Summer Gardening with Eliza Fournier

Are some of the plants in your garden already dying? Or are the top-heavy plants face down in the mud? The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Eliza Fournier joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to teach us about what plants in your garden need staking and why you should stake your tomatoes. She also gives us tips on what to buy and how to make your own supports, as well as some summer pests and plant diseases hitting gardens now. And, if your impatiens are dead or dying, try some alternative plants.

Tomato Blight—In cooler seasons like we’re having, tomatoes can fall prey to this disease.

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  • Identify—yellow, droopy leaves with brown spots
  • Prevent—make sure to rotate crops, give plants space, water the soil rather than the leaves with soaker hose, and mulch to prevent soil splash

Pests and Diseases

Identify—munched leaves

Control—use diatomaceous earth or shallow tins of oil sunk into the ground -- earwigs crawl in and don’t crawl out                                              

Identify— a highly infectious fungus that wreaks havoc on bedding plants. Leaves turn yellow and drop, and plants just die

Prevent—if you haven’t planted yet, don’t despair! Now is actually a better time to plant impatiens, as the cooler weather is subsiding, and the fungus won’t thrive


  • Use popsicle sticks to track tomato types and other plants in your garden. Also, write plant type and color on the sticks wherever there is leftover bulb foliage from daffodils and tulips, and plant sticks in the ground. In the Fall and next Spring, you’ll know what you have! AND mark areas with a dearth of color and write down what color you’d like to see there, so in the Fall you can collect your sticks and place your order informed.

Extra Goodness

Serviceberry Pie

Serviceberry-Raspberry Soup

Serviceberry and Poppy Seed Cake

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