It is either feast or famine. No rain at all or 3 inches at a
time. Last weekend was a stay at home and get things done
weekend. Take sports out of the weekend and it is funny how
there seems to be some extra time. We spent all of Saturday
packing up things that we are not currently using. Needless to
say there is plenty of that stuff lying around. Where does all
of that stuff come from? I would never accumulate that much
stuff in my gardens. I do equate the two at times and even Kevin
will say that the gardens often come first. No clutter or leaves
laying around. Attention to detail a must. Perhaps I need to
work on honing my housekeeping skills with my keeping a great
looking garden skills. I for one believe that housework is not
nearly as much fun. Sure you get the same type of gratification
but only the family gets to appreciate the inside of the house.
When it comes to the gardens everyone in the neighborhood or for
that matter the people who drive down
our street get to enjoy them. So for now I will continue down my
path and try to find a happy medium along the way. Maybe moving
into a new house will give me the opportunity to start fresh.
I know in
last weeks newsletter I spilled the beans and let you all know
that we are moving. We are staying in Kansas City so no need to
be alarmed. Savvygardener.com will keep coming weekly. We've had
several e-mails inquiring about our move. Kevin and I will take
pictures of the new house and gardens as soon as we are in. The
gardens are in good shape but as always it will be fun to go in
and make them mine. Nothing quite as satisfying as that. We
promise to keep you posted.
are you in need of outside furnishings? Visit our newest sponsor
Courtyard Patio for the latest in outdoor seating. Great
selections and professionals to assist you. Kevin and I will be
visiting their showroom soon. Our new house needs patio
furniture. As much time as we spend outside I am just as choosy
about my outside furnishings as I am my inside. Visit their
Overland Park location soon. Tell them you heard about them from
us, print out the ad and receive a special in-store discount!
Orange Worms On Junipers?
If you've seen what appears to be clumps of
orange jelly-like worms on your junipers
you are actually looking at cedar-apple rust. This rust fungi
spends a portion of its life cycle on hosts such as apple,
flowering crab, and hawthorn, and another portion on species of
Juniperus (which includes eastern red cedar). The effects
of these diseases on junipers are minimal.
rusts produce reddish-brown galls on the twigs of juniper. These
woody galls usually are ½ to 2 inches in diameter. In early
April, galls swell and produce orange, one-inch long, gelatinous
tendrils that remain on the galls through May. Trees with
numerous galls are easily identified by their bright orange cast
during rainy weather. The galls of cedar-apple rust last only
one season; the spent galls dry and fall from the tree during
the summer months.
Ants In Your...
Not your pants, but your peonies! If you have peonies you no
doubt have noticed a proliferation of ants scurrying to and fro
across the flower buds. Those ants are the source of many "old
gardener's tales" that have been handed down over the ages.
Here's the deal: The ants are there because of the nectar-like
substance secreted by the peony. Chances are that the ants you
see on your peonies are already living in your garden - the
peonies just draw them out of the soil and make them more
visible. In other words, peonies are not increasing your local
ant population (which creepily number in the hundreds of
thousands or more). Some say that the ants actually help peonies
bloom. Most experts disagree but since they do no harm it's best
to just let them enjoy your peonies as much as you do.
Cutworms can be a real problem for gardeners setting out
transplants. Protect your newly
transplanted plants with collars. Simply cut strips of
cardboard 2 inches wide by 8 inches long and staple them into a
band. Place this collar around the plant stem and press it about
1 inch into the soil. Simple and very
It's that time of year
where outside is the only place to be.
We have the latest in
stylish and comfortable
and a professional staff
to help you find just the right pieces.
Over 35 years serving the Kansas
Print this ad and receive a special
A Clip In Time...
The proper time to prune continues to vex many gardeners.
This time of year can get confusing because some shrubs are
flowering, some are done, and others are still getting ready.
Here's the deal:
flower in the spring are normally pruned immediately after
flowering. Examples of these types of plants include forsythia,
Vanhoutte spirea, flowering quince, lilac and mockorange. Though
pruning during the dormant season does not harm the health of the
plant, the flowering display will be reduced. Shrubs that bloom
on current season's growth or that do not produce ornamental
flowers are best pruned in late winter to early spring. Examples
include Rose-of-Sharon, Bumald Spirea and Japanese Spirea.
three basic methods used in pruning shrubs:
is used to thin out branches from a shrub that is too dense.
It is accomplished by removing most of the inward growing twigs
by either cutting them back to a larger branch or cutting them
back to just above an outward facing bud. On multi- stemmed
shrubs, the oldest canes may be completely removed.
back is removing the end of a branch by cutting it back
to a bud and is used for either reducing height or keeping a
shrub compact. Branches are not cut back to a uniform height
as this will result in a "witches-broom" effect.
Rejuvenation is the most severe type of pruning and is
normally done during the dormant season. It may be used on
multi-stem shrubs that have become too large with too many old
branches to justify saving the younger canes. All stems are
cut back to 3- to 5-inch stubs. This works well for spirea,
forsythia, pyracantha, ninebark, Russian almond, little leaf
mock orange, shrub roses and flowering quince.
Early blight and Septoria blight are the two most common
foliar diseases of tomato. Early blight produces brown spots (up
to ½ inch in diameter) on infected leaves. Concentric
rings of darker brown often appear in the leaf spots. Septoria
blight produces small brown spots (approximately 1/8 inch in
diameter) with tan or gray centers and dark edges. Both diseases
cause heavily infected leaves to eventually turn brown, die, and
fall off. Lower leaves are infected first with the diseases
progressing upward during the growing season.
Savvygardeners can reduce blight problems on their tomatoes with
good cultural practices. Here's some tips:
- Start by
selecting stocky, healthy plants at a garden center or
your tomatoes in a different location in the garden each year.
Rotate crops so that tomatoes and other solanaceous
crops (potatoes, peppers, and eggplants) are not grown in the
same area for at least 3 or 4 years. Obviously this may not be
feasible for those with small vegetable gardens - just try to
rotate as much as possible.
planting, space tomatoes approximately 3 feet apart. Adequate
spacing allows good air movement and promotes rapid drying of
tomato plants in wire cages. The foliage of tomatoes grown in
cages will dry more rapidly than those sprawled on the ground.
wetting tomato foliage when watering. Apply water directly to
the ground around plants with drip irrigation, a soaker hose or
slow running hose. If a sprinkler must be used, water in the
morning so the foliage dries quickly.
blight occurs, remove and destroy infected leaves as they
appear. Prompt removal of infected leaves may slow the
progress of the blights. At the end of the gardening season,
remove and destroy all infected tomato plants. Clean up and
dispose of as much tomato plant debris as possible.
Cankerworms, also knows as inchworms are a common pest at
this time of year. There are actually two species of cankerworm:
spring cankerworm, Paleacrita vernata, and fall cankerworm,
Alsophilia pometeria. Though the common names may suggest
otherwise, larvae from both species appear in the spring.
"Spring" and "fall" refer to when the females lay their eggs.
feed on a wide variety of deciduous trees including oak, ash,
elm, linden and apple. Larvae vary from green to reddish-brown to
black and have one or more white, pale green, or black stripes.
Cankerworms are general defoliators and may skeletonize leaves.
Eventually, only the midribs of leaves remain.
can be detected by rapping on branches. This disturbs
cankerworms, which betray their presence by dropping down on
silken threads. If necessary, insecticidal treatments may be
applied. Labeled insecticides include permethrin (Bug Stop,
Bonide Eight, Kill-A-Bug II), carbaryl (Sevin) and cyfluthrin
(Bayer Lawn and Garden Multi-Insect Killer).
Most of us are creatures of habit. When it comes to mowing your
lawn you probably follow the same back and forth pattern every
time you cut the grass. Unfortunately this regular practice will
eventually wear ruts in the lawn where the mower wheels
repeatedly follow the same path. To avoid this problem try a
four-way rotation of cutting patterns. Picture your lawn as a
sheet of paper and try these patterns. Next week - tango
Horizontal - left-to-right, turn, right-to-left across
Vertical - top-to-bottom, turn, bottom-to-top across
Diagonal 1 - bottom-left to top-right, turn, top-right
to bottom-left. Work toward corners.
Diagonal 2 - bottom-right to top-left, turn, top-left
to bottom-right. Work toward corners.
"I like trees
because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live
than other things do."