This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
 
In This Issue
~ Shrub Pruning Calendar ~ A Clean Start ~ Whiteflies and Houseplants
~ All America Rose Winners ~ Spring Into Sweet Peas ~ This Week's Photos
~ Too Early Bloomers? ~ Begonias, By Golly ~ 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

~ February 18, 2009 ~

Restless Gardener...
I am not the only one restless for spring. Have you seen the buds on the trees and the many bulbs coming up from the ground? The ground is warming up and along with that warm-up is the awakening of plant life. While walking Sam Parker (the family dog) I have seen many perennials bursting through the mulch reaching for the sun and its warmth. It is too early for them to be stirring. I say that like I have some control over this process. Mother Nature will proceed with her wacky ways of fooling us all. Her attempts at teasing us is discomforting and will probably lead to a few trees and plants blooming prematurely. Of course this is nothing new to our area. We have seen this many times before and watched many magnolias bloom early only to be burnt by a hard freeze. I really hate it when that happens. Unfortunately we are all at her mercy.

I am still trying to get in the swing of blogging daily. The Savvygardener Community is a place to converse with local and national gardeners. It is so interesting to talk with other gardeners from all over the world. Yep, the world. We presently have two gardeners from France in our community. I am having so much fun. Jealous? Take a moment to join me. You'll be glad you did!

~ Shelly   

Shrub Pruning Calendar...
When we started Savvygardener.com one of the things we wanted to provide was information that was truly useful to area gardeners based on our weather, our climate, our everything. A great example of this is one of our most popular and informative articles - The Shrub Pruning Calendar. A Savvygardener.com exclusive, this is the Kansas City area gardener's definitive guide to when, and when not, to prune a wide variety of shrubs. Check it out! We'll bet it answers some questions and clears up a lot of mystery.

All America Rose Winners...
All America Rose Selections has selected their 2008 winners. They are Pink Promise (a hybrid tea), Cinco de Mayo (a bushy floribunda), and Carefree Spirit (a deep cherry and white landscape rose).

AARS has been testing roses since 1938. Over the years, the program has evolved into a sophisticated process with a network of Official Test Gardens within select Public Gardens throughout the United States. Every AARS winning rose completes an extensive two-year trial program where it's judged on everything from disease resistance to flower production to color to fragrance.

Too Early Bloomers?...
With the temperatures shooting up and down as they have been lately you may soon see adventurous bulbs pushing through the ground - especially snow drops, crocus, and early daffodils. Keep an eye out! Matted leaves and dead grass left over from fall may create a barrier to these upstarts. Help them a little by gently raking away any debris and allowing the foliage and flowers to break through the soil more easily.

A Clean Start...
Here's another important tip for seed starters. Make sure you thoroughly wash last year's plastic seed-starting containers. Believe me it makes a difference! And if your seedlings have had disease problems in the past, you'll need to use a mixture containing 10 percent household bleach and water to really sterilize the containers.

Spring Into Sweet Peas...
Sweet peas are perfect for gardeners who can't wait for spring. They can go into the ground any time the ground isn't wet from early March to late April. They'll wait until conditions are favorable to germinate. Top performers in our area include:

  • Little Marvel, Green Arrow, Frosty, Knight, Sparkle, Sugar Bon or Sugar Snap
  • Thin-podded Oriental types often called snow peas broaden the possibilities to include the Dwarf Grey Sugar and Mammoth Sugar varieties

Peas usually do best where you can plant two to three rows, 4 to 6 inches apart, to allow the weak, spindly vines to support each other. Otherwise, you generally need a trellis.

Begonias, By Golly...
Savvygardeners who want to have tuberous begonias for summer-long flowering in pots, beds, or hanging baskets outside should start the tubers indoors during late February or early March. Sprout the tubers by placing them, hollow side up, fairly close together in shallow, well-drained pans. Use a mix of equal parts perlite, sphagnum, peat moss, and vermiculite; or chopped sphagnum moss and perlite. This should be kept damp (not soggy) in a shady window with a temperature in the lower 60s. Transplant the tubers to pots or baskets when growth starts, normally within 3 weeks. Place them outside only after all threat of frost has passed.

Source

Whiteflies and Houseplants...
This time of year whiteflies can become more prevalent and attack your houseplants. Worse yet, if infected plants are moved to the garden in the spring, the whiteflies can spread to other plants in the garden. Control them now with insecticidal soap applied to the underside of the leaves every few weeks.

Finally...
"O, to take what we love inside
to carry within us an orchard,
to eat not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days,
to hold the fruit in our hands,
Adore it
There are days we live...
from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom,
to sweet impossible blossom."

~ Li-Young Lee, from "From Blossoms"

 

 


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