~ February 17, 2010 ~
It was so great to feel the warmth of the sun today! Sam Parker and I enjoyed an extra long walk.
Poor Sam, he's getting up there in years and if we go too long he really starts dragging behind.
Every now and then he will stop as if to say, "Just give me a second to catch my breath." I tug
on his leash and say, "Come on we're almost home!" I sometimes thinks he wants me to pick him up.
That's not going to happen anytime soon. He is too heavy (hence the long walks) to be carried around.
Even though the temperature is only in the high 30's it sure felt pleasant. Maybe 40's tomorrow?
I get pretty excited (obviously it doesn't take much) when I hear that the thermometer might be
creeping its way into the 40's. What's not to be excited about? Could it possibly mean that spring
is around the corner? March will soon be here and hopefully warmer weather will accompany it.
I have heard from the local meteorologists that snow is in the forecast for this weekend. UGH!
Really, I mean how much more can we take?
So did anyone attend the Metropolitan Lawn & Garden Show? If you didn't, there is always the
City Flower, Lawn & Garden Show this weekend at Bartle Hall. Get out of the house and take in the sights
of spring. It is amazing how looking and smelling at all things beautiful can make you feel so different.
Anything that has to do with being outside makes me smile, both inside and out.
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
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
Easy Does It as their 2010 winner.
Here's a sample of their praise, "free-flowing swirling shades of sunset show up in fragrant large colorful clusters atop a rounded bushy plant. So disease
resistant, vigorous, flowerful & fabulous, you just can’t say ‘no’ to this seductress of the garden."
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?...
South facing gardens with lots of sun 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
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
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.
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
"And wind moving through the grass
so that the grass quivers. This
moves me with an emotion I don't
~ Katherine Mansfield