This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Sunscreen For Veggies? ~ Get More Blooms ~ On The Cutting Edge
~ Drinks For The Droopy ~ Sweet & Corny ~ This Week's Photos
~ Houseplants, Douse Plants ~ Orange Means Hot ~ Inspiration
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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...
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This Week's Photos

~ July 15, 2009 ~

Up On The Roof...
After writing about rooftop gardens last week, one of our sponsors, Kevin Anderson, owner of Missouri Organic wrote to me explaining their involvement in commercial rooftop gardening. I was thrilled with the information he gave me and know that in the future this will become a more standard method of landscaping. What a great way to help the environment and cut back on the costs of cooling an enormous office building! I love the fact that "becoming green" is stressed not only in residential building but commercial as well. Working together and integrating gardening into all projects sounds like a very efficient way to operate.

What a wacky week of weather! Rain when you least expect it, cloudy, sunny, hot and humid. You name it, we have seen it. I was under the impression that we were headed for a few days of lower humidity. I was at a tennis tournament today watching our youngest son play and it went from rainy, to cool ( I actually had a jacket on and was underneath a blanket for a while) to warm, sunny and I can't believe how hot it is. The humidity still seems pretty high so we may be plagued with it for a few more days. The humidity sure does play havoc with being outside. Who wants to be out when the humidity is at 95%? Not me!

~ Shelly   

Sunscreen For Veggies?
Hard working gardeners aren't the only ones subject to sunburn. Exposure to the sun will turn your potato tubers and carrot shoulders green giving them an unpleasant taste. This will occur when they are not planted deeply enough or have not been sufficiently mulched.  The green portions of the potato actually contain a bitter alkaloid that is moderately poisonous. Simply cover the exposed tubers and/or shoulders with soil or mulch and they should retain their intended taste and goodness.

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...
High summer heat can affect tomato harvests. Tomatoes ripen best when temperatures stay below eighty-five degrees. When the temperatures hover in the mid-nineties (or higher) 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. The solution? Try picking the tomatoes at the first flush of color and ripening them indoors.


On The Cutting Edge...
If you've noticed a brown or grayish cast over your lawn it is likely due to your mower blade. Mower blades that shred grass rather than cutting it can cause this unattractive problem. Usually the blade just needs sharpening. Also make sure that the blade is installed properly. An unbalanced blade or one installed upside down isn't doing you any favors either.

"Should a garden look as if the gardener worked on his knees? I ask you? "

~ Lincoln Steffens



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