Well it is official. We have been TP'd
for the first time. Toilet paper was strewn through the trees
and all around our house Monday evening. We are pretty sure it
was some friends (or foes)
of Morgan, our teenage daughter. I remember those days. Although
it seems so long ago there was nothing funnier than t-ping one
of your friends' houses.
Then of course there is the clean-up. Spending hours upon hours
trying to get that wet paper out of the trees. It is a chore and
I have to say I hope it doesn't happen again soon.
I wish I
could talk about all of the great things I am doing to my new
gardens but as of yet nothing is happening. I have been too busy
inside trying to unpack all of those boxes. Ugh!
What a job that is! I would much rather be in the garden. I have
been putting thoughts to paper and have decided
on one thing. I would like to have a
potting shed built. I have looked at some designs and Kevin and
I have found a few we like. We are not going to jump into
anything too hastily. It takes time and good design to come up
with something that will look like it belongs and has always
been a part of our house.
rainfall has been plentiful - a good thing considering it is mid-July.
So far we have been pretty lucky. In years past there have
not been those days of soaking rains but
rather the long, hot days where the ground ached for a
good shower. It sounds as if we better brace ourselves for some
good old-fashion hot weather. It is July and August is not too
far away. Soon Fall will be here and
we'll be planting pansies and mums and grateful to be throwing
on a sweatshirt and a comfortable pair of jeans. Oh yes, I love
that time of the year and will be relieved once the burning days
of summer have past.
To promote growth, vigor and optimum flowering, iris clumps
may be raised and divided every three years or so. Dig up the
rhizomes carefully to avoid damage to rhizomes and their roots.
Examine them for the presence of worm-like insects called iris
borers, which may seriously damage or destroy the plant. If they
are found, remove them, cut out the affected tissue and dust with
a garden insecticide, such as Sevin, before replanting. Select
sound rhizomes with two or more growing points. Rhizomes may be
cut apart with a sharp knife, or snapped apart by hand. Be sure
to preserve as many rhizome roots as possible. The best time to
divide iris is in mid-summer while the plants are dormant. Late
July through mid August is preferred.
Trees Shedding Bark...
Trees naturally shed bark as they grow. The amount of bark shed
varies significantly from one year to the next and is usually not
noticeable. But some trees, such as sycamore, London Planetree
and silver maple, shed bark in large patches or strips. During a
year with heavy shedding homeowners may become concerned that the
tree is sick or dying. Such usually is not the case. Sycamore and
London Planetree normally show a bright green color on the
branches when the bark first falls off but soon return to normal.
Maple reveals an orange color after shedding but it, too, soon
returns to normal. There is nothing wrong with the tree as long
as the shedding bark simply reveals underlying bark rather than
When Is A Tomato Ripe?
Early July starts tomato ripening time in Kansas City. We’ve all heard
of ‘vine ripe’ flavor but does a tomato have to remain on the
vine until it is completely ripe? The answer is no. When a tomato
reaches a full size and the fruit becomes a pale green, it begins
the ripening process which is regulated by an internal gas
produced within the fruit called ethylene. After the tomato
reaches a stage when it about ˝ green and ˝ pink (called the
‘breaker stage’), a layer of cells forms across the stem of the
tomato- sealing it from the main vine. At this point there is
nothing moving from the plant into the fruit. At this stage the
tomato can be harvested and ripened off the vine with no loss of
flavor, quality or nutrition.
in tomatoes don’t form above 95°
F so tomatoes ripened in extreme heat will have a orange-red
color. Tomatoes held at cooler temperatures will ripen slower.
You can speed up or slow down the ripening process by raising the
temperature (to an optimum of 85°
F) or lowering the temperature (to a minimum of 50°
Tomatoes develop their optimum flavor, nutrition, and color when
the tomato is in the full red ripe stage but this doesn’t have to
occur on the plant!
When To Pick A
Depending on what variety of bell pepper you are growing and
what color you want it to be you have different guidelines to
follow for the timing of your harvest. Green bell
varieties are usually picked when they are fully grown and
mature - 3 to 4 inches long, firm and green. Colored bell
peppers start out green but should be left on the plant until
they develop full flavor and ripen fully to red, yellow, orange
Fall Crops Begin Now...
A fall harvest of cabbage, vine crops, broccoli, cauliflower, and
Brussels sprouts means setting transplants in late July. For
lettuce, radish, carrots, beets, turnips, kale, and spinach, you
should sow seeds in late July to early August.
sprouts are especially good fall crops as their flavor is
enhanced by a mild frost. They are hungry little guys so make
monthly applications of 5-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of
˝ cup per square yard from the time
the plants are 4 inches tall through harvest.
Looking for a good, low exertion chore for the hot weather?
Try inspecting your shade trees and the grass below them. They
may be getting so full of branches that not enough sunlight
filters through to your grass. If your grass is just not making
it under a particular tree you can stand in its shade and make
some notes for future pruning. You'd be surprised how well grass
will respond to even a moderate amount of increased sunlight.
"Ah, summer, what
power you have to make us suffer and like it."