obscure, ancient medical text, or came upon an old cure related by a beggar who claimed to have heard it from an ancient witch woman he met once. Based upon such vague hints and clues, and often following nothing more than my own blind instincts, I have bought and traded plants from all over the world. The most powerful ones live behind that locked gate.”

from “The Poison Diaries” by Jane Northumberland

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