This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Moisture Minders ~ Garlic Lovers Get Ready! ~ Oh Say Can You Seed?
~ Plants That Came In From The Cold ~ Chilly Change In The Air ~ This Week's Photos
~ Tidy Up Around Fruit Trees ~ The Gardener's Workout ~ 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


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

~ September 23, 2009 ~

Casting Call...
Fall is here! The weather is perfect. The leaves are turning and falling from the trees. The burning bushes are a color of red so beautiful that you can't take your eyes off of them. Garden centers and nurseries are bustling with gardeners buying mums, pansies, pumpkins and gourds. The excitement is in the air. Can you feel it? I am so excited! Gardening life is good!

I was so glad to see a day of rain on Monday. It was a nice, slow soaking, gonna' take a nap kind of rain - my favorite! We were in need of the precipitation and I am sure that all of you who have just put down seed on your lawns were thrilled to see the rain. One of the many keys to rejuvenating your lawn is water. Make sure you water 2-3 times a day to keep the seed wet. Not soaked, just moist. Many people will seed their lawns and then forget to water. Fall is the best time to re-seed lawns so make the most of the weather and keep an eye on those seeds. Nice weather, good seed and water are a good recipe for a healthy lawn.

I have been contacted by a casting company from Los Angeles, looking for gardeners or farmers who use John Deere equipment. They are looking for someone who uses their John Deere mower to make a creative statement in their lawn or field. If you are interested and feel as if you might be qualified please contact Marlene Katz with DSC Casting @ Don't forget to tell them you read about it here :)

~ Shelly   

Moisture Minders...
One problem with fall is that it makes us forgetful. Even Savvygardeners sometimes cut back on watering too much this time of year. Your perennials, trees, shrubs, and lawn need that moisture - not like they did in mid-summer but about an inch a week or so. Watering now and through November helps ensure your plants have a healthy root structure going into our often harsh winters.

Plants That Came In From The Cold...
Once chilly overnight temperatures become the norm you will need to bring your winter houseplants back inside. When you do, make sure to check them for pests. Simply rinsing the plants' leaves, and soaking the pots in water for 15 to 20 minutes will drown most soil-dwelling pests. Also, clean the windows where plants will be placed. It can dramatically increase available sunlight and make for a much healthier plant!

Tidy Up Around Fruit Trees...
No one likes worms and other pests in their fruit trees. A simple clean up now can dramatically reduce the number of pests that return next year. Just pick up and destroy any fallen fruit, branches, and leaves. Worms and other pests feed on this fruit and debris, overwinter in the soil, and emerge in the spring to lay eggs and start the cycle all over again.

Garlic Lovers Get Ready!
Garlic needs to be in the ground at least one month before the soil freezes so now through mid-October is the ideal time for planting. Start by planting the small cloves that are divisions of the large bulb. The larger the clove, the larger the size of the mature bulb at harvest. Do not divide the bulb until immediately before planting. Although some people have had good luck planting the garlic from the grocery store, seedstock from a nursery or via mail-order is recommended.

Garlic needs a full-sun site with loose soil rich in organic matter. Adding compost to the bed is usually a good idea. Plant the cloves (with their pointy sides up) three to five inches apart at a depth of two to three inches. Add a light layer of mulch. Allow 18 to 30 inches between rows or plant five inches apart in all directions if you're using raised beds. Next spring the garlic will push through the soil and mulch. We'll wait until then to complete the directions through harvest.

Chilly Change In The Air...
This time of year it's not unusual for overnight temperatures to dip into the 40's. Brrr! There's no frost on the horizon yet but keep in mind that our first frost is due in mid-October. Remember that Mother Nature has her own agenda and doesn't have much time for statistics and averages. Surprise early frosts can be a problem if you're not prepared.

For those of you new to we hope you will enjoy our timely frost alerts. We send these e-mail and Twitter alerts to all subscribers when we believe an untimely frost is likely. Hopefully we are still several weeks from our first frosty scare. Cross your fingers!

The Gardener's Workout...
Have you ever noticed how fit Savvygardeners look? It's because gardening is such great exercise! Need proof? Well, Dr. Mark Kantor at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources has published an article that defines the amount of calories burned doing various activities. It turns out that gardening (see below) can really burn the calories.

Calories burned during each 10 minutes 
of various gardening activities

Body Weight

Activity 125
Light gardening 30 42 59
Weeding garden 49 68 98
Mowing grass (power) 34 47 67
Mowing grass (manual) 38 52 74


Oh Say Can You Seed?
It's not too late to overseed your lawn - but it's getting close. You should be able to successfully overseed for the next week to 10 days. After that your success will depend on how quickly winter arrives. Two quick tips to increase your success:

  1. Keep your new turf well watered through the rest of fall.
  2. Read our very popular article, Overseeding A Lawn.

The great thing about seeding and overseeding is the low cost and high return. Relatively speaking, grass seed is cheap. If your seeding is successful you wind up with a priceless lawn next spring. If it's not 100% successful you haven't lost much.

""A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.""

~ Eric Sloane



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