This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
 
In This Issue
~ Houseplant Help ~ Spring Dreams ~ Keep Off The Grass
~ Boughs For Beds ~ Sappy Trees ~ This Week's Photos
~ Belated Bulb Burial ~ Asking About Ashes ~ Inspiration
 
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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

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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...
   
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This Week's Photos

~ January 7, 2009 ~

It's A Community Thing...
Well 2009 is off to a busy start. Kevin and I have developed a new place for Savvygardeners to share their love of gardening - The Savvygardener Community. It is free to join and once you are a member you can participate in forums, blogs, post your own photos, and share with gardeners all over the Kansas City-area and beyond. We have had the site up for a few days and have asked a few friends to sign-up and try it out. Just like our newsletter, this may take some time to get off the ground but I am so excited about our new venture. Check my blog post frequently. One of my New Year's resolutions is to write something of interest every day. I hope to make it fun and interesting and I look forward to your feedback. Let's have some fun and learn something at the same time. What do you say?

How about the crazy weather we experienced over the holidays? Warm one day with thunderstorms and high winds in the evening and then a few hours later there was freezing rain and snow. I loved the warm days, not so excited about the freezing rain and snow. The good news is that we are headed in the right direction. It is almost mid January and in a couple of months bulbs will be shooting out of the ground. Long term forecast says 60 on Friday. Guess where I will be?

~ Shelly   

Houseplant Help...
This month is a good time to remember your houseplants. If any of them are getting too big for their pots simply divide them and re-pot. While you are at it give them some TLC by doing the following:

  • Prune judiciously. A light trim is usually sufficient.
  • Check for bugs. Aphids and other critters can usually be eradicated with some insecticidal soap.
  • Make sure the low winter sun isn't hurting your plants placed near windows. You can relocate them or simply rotate them periodically if necessary.
  • A different window related problem may be the cold. Leaves don't like touching cold glass.
  • If your house is really dry (like mine) make sure you mist your plants occasionally.

Boughs For Beds...
Many of our readers are disposing of a Christmas tree in the very near future. Why not put that tree to some beneficial use?

  • Evergreen boughs are great insulators and can be effectively used as a mulching material on flower beds.
  • The whole tree itself makes a nice temporary protective habitat for birds. Place it in the garden near your bird feeders.

Belated Bulb Burial...
If you're like me you were counting on warmer weather in December to finish your bulb planting. Between unpredictable weather and the crush of the holidays it just didn't get done. Here's a trick I've gotten used to using each year: Plant your bulbs now in individual peat pots and place the pots in flats. Set them outside where it is cold and bury the bulbs under a thick blanket of leaves. With luck the ground will thaw again this winter and we can use the opportunity to transplant them into the garden.

Spring Dreams...
These recent days of mild weather have us dreaming about spring! It seems like a long way off on the calendar but guess what? There are several flowers whose seeds can be started this month! They include Begonia, Browallia, Geranium, Larkspur, Pansy and Vinca.  Check out When to Start Seeds Indoors for more details.

Sappy Trees...
If you have ever pruned trees in late winter to early spring, you may have noticed that some weep sap from fresh pruning wounds. Different species of trees vary in how easily and how much they "bleed." Those that are most susceptible to bleeding include maples (silver, sugar, amur, Norway and hedge), black walnut, pecan, birch, mulberry, Osage orange (hedge tree) and grape. Though bleeding may look as if it would cause considerable damage to the tree, that's not the case. Even if large amounts of sap are lost, there is no apparent long-term damage. However, many people find the appearance of this bleeding objectionable.  Pruning during the winter when temperatures remain below freezing will help minimize sap flow. So if you have any of the "bleeders" that need pruned, you might want to do it while the weather is really cold.

Source

Asking About Ashes...
A common question this time of year concerns the spreading of wood ashes from the fireplace into the garden. Many gardeners have heard that wood ashes increase soil pH.  While this is technically true it would take very considerable quantities to have any significant effect on pH.  Just spread them as evenly as possible and try not to overdo it.

Keep Off The Grass...
When temperatures plummet your grass will respond by moving water to areas outside the cells. Ice accumulates in spaces between the cells and individual grass blades become brittle. Walking on frozen turf will force the ice and cells together and can cause permanent damage to your lawn. Do your best to avoid it.

Finally...
"Of the seven deadly sins, surely it is pride that most commonly afflicts the gardener."

~ Michael Pollan

 

 


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