Doug’s mailbag: Lilies, Brussels sprouts and septoria leaf spot

Posted on: July 9, 2018 | Written By: Doug Oster | Comments

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody.

There are three ways to send in your questions:

• Email askdoug@535mediallc.com

• Submit your question on our “Your Garden” section of our site

• Send us a message on Facebook.

(The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.)

• • •

A stargazer lily

Bill: We have an area in front that will not grow anything that is not from a bulb. We have tulips, daffodils, tiger lilies and some other stuff comes out in spring. What kind of bulb can I get that I can plant now that will come up late summer/early fall? Thank you.

Doug: You have lots of options, I would first look at lilies. There are lots of different varieties. Some will start blooming in May and others all the way into the summer. Stargazer is a great mid-summer bloomer. Check out this story about Brent Heath who runs Brent and Becky’s Bulbs with his wife Becky.

You can have something blooming from late winter until fall by choosing the right varieties.

• • •

These Brussels sprouts are growing strong but no fruit yet.

These Brussels sprouts are growing strong but no fruit yet.

Dennis: If these are Brussels sprouts… what’s up? Great greens but no fruit.

Doug: They look like they are planted a little tight, but the sprouts usually start later and are picked after a good hard frost. Fertilize them, they are heavy feeders. I’m using a liquid organic variety called Grow from Espoma.

• • •

Joan: Hi Doug. You recommend PittMoss. Where is it available?

Doug: A lot of nurseries and True Value stores. I know Hahn Nursery has it and Evey True Value (in Bethel Park), if any of those are close to you.

• • •

This is a fungal issue called septoria leaf spot.

Septoria leaf spot on a tomato plant.

Jim: What should I do about my tomato plant?

Doug: This is a fungal issue called septoria leaf spot. It’s very common during a rainy spring. What I would recommend is removing the infected foliage and treating with an organic fungicide like Serenade (which you can get here).

Here are some ideas to help stop the problem when planting next year, in this In The Garden video.

• • •

Previous mailbags

Garlic harvest, cucumber beetles, spindly tomatoes and more

Bladdernut, fungus gnats, rose black spot and more

Poison ivy, black-eyed Susans and container mix

Cucumber beetles, hot pepper plants and planting potatoes

Zebra grass, pale vegetables and yellow nutsedge

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Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”