This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Growing Groceries ~ Pelleted Perfection ~ Blowin' In The Wind
~ Pruning Primer ~ Heave, Ho ~ This Week's Photos
~ Be Savvy, Not Soggy ~ Savvy Citrus Crop ~ Inspiration
Visit Our Website
Previous Issues


the Savvygardener Community
~ Gardening Forums, Blogs, Photos, Events and more...


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...
Local Sponsors
~ Family Tree Nursery
~ Ryan Lawn & Tree
Privacy Pledge


This Week's Photos

~ January 14, 2009 ~

Too Cold For Me...
Brrr! It is dangerously cold out today. There is a wind chill advisory in effect for the greater Kansas City-area until 10 AM tomorrow. If you have to go outside make sure that all body parts are sufficiently covered. My walk with Sam Parker was quick. We couldn't get home fast enough. Have I told you how much I hate the cold?

I am so excited about our new Savvygardener Community. We announced in last week's newsletter that the site is up and running. I am glad to report that we already have 100 gardeners signed up as members. There have been many pictures posted, questions asked and answered, and general information shared. I am trying to blog daily. Kevin has been kind enough to ask, "Have you blogged today?" I am having so much fun chatting with so many wonderful people. There have even been a few out-of-state gardeners join in. Most are from the greater Kansas City-area but it is fun to engage in conversation with gardeners from other states. I urge you to become a member and immerse yourself into our gardening community. So many gardeners with so much experience. Just think, you can ask questions or post some of your own advice. The site is easy to navigate so what are you waiting for?

~ Shelly   

Growing Groceries...
How many of you are growing vegetables and fruits that you regularly put on the dinner table? OK, how many would like to know how? A new group on the Savvygadener Community aims to bring us all together to learn how or just do a better job of it. Interested? Join Growing Our Groceries here...

Pruning Primer...
If you take advantage of winter to get some pruning done remember that when pruning large limbs, always undercut first. This means cut from the bottom up, one-third of the way through the limb, then finish by cutting from the top. The undercut keeps the limb from splitting and breaking off, which could damage the trunk and become an entryway for insects and diseases. Also, don't cut flush to the trunk. The collar or enlarged base of a branch produces hormones that help heal wounds.

Be Savvy, Not Soggy...
Overwatering is a common problem with houseplants.Remember, most indoor plants should not be watered until the soil feels dry. Water thoroughly, let the water soak in, then water again until water drains into the saucer. Empty the saucer within an hour.

Pelleted Perfection...
You may find yourself perusing a seed catalog and come across something called pelleted seed. Some mail order seed companies offer pelleted seed of lettuce, carrot, and a few other small-seeded crops.  Pelleted seed is like any other seed except that it has a special coating that makes it larger. While almost anyone will appreciate the convenience of larger seeds it is especially valuable for children and gardeners with arthritic hands, weak eyesight, or poor coordination. When using pelleted seed, plant in moist soil and keep it moist as the coating has to dissolve before the seed can germinate.

Heave, Ho...
We've seen some interesting swings in temperatures lately. While most of us appreciate the days above freezing, our plants may be less than thrilled. The freezing and thawing of the ground can force shallow-rooted plants out of the soil. This is called "heaving" and should not be a problem if you mulched well at the onset of winter. If you see any signs of heaving among your plantings simply replant any that have heaved and mulch with 2 inches of organic material. Those leaves that seem to linger all season are perfect!

Savvy Citrus Crop?
Here's a mid-winter project that is sure to be fun for Savvygardeners of all ages - grow plants from citrus fruit seeds. Store-bought oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines, may have viable seeds. Try germinating them in a light, potting-soil mixture containing half peat moss. Keep the seeds well watered and in a warm location. If seedlings fail to appear in six weeks, try again with new seeds. Citrus plants grown from seeds generally will not produce flowers or fruit, but they do have attractive shiny-leaved foliage.

Blowin' In The Wind...
When those north winds blow we humans find ourselves feeling colder than the actual ambient temperature would suggest. We know that as the wind chill factor. For warm-blooded animals, wind chills can have a profound effect on their ability to keep warm. However, plants do not respond to wind chills because they do not need to maintain a temperature above that of the outside temperature.

It's not all good news for the plants however. Wind is desiccating and can dry plant tissues. Plant tissues require moisture to survive and high wind speeds can cause excess moisture loss from those tissues. This desiccation may be great enough to injure or even kill tissue, particularly the smaller size wood as in peach twigs, apple spurs or blackberry canes.


"This path, this road that is one perfect straight line even if it goes around the world through heat and fog and rain and snow and it's my life I keep thinking. It's my life."

~ Deborah Keenan, from "Small History"



 1999-2009 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.