This week's gardening tips from the Savvygardener.

Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil

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Feature Articles

~ Houseplant Care
~ When to Start
Seeds Indoors
~ Seed Starting Indoors
~ Vegetable Garden Calendar
~ Seed Starting Tomatoes


Shrub Pruning Calendar
~ Pruning Clematis 
~ Gardening in the Shade
~ Summer-Flowering Bulb Care
~ Drought-Tolerant Flowers for KC
~ Preparing for a Soil Test
~ Changing the pH of Your Soil
~ Growing Herbs
~ All About Composting
~ All About Mulch
~ Worm Composting
~ When to Harvest Vegetables
~ Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
~ Organic Pesticides & Biopesticides
~ Cold Frames & Hot Beds
~ When to Divide Perennials
~ Dividing Spring Blooming Perennials
~ Forcing Bulbs Indoors
~ Overseeding A Lawn
~ Pruning Trees
~ Pruning Shrubs
~ Planting Trees
~ Deer Resistant Plants
~ Trees that Survived the Storm
~ Stump Removal Options for the Homeowner
~ More...


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This Week's Photos






February 8, 2006

Up And At 'Em...
Only six more weeks of winter - or so the groundhog says. February has shocked us back to reality but there is hope that there will be a slight warm-up later in the week. It's not the 60's but on a cold day like today when the wind chill is 26
˚, the high 40's sounds like a heat wave. As long as there's an opportunity for me to get outside every now and then there are no complaints here.

If you need something to do this weekend visit the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show downtown at the American Royal. Now is the perfect time to plan ahead, take notes, and visit with industry experts. There is always something new - tools, plants or things in general that make our lives as gardeners easier.

Are you an early morning person? If so tune in Sunday morning to 980 KMBZ and listen to me and Jan Olson on the Gardn' Wise Guys gardening show from 7-9 AM. Lots of banter and good, sound gardening advice.

~ Shelly  

Seed Starting With Structure...
Starting more than three or four different varieties of seed indoors can get confusing if you're not organized. To keep from missing the start date for any of your seeds you might try our simple procedure: Organize your seed packets in piles based on the number of weeks before "last frost" to start them indoors. This should be indicated on the seed packet and can be found in our feature When To Start Seeds Indoors. Pick the date which you feel safe calling "last frost". We use the first full weekend in May. In our example we are now 11 weeks from the weekend we will transplant our seedlings. That means that by this weekend we will have already started any seeds that indicate starting dates nine weeks and higher. For the remainder of your seeds secure them together in their respective groups with a rubber band. For each group attach a sticky note with the date of the weekend they need to be started. Place the packets front-to-back, in order by starting date, in a small box. Each weekend remove the packets at the front of the box for starting. Next weekend's seeds are now at the front and awaiting your return in seven days.

Proper Rose Pruning...
Lots of gardeners are wondering if they missed their chance to prune their roses.  Fear not. Modern roses should be pruned just before the buds break dormancy after the last frost. Still plenty of time to think about it.

Rose pruning is the key to successful summer blooms. Prune roses back 25 percent if you want lots of medium-sized blooms. Prune back 50 percent if you want fewer, larger flowers.

Trim Now, Butterflies Later...
Our butterfly bush rewards me and my family to great gatherings of butterflies every summer.  To make sure it's in top shape I usually trim it back to about 12 inches this time of year.  This helps promote a well shaped bush with larger flowers.


What Are You Reading
When You're Not Reading

Great Gardening Magazines
Are Right Here!



Reading Roses...
Whether you're giving roses to your sweetheart or just planting some new ones in the garden this year it's always helpful to know what message you might be sending.

  • Red - Love, Respect
  • Deep Pink - Gratitude, Appreciation
  • Light Pink - Admiration, Sympathy
  • White - Reverence, Humility
  • Yellow - Joy, Gladness
  • Orange - Enthusiasm, Desire
  • Red & Yellow Blend - Gaiety, Joviality Pale
  • Blended Tones - Sociability, Friendship

Of course you should feel free to break the rules to accommodate a favorite color. If your valentine prefers yellow over red we suggest you stick with yellow.


Tipping The Scales...
We've had lots of e-mails asking about effective control of scale on houseplants.  Because scale in indoor environments enjoys overlapping generations successful treatment will require two to three insecticide applications at l0-day intervals.  When feasible, large numbers of these scales can be physically dislodged by gently wiping the leaves with a dilute mixture of water and dishwashing detergent. You should combine manual and chemical control for best results.


Celtuce In The Garden...
Looking for something new in the vegetable garden this year? Consider ordering celtuce seed to grow as a substitute for celery. Celtuce is a versatile crop that needs less water than celery and can be direct seeded along with summer crops. It is named after its unique combination of characteristics, the
celery-like stalks and the lettuce-like leaves (celtuce - get it?). In China, where it originates, the plant is grown mainly for the fat central stalk that is very crispy and tender. Young leaves can be used as lettuce for salads and stir-fry.

Winter Tree Clean-Up...
Late winter is a great time to prune many deciduous trees. Look over your plants now and remove dead, dying, unsightly parts of the tree, sprouts growing at or near the base of the tree trunk, crossed branches, and V-shaped crotches.

"The more help a man has in his garden, the less it belongs to him."

~ William H. Davies

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