My Time of Year...
The arrival of March means spring is only a few short days
away. Of course if you were to look outside you might think it
has already arrived. Tulips, daffodils and crocus are up (or
should I say have been up) and are now
blooming. It seems as if everything is early,
but Mother Nature has taken matters into her own hands and there
is no changing that. March arrived like a lamb bringing warmer
temperatures and some much needed rain. I believe the extended
forecast shows more rain on the way. What a relief.
our winter was mild I still get excited about what lies ahead in
the days to come. Planting, playing, sitting outside drinking up
every ounce of sun until it sets. This is my time of year and I
am happy it has arrived.
OK, I am
sure you have a thousand and one things on your spring to-do
list. Raking, gutter cleaning, pansy planting etc. Don't forget
Family Tree Nursery's Spring Open House in Overland Park
March 17th - 19th. The theme this year is "Gardens for the Five
Senses". Take the kids in on Saturday or Sunday so that they
can participate in the Young Gardener's
Club 10th Birthday Party. Potter Rabbit (the Young Gardener's
Club mascot) will be attending. Lots of activities to get the
young ones excited about spring. And for us adults, free seminars
as well as many industry professionals
on hand to answer those tough gardening questions. It is one of
my favorite events - you won't want to miss it.
Termites In Mulch?
By now it seems everyone has received at least
one forwarded e-mail warning that Louisiana's famous Formosan
may find their way to our locales by way of mulch made from
hurricane-ravaged trees. We checked with our friends at
K-State Extension and this is what we learned:
- Even before Katrina, state
agriculture officials already had quarantines in place for
wood products from areas known to be infested by Formosan
termites. Now Louisiana and Mississippi have extended their
quarantines to all areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and
Hurricane Rita. The woody debris from those areas can only
be disposed of in special landfills within the quarantine
- Just in case, consumers can be alert
when they buy and spread mulch this year. If they spot
termites, a quick treatment of insecticide should stop that
little problem right in its tracks.
- Alternatively, if you open a
bag and find it infested with termites you might consider
resealing the bag and placing it in a larger black plastic
garbage bag and exposing it to the hot sun for several days.
Raising mulch temperatures to 120 degrees for an hour or
more is generally sufficient to kill all insect life.
purchase your mulch from reliable, local suppliers like our
Armed And Ready...
As you walk through your gardens take
along a hand pruner and cut out the
dead branches from your shrubs. The living
branches should be recognizable by the
appearance of leaf or flower buds.
The dead ones are the "dead-looking" ones with no green visible
underneath the brown outer bark layer.
For more assistance check out
in our Features section.
Staggered Seed Start...
timing right on seed starting is pretty important. Start too
early and your plants will get leggy before it's time to put
them outside. Start too late and you miss out on valuable
growing time (especially if you want the first tomatoes on the
block). Seeds are cheap, time is unrecoverable. Instead of
starting all of your similar seeds (tomato for instance) at the
same time, try starting 1/3 of them each week for three weeks.
If warm weather is early, you'll be ahead. If cold weather
lingers you'll still have seedlings at the appropriate
for the Five Senses"
Family Tree Nursery presents
their 11th Annual Open House
and Spring Flower Show
March 17th -19th in the Green
at the Overland Park Garden Center
8424 Farley 913-642-6503
Live demonstrations, free seminars and great pre-season
The Young Gardener's Club is celebrating it's 10th
Birthday. Join Potter Rabbit in activities for the whole
A Day For Potato Heads?
While it's traditional to plant potatoes on St. Patrick's
Day Savvygardeners should be aware of two assumptions made in
setting this date. First, that your soil is consistently 45º
or higher. The recent warm-up means sunny locations
may be ready.
assumption is that the soil is dry enough to be worked. Working
in overly moist soil can make a mess that will be hard to
correct later. How can you tell? Grab a handful of soil and
squeeze. If it holds together like clay it's too wet. If it
crumbles like a cupcake it's ready for planting.
weather and your soil closely. You really want to get those
'taters planted between now and the end of March.
A quick check of our
Seed Starting Calendar reveals that it's time to start seeds
for those warm-weather vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.
Tomatoes can be found in many, many gardens. Why not yours? If
you need some help getting started just read
Seed Starting Tomatoes in our Features
Thyme For Renewal?
If you grow thyme in your garden you may want to rejuvenate
your plot this spring. Thyme, a low-growing, woody perennial
herb, should be started from seed every two to three years.
This is because older plants produce coarser, lower grade stems
and leaves. Thyme seeds often germinate poorly when planted
directly in the soil, so it's best to start plants indoors now
for transplant later.
Now Cut That Out...
So, you think it's too early to cut the grass? Not the
ornamental grass! In early spring before new growth begins
you should remove the previous year's foliage to promote earlier
and more healthy growth. Use hand clippers,
a pruning saw, or sharp shears to cut your grasses back
to within 3 to 5 inches of the ground. To
minimize the mess try tying the grass into a standing bundle
"Live in each season
as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each."
~ Henry David Thoreau