OK, so weather like today I can handle. Cool in the morning,
nice and sunny in the afternoon but not stinking hot. The
humidity was down which is certainly a plus. I hope that we can
hang onto this weather for a few more weeks. I am still not
ready for summer and would really like to see the temperatures
hovering in the 70's for the next few weeks. You know me, always
asking for perfect weather. I am one of those high maintenance
gardeners. Kind of hard to please. Oh yeah, could we please have
some rain. Preferably a nice slow, soaking rain.
I did the
coolest thing today. I helped my youngest son's (Jake) scout
troop learn about conservation, growing plants from seed and I
taught each scout how to pot plants
It was great! I love the idea of teaching generations to come
about things that are important. Conservation, taking care of
the earth we live on and continuously planting plants that help
to keep the air healthy and the ground beautiful. You probably
get it by now - it was a blast!
the Savvygardener's who visited
Courtyard Patio, printed off their advertisement and went in
to see what they had to offer. I know that all of you are great
about patronizing those who help keep our little ship afloat.
Our advertisers love hearing from you so the next time you are
in a nursery or garden center tell them that you are a
Savvygardener.com subscriber and you would like to see them
support us. Kevin and I really appreciate all that you do. We
could not do this without you!
This last round of really warm weather
seems to have accelerated most of the area's flowering spring
bulbs. Our daffodils and tulips took a bow over the weekend and,
like most others in Kansas City, won't be seen again until next
spring. If you want to get the most
out of them next spring you need to help them a little right
their foliage to acquire and transport nutrients necessary for
future growth. If you cut or remove the foliage too early you
will starve the bulb and consequently reduce its chances for
strong growth next spring. Cut the stems back as you would if
you were cutting them for a vase. Leave the foliage alone until
it has withered on its own. Only then should you clear it from
You can trim pachysandra and other low groundcovers by mowing
them with your lawnmower. Set the mowing height at around three
to four inches. This will thicken the groundcover and help
prevent weeds. Be sure to remove the clippings by gently raking.
Boston ivy, English ivy, purple winter creeper, and cranberry
cotoneaster all benefit from springtime trimming.
A Clean Break...
When transplanting flowers and veggies to the garden make
sure you break off the rims of your peat pots just below ground
level. Any portion of the peat pot sticking up above the soil
surface will wick away moisture and deprive your plants of much
needed water. That would be a shame considering how hard you
worked getting them this far!
It's that time of year
where outside is the only place to be.
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The most serious disease of clematis is commonly called
clematis wilt - a stem rot/leaf
spot disease caused by the fungus, Ascochyta clematidina, which
mainly affects large‑flowered clematis hybrids. The symptoms are
very defining and include sudden stem collapse, often just as
the flower buds are about to open. Within just a few days the
stems and its leaves turn black. Leaf
veins often develop a purple coloration. One or more stems of
the diseased plant may be affected or all aboveground parts of
the plant can be killed down to just below the soil level.
affected plant will recover after a year or two.
Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Here's how:
- Choose a favorable planting site with 6 or more hours of
sun daily, rich, well‑drained soil with pH about 7.0, and be
relatively open to ensure good air circulation.
- Select the most resistant plants. Species clematis
and/or small‑flowered hybrids seem to be more resistant than
- Keep the clematis area free of plant debris on a
year‑round basis. Take special care to avoid injury to stem
and roots since the wilt fungus requires a wound to begin
its deadly work.
- Avoid damaging the roots. Do not cultivate the soil
around clematis plants and maintain good mulch.
- Give good culture. Maintain good growing conditions to
keep all clematis plants as stress‑free as possible.
- In the event that plants become infected, cut diseased
stems just below ground level and destroy them. Spray any
remaining, healthy parts of the plant and surrounding soil
with a protective fungicide such as myclobutanil.
Just Like Starting Over...
This time of year we are asked by
many gardeners why their forsythia or lilacs
look so bad. Many
claim that some of their
flowering branches look great while
other branches of the same plant have
virtually no flowers at all. This is actually a very common
problem with forsythia, lilacs and
other flowering shrubs. Basically they have become too "woody"
and need rejuvenation. Simply cut the tired branches to a point
just above ground level. Next year's growth will include many
To stay on
top of this process Savvygardeners will rejuvenate
one-third of the
flowering shrub every year. That way none of the
branches are ever any older than three years.
Gas-powered lawn mowers may be the most
dangerous tool regularly used around the home. They create hot
exhaust fumes. Their blades spin 2,000 to 4,000 times per minute
and can turn small toys and garden debris into deadly missiles.
Kansas State University Research and Extension, U.S. safety
experts estimate lawn mower accidents severely injure 75,000
people every year. The minor accidents could easily number in
Here are two
very good safety tips to follow:
- Before mowing, search the yard – every time. Look for
small objects that may be hidden from obvious view. Most
lawn mower blades run at 100 to 200 miles per hour. So, if
one hits a rock, wire, acorn or stick, that object can
become deadly: both airborne and fast as the wink of an eye.
- Do not mow when anyone else is in the vicinity of the
mower itself and any projectiles it may create.
mower safety tips
can be found here...
Dealing With Dandelions...
We're getting lots of e-mail asking about weeds (especially
dandelions) in lawns. Keep in mind two things:
healthy turf is the most effective weed control. Proper
mowing, fertilization, and irrigation will go a long way in
is the best time to control weeds.
said, you can spot-apply broad spectrum herbicides to lawn
weeds. Just be careful where you
spray. Drifting herbicides are going to damage or kill the
plants they touch.
"So deeply is the
gardener's instinct implanted in my soul.
I really love the tools with which I work - the iron fork, the
spade, the hoe, the rake, the trowel, and the watering-pot are
pleasant objects in my eyes."