Let The Demolition Begin...
Today is the day - the day I have been waiting for. Cole
Welch, proprietor of Tectonic and his crew were over bright and
early to start demolition on our old landscape. Watching a crew
tear up a garden bed is so different
than doing it yourself. I couldn't believe how quickly they had
the old shrubs ripped out and the new gardening beds defined.
They sure make it look easy
helps to have a few hands and the right equipment. It certainly
was fun to watch. It's now started to
rain cats and dogs, cutting their day
short in order to take cover from this gully-washer we're
having. Boy, is it coming down! I hope
that today is the last day of rain for awhile. Once a project
gets started a few rainy days can really mess up a schedule.
Kevin hopes to have
the project page up soon so keep checking. Posted on the page
will be before, during,
and after pictures, video as well as design plans. It
will be worth the read so stay posted for more about our
landscape makeover. There will also be a link on our homepage so
you if you can't wait to see what's going on just go to the page
for the latest update.
Kevin and I
confused Memorial Day with Labor Day and labored all day Monday
in the backyard. I was busy pulling more euonymus
and ivy while Kevin was doing all of the heavy lifting and
digging. We converted a couple of small garden beds close to the
house into flagstone patio areas. I was so pleased with the
outcome. The backyard is really coming together. Now if I could
just finish potting some containers so
that there is a nice splash of color in the back I will be set.
If only there was more time. Now that
the kids are out of school maybe I'll have more time for
planting. Wishful thinking!
With all this rain (and it's coming down in
buckets at the moment) we couldn't pass up a good opportunity to
introduce our readers to
10,000 Rain Gardens - an
effort by Kansas City to encourage citizens to minimize
stormwater runoff and improve water quality by capturing and
filtering rain water in rain gardens, which are shallow
depressions planted with native prairie plants, as well as rain
banks (barrels) that save rain for later use, and roof gardens
that catch rain that otherwise would become runoff. Kansas City
is plagued by the same sewer and stormwater problems as many
other cities having older systems and has set out to mitigate
the problems by mobilizing the entire community in a voluntary
effort to attack a major water pollution problem at its source.
Yes, you can have too much rain. Recent heavy downpours
have leached fertilizers below the root zone of many of
our vegetables and additional nitrogen
will be needed so rapidly growing plants are not slowed down. If
the color of your plants is pale and
the growth is less than expected, a sidedressing of fertilizer
may be in order. Use a fertilizer that is composed primarily of
nitrogen such as nitrate of soda (16-0-0). This fertilizer may
be applied at the rate of 2 pounds (equals 2 pints) per 100 feet
Gettin' Too Much Rain?
Yews have relatively few problems but are especially
sensitive to wet feet. Heavy rains are starting to take
their toll on area Yews. Too much rain saturates soils and
pushes out oxygen. Because every living cell in a plant must
have oxygen (including the roots), waterlogged soil may kill
plants. If your yew suddenly loses branches, or the entire plant
turns brown, check the soil. Low oxygen levels in saturated soil
are probably to blame. Do not over water, and be sure to plant
in well-drained soil. If you must plant in heavy soil, shape the
planting area into a mound or crown the planting bed so excess
water drains away.
Erupting Soon In A Garden Near You...
This time of year it's not uncommon to have a period of wet
weather followed by some rather
warm early summer temperatures. If you have mulched areas in
your garden, that unique combination is
going to lead to something that's pretty disgusting to look at -
slime mold eruptions. You see, slime mold spores will grow and
expand (at an alarming rate) until they "erupt" over the surface
of the mulch. It's not very pretty to look at but rest assured
it's harmless. Try to scoop it up whole (so you don't
inadvertently release more spores) and dispose of it in a compost
pile or trash can.
Timing Is Everything...
Sometimes the hardest part of growing great vegetables is
knowing when they're ready for harvest. Timing is everything as
they say and that's certainly true for your garden's bounty. To
make your job a little easier we've compiled a list of common
garden vegetables and the guidelines you should follow to
determine if they are ready for harvest. You will find
"When to Harvest Vegetables" in the Features
section of our website.
Be A Deadheader...
So your perennials have bloomed and they are starting to look
as if they are finished? Hold on a
minute... If you trim off the dead
blooms they will likely bloom again!
I'm talking about roses, bachelor buttons, coreopsis and dianthus
(just to name a few).
Sure, it's extra work (especially
dianthus, it's wickedly time-consuming
to trim all of those flowers back) but
the reward is well worth it once you see them re-blooming. If
you are not sure whether your perennial will bloom again cut it
back anyway to keep a neat appearance in the garden.
also deadhead petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and
zinnias. This will prevent seed formation and promote continued
Not sure what's growing in that lawn of
yours? Our friends at Purdue University have developed a
Turfgrass Identification Tool. With their library
of great descriptions and photos (some that rotate 360°)
you can now confidently identify that
rogue patch of whatever.
Heading Off Seedheads...
Cool season turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and
perennial ryegrass are currently producing seedheads - a natural
phenomenon triggered by the current day length. Seedheads are a
nuisance for several reasons:
- They grow quickly
and unevenly detracting from the appearance of a lawn.
- The seed stalk is
tougher than grass blades so they do not cut cleanly except
with the sharpest of mower blades.
- After mowing, the
grass may also appear a lighter green to yellow because of the
exposed seed stalks.
- Turfgrass plants
also expend a lot of energy producing seedheads and turf
density may also decrease slightly as a result.
effective way to control seedheads is through frequent mowing
with a sharp mower blade. Avoid the temptation to lower
your cutting height as doing so will cause the rest of your turf
to suffer as summer approaches.
"To me, the garden
is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course is the
world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with
bugs and worms and succulent berries (so plant more to
accomodate you both)."