This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Beat The Heat ~ Get More Blooms ~ Ozone, Mow Zone
~ Drinks For The Droopy ~ Sweet & Corny ~ This Week's Photos
~ Houseplants, Douse Plants ~ Orange Means Hot ~ Inspiration
Visit Our Website
Previous Issues



Gardening Catalogs

Feature Articles

~ All About Composting
~ All About Mulch
~ Worm Composting
~ Houseplant Care
~ When to Start
Seeds Indoors
~ Seed Starting Indoors
~ Vegetable Garden Calendar
~ Seed Starting Tomatoes


Shrub Pruning Calendar
~ Pruning Clematis 
~ Gardening in the Shade
~ 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
~ Trees that Survived the Storm
~ Stump Removal Options for the Homeowner
~ More...
~ On-Line Gardening Forum
Local Sponsors
~ Family Tree Nursery
~ Maverick Landscaping
~ Johnson Farms
~ Ryan Lawn & Tree
Web Resources
Event Calendar
Privacy Pledge


This Week's Photos

~ July 16, 2008 ~

What Summer Brings...
It has been another busy week. The kids are finalizing some of their summer activities and I am trying to finalize some things in the garden. I am done planting for now. I'm tired. I am now busy caring for everything we've planted. It happens to me every year at about this time. I lose my gonna' go, go, go till I drop outside attitude. It is the heat, which has not yet been that bad, the bugs (we have giant mosquitoes in our back yard that are immune to bug spray) and then there's the desire. After watering pots and pulling an occasional weed or two I take a look around and think, "not too bad", and mosey back inside to do some other task. I like to call it vacation. I need time away from my full time gardening job so that I can renew my thoughts and spirit. It is working as I am already looking forward to fall with an excited sense of what we will do next.

Wasn't the rain we had Saturday great? The kind where it rains most of the day so you don't feel too guilty about maybe taking in a movie or even a nap which seems to be one of my favorite rainy day things to do. There is something so amazing about a rain that falls so steady and slow. You can almost hear the earth saying, "Ah this feels so good". Sort of like standing in the shower for hours, letting the rain fall off your body. And just when you think it can't get any better the temperatures fall into the 70's. We went to the Royals game that night and I was dressed in jeans and a jacket. It was wonderful! You never know what a Kansas summer will bring. I guess that is why we continue to stick around year after year.

~ Shelly   

Beat The Heat...
We've certainly had hotter summers than this but it's still a good idea to be careful when gardening in the heat. Quite simply, exposure to too much hot weather can be dangerous. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Tasks that occur outdoors in sunny areas should be done in early morning or late afternoon whenever possible, not during the midday heat. Most watering, pruning, dead heading, etc., is better for plants when done in early morning. Many chemicals, especially insecticides, are better applied late in the day when the wind is down and beneficial insects are not present.
  • Allow yourself to acclimate to the heat slowly. Over a period of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of time spent in hot, still areas or in direct sun.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated, drinking as many liquids as possible. Don't wait until you are thirsty to have a drink, as thirst is an indicator that your body is already dehydrated. Water is preferred, except when heat cramps occur (then drink a lightly salted beverage like a sports drink). The water's temperature should be cool, not cold.
  • Though tempting, do not work in the yard in a tank top or without a shirt due to the potential for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes. Keep the fabric content high in cotton to aid sweat evaporation. Neckbands, headbands, wristbands, visors, and hats can increase evaporation to keep the body cool.
  • Lastly, take frequent breaks to reduce the amount of time spent in the sun or heat. After working for an hour, take a break to cool down and have a drink in the shade to reduce the build up of heat stress on your body.


Drinks For The Droopy...
It's not uncommon to venture out to the garden at the end of a hot day to find some pretty droopy plants. Don't immediately assume that they need to be watered. It may be that there is adequate moisture in the soil but your plant's roots just can't keep up with the needs of the leaves. If the soil is already moist you are better off letting the plants catch up on their own overnight. If they're still droopy in the morning give them a drink.

Houseplants, Douse Plants...
This is a great time of year to take your houseplants outside for a bath. Insect and mite populations can sometimes creep up on you this time of year, but not to worry. Take houseplants outside and gently hose them off. This will not only wash away harmful pests, but will remove dust from the leaf surfaces and leave plant pores cleaner and able to breathe easier.

Get More Blooms...
Deadheading roses and annuals such as petunias, marigolds, and zinnias will promote reblooming throughout the season. You can fool biannuals, like hollyhocks and foxglove, into thinking they are perennials by cutting off the old blossoms before seed pods form.

To deadhead a rose, cut the flower stem back to an outward facing bud just above a 5- leaflet or 7- leaflet leaf. For most other flowers simply cut the stem just below the spent bloom.

Sweet & Corny...
Corn lovers know that standard sweet corn is at its peak for only a day or so (supersweet corn maintains its peak quality for a little longer).  Timing is everything.  For the sweetest corn harvest when silks begin to dry, and kernels exude a milky (rather than watery or doughy) juice when punctured.

Orange Means Hot...
This heat is going to affect tomato harvests.  Tomatoes ripen best when temperatures stay below eighty-five degrees. When the temperatures hover in the mid-nineties several problems can occur. The ripening process slows down and color compounds do not form properly.  Instead of a bright red tomato you may wind up with an orange-red one. Try picking the tomatoes at the first flush of color and ripening them indoors.


Ozone, Mow Zone...
Small gasoline engines like those found on lawnmowers, weed whackers and leaf blowers lack pollution controls. According to the Mid-America Regional Council the average lawnmower produces as much pollution in one hour as forty late-model cars! Do yourself, and your fellow gardeners, a favor by not mowing on ozone alert days. If you have to mow, try to do it after 7 PM.


"He who sows the ground with care and diligence acquires a greater stock of religious merit than he could gain by the repetition of ten thousand prayers."

~ Zoroaster



Tectonic Landscaping

 1999-2008 Inc. All rights reserved.  If you wish to copy, transmit, or otherwise duplicate any of the material from our website please ask us first.  Thank you.