The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Buckwheat Acres - Second Bloom for Crepe Myrtle



Mrs. Ichabod spent far too much time on her phone yesterday, telling her cousin about the Buckwheat that took over the rose garden.

Energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge.
While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey. 
One of Mrs. I's quips - we had so much Buckwheat that I could start raising bees, but "we cannot see the roses anymore."

I will photograph the amber waves of Buckwheat and use a hedge clipper to mow them down, leaving the plants as mulch. A bigger problem is the Japanese beetle invasion, which I am treating with Milky Spore Disease powder. Milky Spore is an organism in the soil that kills the grubs of the beetles. They develop in the soil: we had a very mild winter. Once a grub is infected, it dies and spreads the infection to other white grubs.

Japanese beetles have a great fondness for rose petals - I found six blokes on one bloom, so I provided a great place for their food. Roses seem to be their primary target, but the pirates devour other plants as well. The only other controls are:

  1. Picking the adults off and destroying them.
  2. Letting Grackles and Starlings peck them out of the soil.



The Buckwheat seems attractive, green, and blooming here. The plants quickly doubled in height.

The Crepe Myrtle was so well nourished this year that the bush went from this beautiful bloom immediately into forming seeds and losing petals. Around town the myrtles are just filling out now and not going to seed. 

My solution was to cut off all the seed clusters and use them as mulch under the plant. The myrtle is now budding and ready to flower a second time, when the others are fading away. The dry season will preserve the flowers and slowly form seeds for the birds in winter.

In my defense - since most soil fertility comes from the growth of roots - this season has added a lot more organic matter to the soil. Cardboard, paper, logs, and wood mulch continue to foster fungi growth, which is essential in the network among plants - where water and minerals are exchanged.