~ February 4, 2009 ~
Slave To The Gardens...
Another frigid day here is Kansas City. Weather.com says it is 30° with a
wind-chill of 23°.
A slight warm-up from this morning's low of 8°. It looks as if the weather will make a change
for the better starting tomorrow with a high of 57°! I can already feel the warmth. It
looks like we may even get to see the 60's by the weekend. These warm days help me out of
my winter funk but the fluctuation in temperature is not always good for plants. They
begin to think that spring is on its way and start to show signs of coming to life. Not
always a good thing considering
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Monday meaning six more
agonizing weeks of winter. That good-for-nothing groundhog! Who thought of that tradition anyway?
I loved my quote this week. It sounds like me. I often wander out of the house not prepared
to do anything but then find myself deadheading, pulling weeds or picking up sticks. I am a
slave to my gardens. I have found myself freshly showered thinking I am through for the day and
then something catches my eye and out the door I go. Kneeling on my hands and knees, not caring
about what I have on or getting dirty again. I love the thought of that.
the Savvygardener Community lately?
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
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
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
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
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.
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 10-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.
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
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.
"My wife had no garden clothes and never dressed for gardening.
When she paid a call on her perennial borders or
her cutting bed or her rose garden, she was not dressed for
the part - she was simply a spur-of-the moment escapee
from the house and, in the early years, from the job of
editing manuscripts. Her Army boots were likely to be Ferragamo shoes, and she wore no apron. I seldom saw her
prepare for gardening, she merely wandered out into the
cold and wet, into the sun and the warmth, wearing
whatever she had put on that morning. Once she was
drawn into the fray, once involved in transplanting or
weeding or thinning or pulling deadheads, she forgot all
else; her clothes had to take things as they came... She simply refused to dress down to a garden: she moved in
elegantly and walked among her flowers as she walked
among her friends - nicely dressed, perfectly poised. "
~ E. B. White