Who Could Ask For More?
I guess it would be ridiculous to start this
week's newsletter with anything but
how delighted I am that the weather has made a change for the
better. The past three days have been exhilarating with
temperatures in the high 50's. The local meteorologists say we
might even see 60's by the weekend. And not only that, I finally
took the Christmas greens down - the ones that have been hanging
outside since mid-December! I do not
want any signs of winter lingering any longer. A couple more
warm days and all of the snow will have melted away. It kind of
makes me want to burst into song!
pretty sure that you all share my excitement by the recent
change in the weather. We are already getting emails asking
"When can I start planting?" Even though we have seen a dramatic
change in the weather this last week,
don't be fooled. Winter is not over and we will probably see one
or more snowfalls before April. So my suggestion would be -
prepare yourself. Make a list of the area(s) that you want to
focus on. If you are contemplating a huge project start calling
landscape companies now. If you wait too long you will be
disappointed that no one will be available when you want or need
them. Being organized is key. So even though you can't play in
the soil just yet, get outside and tidy things up. Rake leaves
(if you don't have any, I have
plenty), clean gutters, clean your windows. All of these chores
will allow you to be outside soaking up the warmer temps and for
now, who could ask for anything more?
What a difference a week makes!
Now that the snow has faded and warm weather is upon us you may soon see adventurous bulbs pushing
through the ground - especially snow drops, crocus, and early
daffodils. Keep an eye out! Matted leaves and dead grass left
over from fall may create a barrier to these upstarts. Help
them a little by gently raking away any debris and allowing the
foliage and flowers to break through the soil more easily.
When we started Savvygardener.com one of the things we
wanted to provide was information that was truly useful to area
gardeners based on our weather, our climate, our everything.
A great example of this is one of our most
popular and informative articles -
The Shrub Pruning Calendar.
A Savvygardener.com exclusive, this is the Kansas City area
gardener's definitive guide to when, and when not, to
prune a wide variety of shrubs. Check it out! We'll bet it
answers some questions and clears up a lot of mystery.
Get Out And Cut...
With this nice warm weather think about
getting outside to do renewal pruning.
Find those shrubs that have become
skinny and leafless on the bottom with all growth at the top.
Remove a third of the branches, pruning almost to the ground.
You may lose some bloom, but this job is so much easier to
accomplish when the branches are bare.
All America Roses...
All America Rose Selections has selected
their 2007 winners. They are Rainbow Knockout (coral pink),
Strike It Rich (deep golden yellow), and Moondance (white).
AARS has been testing roses since 1938. Over
the years, the program has evolved into a sophisticated process
with a network of Official Test Gardens within select Public
Gardens throughout the United States. Every AARS winning rose
completes an extensive two-year trial program where it's judged
on everything from disease resistance to flower production to
color to fragrance.
Whiteflies and Houseplants...
Whiteflies seem to be prevalent and attack
houseplants at this time. If infected plants are moved to the
garden in the spring, the whiteflies can spread to other plants.
Control them with insecticidal soap applied to the underside of
the leaves. This must be done every few weeks.
A Clean Start...
Here's another important tip for seed starters. Make sure
you thoroughly wash last year's plastic seed-starting
containers. Believe me it makes a difference! And if your
seedlings have had disease problems in the past, you'll need to
use a mixture containing 10 percent household bleach and water
to really sterilize the containers.
Begonias, By Golly...
Savvygardeners who want to have tuberous begonias for
summer-long flowering in pots, beds, or hanging baskets outside
should start the tubers indoors during late February or early
March. Sprout the tubers by placing them, hollow side up,
fairly close together in shallow, well-drained pans. Use a mix
of equal parts perlite, sphagnum, peat moss, and vermiculite; or
chopped sphagnum moss and perlite. This should be kept damp
(not soggy) in a shady window with a temperature in the lower
60s. Transplant the tubers to pots or baskets when growth
starts, normally within 3 weeks. Place them outside only after
all threat of frost has passed.
gardener made the mistake of wanting rewards at once, and she
smiled to recognize the failing in herself. But recognition
didn't stop her from pursuing what she wanted."