~ February 3, 2010 ~
There is a patch of ice/snow in our neighborhood that refuses to melt. It started as a very large
mound and now is a small patch that is just hanging on. I'm very curious about this patch. It is
exposed to full sun and has shrunk considerably compared to its original size but for the life of
me I cannot figure out why it has not melted. Every day I take the boys to school we look at it
and say, "Yep, it's still there." I told them that I hope it is gone by July. They of course
look at me as if I am crazy. This is what I have concluded - I'm sure you all have been waiting
on the edge of your seat. I believe that once the sun hits the patch it starts to thaw, but since
the temperatures continue to dip below freezing at night it refreezes making it harder then it was
before. I'm tired of looking at it just like I'm tired of this weather.
Oh, and in case you have not heard, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Just think,
only 6 more weeks of winter. I am overjoyed.
The 2010 perennial of the year has been named. Baptisia australis also commonly known as blue
false indigo, wild indigo or baptisia. The Perennial Plant Association, incorporated in 1984,
is a trade association of members in the United States, Canada, and 10 other countries. The
PPA is dedicated to the improvement of the herbaceous perennial plant industry by providing
education to enhance the production, promotion, and utilization of perennial plants. To learn
more about this perennial and others visit
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...
As you plan this year's vegetable garden make sure you remember to plant a little extra
to help those in need. Kansas City's only food bank, Harvesters, operates
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. Kansas City gardeners can drop
off their produce at Harvesters or at participating garden centers throughout the metro
area. Harvesters will pick up the donated produce at the garden centers and distribute
it to local food pantries, shelters and other feeding programs throughout Greater Kansas City.
"Flowers changed the face of the planet. Without them,
the world we know - even man himself - would never
~ Loren Eiseley