This week's gardening tips from the Savvygardener.

Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil

Visit Our Website
Previous Issues
Tell A Friend  

Send A Postcard!

Gardening Catalogs

Site Search
Contact Us
Submit A Tip

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...


~ On-Line Gardening Forum

Books We Love
Great Products
Web Resources
Event Calendar

Local Sponsors

~ Family Tree Nursery
~ Missouri Organic Recycling
~ Ryan Lawn & Tree


Tell A Friend

Privacy Pledge




This Week's Photos













May 10, 2006

May Showers Bring...
So, do you think it could rain anymore? Now there's a pretty silly question. Of course it is going to rain again and we will most likely see that rainfall sometime later this week. I am feeling a bit waterlogged and so is the garden. Mushrooms are everywhere and I have already had to spray my roses for black spot. I don't remember May being this wet. Now April is another story. You know the old saying, "April showers bring May flowers." Of course I am not sure about what showers for the entire month of May will bring. I guess we will find out soon enough.

I have had several people ask me about whether or not I will be taking any plants out of the garden when we move. The answer in short is no. Kevin and I have worked exactly 11 years to create the garden we love. To remove a piece of it would be an injustice. I have explained to most of my friends that creating a garden is like creating any other type of art. You start with a blank canvas and work with the colors, textures and tones until you are completely satisfied. And that I am. The gardens are not overgrown but are at a stage where everything is growing in harmony. I only hope that the new owner of this home will also enjoy the fruits of our labor and continue to keep the gardens alive adding their own special touches. After all, to call a garden your own you have to put your hands in the soil.

~ Shelly  

Prevent Black Spot...
With all this wet weather you will need to establish a preventive spray program for your roses if they have been subject to black spot in the past. The problem with fungal diseases is that they have to be prevented - a fungicide isn't as effective once the problem is noticed. As always, it is better to buy only roses that are disease resistant.

It's Not Too Late!
Do you feel like spring is slipping away from you?  Just a few weeks ago it seemed like we had all the time in the world to plant.  If you're like us, hectic schedules can make prime planting time slip away.  Don't panic!  There's still plenty to do.  In fact if you hurry you can still sneak in the following: lettuce, onions, spinach, beets, chard, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, shallots, chives and parsley.

Bonus!  Now that soil temperatures are up it's also a great time to get your tomatoes and peppers in the ground if you haven't already done so.

Tastier Tomatoes...
When selecting tomato transplants, choose healthy plants without any blooms. If the tomato plants have blooms or, worse, fruit before you transplant, pinch off the flowers or fruit. If tomatoes set fruit before the plant gets large enough - that is, produces enough leaves - the fruit is small and tasteless. Removing flowers or premature fruit allows the plant to produce more leaves that will make larger tomatoes throughout the growing season. The formula for successful tomato production is quite simple: Healthy leaves equal tasty fruit.


What Are You Reading
When You're Not Reading

Great Gardening Magazines
Are Right Here!



Tip Top Tools...
Here's a great way to keep your gardening hand tools clean and free from rust.  Fill a 5-gallon bucket with play sand.  Moisten the sand with mineral oil or even motor oil.  Plunging your tools into the sand/oil mix several times before storing them will remove the dirt and leave a protective coating of oil on the metal surface.

Getting Rid Of Girdles...
Remember to remove old stakes, ties, and labels from your trees and shrubs.  Stems and trunks grow in diameter this time of year and it is important to remove any constrictions that exist around them.  Even a thin wire can completely girdle a branch causing it to eventually die. While it's true that tree trunks may grow around wire, nails, or ties, they will forever have a structural defect that may be unsightly and is likely prone to storm damage.


The Right Height...
To prevent weed germination in lawns, mow frequently at the tallest recommended mowing height. Weeds germinate rapidly when turf is scalped by mowing too short or when it is not mowed frequently enough. Both mistakes decrease turf density and cause an open canopy that favors weeds. Experts recommend a range of mowing heights to meet specific turf activities. Lower mowing heights require more frequent mowing. Annual grassy weeds -- such as crabgrass -- are especially a problem on turfs that lack density as a result of poor mowing.

Recommended mowing heights for grass types:

  • Kentucky bluegrass - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
  • Tall fescue - 3.0 to 4.0 inches.
  • Fescue/bluegrass - 3.0 to 3.5 inches.
  • Bluegrass/ryegrass - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
  • Perennial ryegrasses - 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
  • Creeping red fescues - 3.0 to 3.5 inches.


Wait For Grub Control...
Grub control products are currently being displayed in the center aisles of retail department and discount stores and are advertised on the radio as providing season-long grub control when applied in early May. Certain insecticides, including imidacloprid (Merit) and halofenozide (Mach 2) do have a very long residual in the soil. However, they should not be applied to lawns until later in the summer by both homeowners and professionals and here’s why:

  1. The goal of white grub insecticides is to prevent turf damage, not eradicate grubs. Grub damage in the spring is very minimal and only seen in the driest of years. The chance of significant grub damage is limited this time of year.
  2. Grubs found in the turfgrass right now are very mature and extremely difficult to kill. Insecticides applied now will not be very effective.
  3. Even if you could control grubs now, it will have no effect on the population of grubs come August when the really damaging generation hatches.
  4. Insecticides applied now will biodegrade over time and may not remain in the soil at high enough concentrations to be effective in August when we really need them. Certainly, they will be more effective if applied closer to the egg hatch date (early August).

You are generally better off waiting until mid-July through mid-August to apply white grub insecticides and then only apply if your lawn has experienced perennial damage from grubs or if you find more than five grubs per square foot.


"Each moment of the year has its own beauty."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

To change your e-mail address, delivery method, or to stop delivery please follow the "Update Your Profile"  link at the bottom of your
e-mailed newsletter.

© 1999-2006, Inc. All rights reserved.  If you wish to copy, transmit, or otherwise duplicate any of the material from our website please ask us first.  Thank you.