This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Waterlogged Veggies ~ More 'Shrooms ~ Heading Off Seedheads
~ Yew Gettin' Too Much Rain? ~ Timing Is Everything ~ This Week's Photos
~ Erupting Soon In The Garden ~ Grateful Deadheader ~ Inspiration
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Shrub Pruning Calendar
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~ Summer-Flowering Bulb Care
~ Drought-Tolerant Flowers for KC
~ Preparing for a Soil Test
~ Changing the pH of Your Soil
~ Growing Herbs
~ When to Harvest Vegetables
~ Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
~ Organic Pesticides & Biopesticides
~ Cold Frames & Hot Beds
~ When to Divide Perennials
~ Dividing Spring Blooming Perennials
~ Forcing Bulbs Indoors
~ Overseeding A Lawn
~ Pruning Trees
~ Pruning Shrubs
~ Planting Trees
~ Deer Resistant Plants
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This Week's Photos

~ May 28, 2008 ~

Rascally Rabbits...
Rabbits, they sure are a pain in the behind. One of our neighbors stopped by while I was working outside and said, "I read the newsletter this week, not enough information on what to do about rabbits." We spoke for a while about how our perennials are being devoured and how irritated we are. So, I use a product called Liquid Fence. It can be purchased at any garden center or nursery and if you are willing to be diligent, I find it to be the best deterrent. Diligent is the key word. It comes in a spray form and has to be applied often. If it rains or you water and it washes off you need to re-apply. The container will tell you that it is rain resistant but I find that the more often it is applied the better luck I have. Now for those of you who have never used Liquid Fence, the odor is quite offensive. In fact it smells down right awful. Read and follow use instructions. Another alternative is to cover the plant with wire mesh. Although that method is less aesthetic it will certainly help keep those rascally rabbits at bay. Who said gardening was supposed to be easy?

I am feeling a little water logged but I am glad that the temperatures have stayed cool. I would like to enjoy a few weeks of spring weather. Once those temperatures start to rise it seems we also experience a change in the humidity. Saturday was a perfect example of that. Hot and humid, reminiscent of August weather. UGH! It will be here soon enough so for now no complaining.

~ Shelly   

Waterlogged Veggies...
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). Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the plant but about six inches from the plant itself.


Yew 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.

More 'Shrooms...
We've covered them recently but at the rate mushrooms are popping up around area gardens it's worth mentioning again. Mushrooms, often called "toadstools," are specialized types of fungi, and can be admired for their beauty and the fantastic variety of form, color, and texture. They grow in a variety of habitats, and generally are important as decay microorganisms, aiding in the breakdown of logs, leaves, fallen branches, and other organic debris. This important role of mushrooms results in recycling of essential nutrients. In the majority of cases these fungi are not parasitic to lawns or gardens and won't cause any disease problems. Please resist the temptation to eat them. Many varieties of mushroom are highly poisonous and should be consumed only when absolutely certain of their safety.

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.

Grateful Deadheader...
So some of 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.

You should also deadhead petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and zinnias.  This will prevent seed formation and promote continued flowering.

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.

The most 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.


"Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it"

~ Anonymous



Tectonic Landscaping

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