This week's gardening tips from the Savvygardener.

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Seeds Indoors
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~ When to Divide Perennials
~ Dividing Spring Blooming Perennials
~ Forcing Bulbs Indoors
~ Overseeding A Lawn
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~ Pruning Shrubs
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January 6, 2008

 

Snow Day!
I knew Monday was too good to be true. Sunny, warm and close to 70. Perfect weather and I was lucky enough to be outside the entire day. Tuesday - rainy, colder and a chance of snow. Same song, second verse. I kept hoping that the storm would miss us, but it didn't and here we are at home all celebrating a snow-day. OK, I'm not necessarily celebrating but the kids are. We broke out of the house at about 1 PM and headed with a couple of friends to Westwood Park, the local "snow hill" in our area. I, looking oh so chic in my Nanook of the North wear, actually took a couple of turns on a very fast sled. I am sure most anyone could hear me screaming "Look out!" I looked like a crazed Nanook of the North but I will admit to enjoying myself. You will seldom hear me say I was having fun outside in the cold and snow. None-the-less the kids had a good time and we ended up seeing several friends. Not a bad snow-day after all.

It is that time of year. The Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show, held at the American Royal, kicks off this weekend. It runs all weekend and you can find more information at their website. March brings us Leavenworth's 2nd Annual Home & Garden Show, "No Place Like Home". The dates are Saturday, March 8th and Sunday, March 9th at the Riverfront Community Center downtown Leavenworth, Kansas. Lots of things going on so you won't want to miss it. Put it on you calendar now and visit their site for more information.

~ Shelly  

Seed Starting With Structure...
Starting more than three or four different varieties of seed indoors can get confusing if you're not organized. To keep from missing the start date for any of your seeds you might try our simple procedure: Organize your seed packets in piles based on the number of weeks before "last frost" to start them indoors. This should be indicated on the seed packet and can be found in our feature When To Start Seeds Indoors. Pick the date which you feel safe calling "last frost". We use the first full weekend in May. In our example we are now 11 weeks from the weekend we will transplant our seedlings. That means that by this weekend we will have already started any seeds that indicate starting dates nine weeks and higher. For the remainder of your seeds secure them together in their respective groups with a rubber band. For each group attach a sticky note with the date of the weekend they need to be started. Place the packets front-to-back, in order by starting date, in a small box. Each weekend remove the packets at the front of the box for starting. Next weekend's seeds are now at the front and awaiting your return in seven days.

Proper Rose Pruning...
Lots of gardeners are wondering if they missed their chance to prune their roses.  Fear not. Modern roses should be pruned just before the buds break dormancy after the last frost. Still plenty of time to think about it.

Rose pruning is the key to successful summer blooms. Prune roses back 25 percent if you want lots of medium-sized blooms. Prune back 50 percent if you want fewer, larger flowers.

Trim Now, Butterflies Later...
Butterfly bushes reward us all with great gatherings of butterflies every summer.  To make sure yours are in top shape for summer you need to trim them back to about 12 inches this time of year.  This helps promote a well shaped bush with larger flowers.

Reading Roses...
Whether you're giving roses to your sweetheart or just planting some new ones in the garden this year it's always helpful to know what message you might be sending.

  • Red - Love, Respect
  • Deep Pink - Gratitude, Appreciation
  • Light Pink - Admiration, Sympathy
  • White - Reverence, Humility
  • Yellow - Joy, Gladness
  • Orange - Enthusiasm, Desire
  • Red & Yellow Blend - Gaiety, Joviality Pale
  • Blended Tones - Sociability, Friendship

Of course you should feel free to break the rules to accommodate a favorite color. If your valentine prefers yellow over red we suggest you stick with yellow.

Source

Tipping The Scales...
We've had lots of e-mails asking about effective control of scale on houseplants.  Because scale in indoor environments enjoys overlapping generations successful treatment will require two to three insecticide applications at l0-day intervals.  When feasible, large numbers of these scales can be physically dislodged by gently wiping the leaves with a dilute mixture of water and dishwashing detergent. You should combine manual and chemical control for best results.

Source

Winter Tree Clean-Up...
Late winter is a great time to prune many deciduous trees. Look over your plants now and remove dead, dying, unsightly parts of the tree, sprouts growing at or near the base of the tree trunk, crossed branches, and V-shaped crotches.

Plant A Row For The Hungry...
Kansas City's only food bank, Harvesters, has launched Plant A Row for the Hungry encouraging local gardeners to plant an extra row of vegetables or fruits and donate the produce to Harvesters. The nutritious, fresh-from-the-garden foods will be distributed to the nearly 60,000 people who turn to Harvesters for emergency food assistance every week. Visit Harvesters for more information...

Finally...
"Probably more pests can be controlled in an armchair in front of a February fire with a garden notebook and a seed catalog than can ever be knocked out in hand-to-hand combat in the garden."

~ Neely Turner

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