This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ What Snowmelt Reveals ~ Pruning Primer ~ Blowin' In The Wind
~ Minimize Lawn Damage ~ Be Savvy, Not Soggy ~ This Week's Photos
~ Growing Our Groceries ~ Savvy Citrus Crop? ~ 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

~ January 13, 2010 ~

The Big Thaw...
What a beautiful day we had today! It was delightful to see and feel the warmth of the sun. There sure was a lot of thawing going on. Icicles dripping, slush splashing in the streets and snow sliding off of roofs. Aw the sounds of a good thaw! Kevin spent some time this afternoon removing the melting ice off the driveway. It is nice to think that we now have a driveway free from ice, snow and the yucky slush. Sometimes it's the simplest things in life that make us happy. Today it is a clean driveway. Maybe tomorrow and into the weekend it will be warmer temperatures :-)

I was asked a couple of days ago if I thought there was going to be a lot of plant damage. I said, "Good question!" We haven't seen many limbs down around us but I am sure that there were some tree limbs down due to the weight of the ice and snow. Many arborvitaes are bent over from the strain of the heavy snow but should recover once warmer temperatures arrive. It is really hard to give any real assessment at this point. We will have to be patient and wait to see what spring brings for us. Wish it were tomorrow!

~ Shelly   

What Snowmelt Reveals...
Although our late December/early January snows are still piled high, we should see some serious melting soon. Keep an eye on the melting progress.  Those areas of your garden and lawn that melt first reveal warmer microclimates that could serve as places to grow marginal perennials that otherwise might not be hardy enough for our Zone 5 winters.

Minimize Lawn Damage...
We're getting mixed signals on the weather but a few forecasters are calling for freezing drizzle tonight and tomorrow. We hope they're wrong but just in case, it's a good time to remember that lawns and shrubs can be damaged by the various chemicals and salts we use to melt ice and snow. Savvygardeners can minimize the risk of damage by following a few simple steps when de-icing walks and driveways:

  1. Use an ice melting substitute or calcium chloride that is gentler on the landscape than salt.
  2. Before applying such a product, shovel off as much snow as possible.
  3. Apply the de-icing product down the middle of your sidewalk or driveway.
  4. Shovel any treated snow or ice into the street or driveway.  Any place but your lawn.


Growing Our 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? There's a group on the Savvygardener Community that 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.

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.


"There are no green thumbs or black thumbs. There are only gardeners and non-gardeners. Gardeners are the ones who ruin after ruin get on with the high defiance of nature herself, creating in the very face of her chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises. It sounds very well to garden a "natural way." You may see the natural way in any desert, any swamp, any leech-filled laurel hell. Defiance, on the other hand, is what makes gardeners."

~ Henry Mitchell



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