Not Much To Say...
It's funny, I am sitting here at my computer at a loss for
words. For those of you who know me you are probably saying,
"That is impossible!" but I really
don't have much going on in my gardens. Sure I am keeping busy
with things around the house and still
taxiing the kids around but I haven't done anything
outside now for two weeks. The bulbs have slowed their
coming out party - obviously chilled by last week's
deep freeze. One thing I have noticed is how desperately we need
rain. We have not had nearly the moisture needed this winter to
sustain our lawns and plants. The days with desiccating winds
have been numerous. Everything is bone dry. I know that I have
said it a thousand times but since it is going to warm up this
week I'll say it again, "Get out the
hose!" Once spring arrives you'll find
both the lawn and your plants will look much healthier due to
your diligence in keeping them hydrated. There
are always times when Mother Nature
needs our help to keep things we've
planted alive - even in the winter.
When we started Savvygardener.com one of the things we
wanted to provide was information that was truly useful to area
gardeners based on our weather, our climate, our everything.
A great example of this is one of our most
popular and informative articles -
The Shrub Pruning Calendar.
A Savvygardener.com exclusive, this is the Kansas City area
gardener's definitive guide to when, and when not, to
prune a wide variety of shrubs. Check it out! We'll bet it
answers some questions and clears up a lot of mystery.
Many gardeners prevent fruit from forming on their crabapple
trees by using the common insecticide Sevin (carbaryl). If
you are one of them please don't apply Sevin until after the
blossoms have dried on the trees. Sevin is very toxic to
bees and applying it during bloom will kill them. That's bad.
With some of the coldest weather
behind us, you may soon see adventurous bulbs pushing
through the ground - especially snow drops, crocus, and early
daffodils. Keep an eye out! Matted leaves and dead grass left
over from fall may create a barrier to these upstarts. Help
them a little by gently raking away any debris and allowing the
foliage and flowers to break through the soil more easily.
A Clean Start...
Here's another important tip for seed starters. Make sure
you thoroughly wash last year's plastic seed-starting
containers. Believe me it makes a difference! And if your
seedlings have had disease problems in the past, you'll need to
use a mixture containing 10 percent household bleach and water
to really sterilize the containers.
Begonias, By Golly...
Savvygardeners who want to have tuberous begonias for
summer-long flowering in pots, beds, or hanging baskets outside
should start the tubers indoors during late February or early
March. Sprout the tubers by placing them, hollow side up,
fairly close together in shallow, well-drained pans. Use a mix
of equal parts perlite, sphagnum, peat moss, and vermiculite; or
chopped sphagnum moss and perlite. This should be kept damp
(not soggy) in a shady window with a temperature in the lower
60s. Transplant the tubers to pots or baskets when growth
starts, normally within 3 weeks. Place them outside only after
all threat of frost has passed.
Sweet peas are perfect for gardeners who
can't wait for spring. They can go into the ground any time the
ground isn't wet from early March to late April. They'll wait
until conditions are favorable to germinate. Top performers in
our area include:
Little Marvel, Green Arrow, Frosty,
Knight, Sparkle, Sugar Bon or Sugar Snap
Thin-podded Oriental types – often called
snow peas – broaden the possibilities to include the Dwarf
Grey Sugar and Mammoth Sugar varieties
Peas usually do best where you can plant two
to three rows, 4 to 6 inches apart, to allow the weak, spindly
vines to support each other. Otherwise, you generally need a
All America Roses...
All America Rose Selections has selected
their 2006 winners. They are Julia Child (gold color),
Rainbow Sorbet (mixed colors), Wild Blue Yonder (deep reddish
purple), and Tahitian Sunset (pink and yellow).
AARS has been testing roses since 1938. Over
the years, the program has evolved into a sophisticated process
with a network of Official Test Gardens within select Public
Gardens throughout the United States. Every AARS winning rose
completes an extensive two-year trial program where it's judged
on everything from disease resistance to flower production to
color to fragrance.
"Yes! in the poor
man's garden grow,
Far more than herbs and flower's,
Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
And joy for weary hours"