Weekly Feature

2018-08-08 / Editorial

Spindle items

Ken-Ton Editor

HYDRANGEA HAIL MARY — Back in early June, my fiancee and I bought blue hydrangeas with the idea of adding some bright, allergy-free color to our backyard. Blue hydrangeas also happen to be my fiancee’s favorite flower, and the plants figured into my plan of having a mostly allergy-free backyard to give her nose some relief.

So we picked up three Bela hydrangeas in 6-inch pots and brought them home, planting them in a side bed next to the garage, which gener- ally gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.

We planted them carefully, loosening the pot-bound plants and setting them in 18-inch diameter holes, spaced about 2 feet apart. We filled the soil back in around the plants and watered them thoroughly, also adding some Miracid solution to keep them blue, as hydrangeas typically turn pink if the environment they’re growing in is not acidic enough.

Fast forward two months, and they are nearly dead. In this exceptionally hot summer, we have watered them religiously and given them Miracid weekly, but instead of thriving, their blooms have withered and died, and their foliage has wilted and started to dry up.

I’ll admit I don’t know flowers as well as I know vegetables, but as an experienced gardener I am puzzled. We have cared for them as directed. According to their tags, Bela hydrangeas require three to six hours of morning sun, a spacing of 20 to 40 inches, and should be kept moist and fertilized monthly during their first year. They should be planted 1 inch above ground level in a hole two times the width of their pot, with a water basin surrounding it. With the exception of mulch, we have provided for their every need.

So I’d like to ask the many gardeners in the Ken-Ton area, from the gregarious green thumbs who participate in the Ken-Ton Garden Tour and City of Tonawanda Garden Walk to the more reserved backyard experts: What’s wrong with our hydrangeas? We’d love to save them if we can, and we need your help. Please contact me at arizzo@beenews.com if you have any sage advice to impart.

WEEKLY POLL — We’re always looking for feedback, and one of the ways we get it is by posting a new poll question each week.

Often questions come from pressing issues that surface at meetings we attend. Sometimes they are connected to events happening in the area. They always relate to a story appearing in the current week’s edition.

The poll is located on page 5, and includes directions on where it can be answered on our website, www.kentonbee.com.

If you ever have an idea for a weekly poll question, please e-mail me at arizzo@beenews.com.

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS — Send-in photos for news and sports-related events are cornerstones of a community newspaper. They allow readers to see more aspects of local life than we are capable of showing, and we welcome them.

Photos should be of high quality and not contain more than six people. Names of those pictured and a description of what is taking place in the photo is also necessary.

If you would like to submit a photo to be considered for publication, email it to me at arizzo@beenews.com.

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