Ready For A Warm-Up...
As I type this editorial I am clothed in as many layers as
possible. I have big wooly socks on my feet with slippers on
over them. I have a sweater and a light weight jacket on as
well. It is amazing I can move, let
alone type. I hate this cold. Even when Sam Parker and I are
outside walking I find myself hurrying him along so that we can
get back to the warmth of the house. Of course warm is relative.
The thermostat is set on 69˚
and if feels as if it is 50˚.
I am hoping that a warm-up is in our
near future. I am ready for the thawing to begin.
temperatures don't seem to be moving in the
right direction (up), stay warm
and be careful. Whether you are out walking the family pet or
just out to pick up the paper. The ice is treacherous and
falling is the last thing that any of us want to do. Instead sit
by the fire and dream of days in the garden when the
temperatures are in the 70's! Now that I can stand!
If you take advantage of winter to get some pruning done
remember that when pruning large limbs, always undercut
first. This means cut from the bottom up, one-third of the way
through the limb, then finish by cutting from the top. The
undercut keeps the limb from splitting and breaking off, which
could damage the trunk and become an entryway for insects and
diseases. Also, don't cut flush to the trunk. The collar or
enlarged base of a branch produces hormones that help heal
Each year the All-America Selection organization selects the best
new flowers and vegetables based on carefully controlled trials
across North America. This is a great resource for
discovering new and interesting flowers and vegetables for your
garden. We have posted
this year's AAS winners on our website.
Jade In The Shade?
Many Savvygardeners grow Jade plants because of their
tolerance for low light conditions. However, while jade will
survive in low light, it needs as much direct sunlight as
possible to look its best. Insufficient light will cause your
jade plant to lose most of its old, thick leaves and grow thin,
new ones on spindly stems. Not a good trade-off if you ask me.
You're Getting Warmer...
Much of the United States has been warmer in recent years,
and that affects which trees are right for planting. Based on
the latest comprehensive weather station data,
Arbor Day Foundation has just released a new
2006 Hardiness Zone Map which separates the country into ten
different temperature zones to help people select the right
trees to plant where they live. The new map reflects that many
areas have become warmer since 1990 when the last USDA hardiness
zone map was published. The greater Kansas
City area has shifted from Zone 5 to a warmer Zone 6.
zones are based on average annual low temperatures using 10
degree increments. For example, the average low temperature in
our Zone 6 is 0
to -10 degrees
Be Savvy, Not Soggy...
Overwatering is a common problem with houseplants.
Remember, most indoor plants should not be watered until the
soil feels dry. Water thoroughly, let the water soak in, then
water again until water drains into the saucer. Empty the
saucer within an hour.
You may find yourself perusing a seed catalog and come
across something called pelleted seed. Some mail order
seed companies offer pelleted seed of lettuce, carrot, and a few
other small-seeded crops. Pelleted seed is like any other seed
except that it has a special coating that makes it larger.
While almost anyone will appreciate the convenience of larger
seeds it is especially valuable for children and gardeners with
arthritic hands, weak eyesight, or poor coordination. When
using pelleted seed, plant in moist soil and keep it moist as
the coating has to dissolve before the seed can germinate.
We've seen some interesting swings in temperatures lately.
While most of us appreciate the days above freezing, our plants
may be less than thrilled. The freezing and thawing of the
ground can force shallow-rooted plants out of the soil. This is
called "heaving" and should not be a problem if you mulched well
at the onset of winter. If you see any signs of heaving among
your plantings simply replant any that have heaved and mulch
with 2 inches of organic material. Those leaves that seem to
linger all season are perfect!
"The hiss was now
becoming a roar - the whole world was a vast moving screen of
snow - but even now it said peace, it said remoteness, it said
cold, it said sleep."