This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Timing Is Everything ~ Erupting Soon In A Garden Near You ~ Heading Off Seedheads
~ Waterlogged Veggies ~ It's A Wrap ~ This Week's Photos
~ Grateful Deadheader ~ Ravaged Roses ~ 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

~ May 26, 2010 ~

Summer Already?
Memorial weekend is upon us and it already feels like summer. This past week has been a reminder of how hot it can actually get. The sun has been beating down on me while I toil away in my gardens. So much so that I have had to take a minute here and there to sit down inside to cool off for awhile. The heat I can stand, but it is the humidity that really bothers me as I grow older. I'm not complaining as I really do prefer the heat over the cold. Do you think this is a prelude to a hot, steamy summer? Only time will tell. If I remember correctly, last year we had a couple of weeks of really hot weather, temperatures and humidity into the high 90's. And then, a cool front would push through giving us a much needed break. It sounds as if this weekend will be warm and enjoyable. A time to be with friends and family to celebrate the unofficial start of summer.

Our friends at Johnson Farms are having a blowout of a sale this weekend. They will be open Memorial Day from 9-3 with 40% off everything in stock (except bagged soil). Annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, planters, decorative pots, as well as fruit and vegetable plants. Wow, incredible savings at a perfect time of year. Visit their website for more details and don't forget to tell them that you are a subscriber and how glad you are that they help support this newsletter.

~ Shelly   

Timing Is Everything...
Sometimes the hardest part of growing great vegetables is knowing when they're ready for harvest.  Timing is everything as they say and that's certainly true for your garden's bounty. To make your job a little easier we've compiled a list of common garden vegetables and the guidelines you should follow to determine if they are ready for harvest. You will find When to Harvest Vegetables in the Features section of our website.

Waterlogged Veggies...
Yes, you can have too much rain. Locally heavy downpours have leached fertilizers below the root zone of many of our vegetables and additional nitrogen will be needed so rapidly growing plants are not slowed down. If the color of your plants is pale and the growth is less than expected, a sidedressing of fertilizer may be in order. Use a fertilizer that is composed primarily of nitrogen such as nitrate of soda (16-0-0). Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the plant but about six inches from the plant itself.


Grateful Deadheader...
So some of your perennials have bloomed and they are starting to look as if they are finished? Hold on a minute... If you trim off the dead blooms they will likely bloom again! I'm talking about roses, bachelor buttons, coreopsis and dianthus (just to name a few). Sure, it's extra work (especially dianthus, it's wickedly time-consuming to trim all of those flowers back) but the reward is well worth it once you see them re-blooming. If you are not sure whether your perennial will bloom again cut it back anyway to keep a neat appearance in the garden.

You should also deadhead petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, marigolds and zinnias. This will prevent seed formation and promote continued flowering.

Erupting Soon In A Garden Near You...
This time of year it's not uncommon to have a period of wet weather followed by some rather warm early summer temperatures. If you have mulched areas in your garden, that unique combination is going to lead to something that's pretty disgusting to look at - slime mold eruptions. You see, slime mold spores will grow and expand (at an alarming rate) until they "erupt" over the surface of the mulch. It's not very pretty to look at but rest assured it's harmless. Try to scoop it up whole (so you don't inadvertently release more spores) and dispose of it in a compost pile or trash can.

It's A Wrap...
Ever wonder how gardeners produce the perfect blooms that are entered in flower shows? Our flowers look great but they don't all hold up to extra-close inspection. Here's one secret to perfectly beautiful blooms:

  • Start with a piece of spun-bonded, polyester row cover material.
  • Cut a square large enough to cover the desired bud.
  • Loosely wrap each bloom with the fabric gathering the edges with strong thread so the material is snug against the stem.
  • Keep the bloom wrapped until cutting time.

This nifty trick will prevent insects from getting to your prized buds.

Ravaged Roses...
Rose Sawfly larvae can really gobble up the foliage of your roses and eventually bore into the rose stems to really cause some damage. The larvae are the result of rose slugs that overwintered in garden debris. The best control is cleaning up debris before winter sets in. Once they have started causing trouble however, it's time to resort to insecticidal soaps or Sevin.

Heading Off Seedheads...
Cool season turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass are currently producing seedheads - a natural phenomenon triggered by the current day length. Seedheads are a nuisance for several reasons:

  • They grow quickly and unevenly detracting from the appearance of a lawn.
  • The seed stalk is tougher than grass blades so they do not cut cleanly except with the sharpest of mower blades.
  • After mowing, the grass may also appear a lighter green to yellow because of the exposed seed stalks.
  • Turfgrass plants also expend a lot of energy producing seedheads and turf density may also decrease slightly as a result.

The most effective way to control seedheads is through frequent mowing with a sharp mower blade. Avoid the temptation to lower your cutting height as doing so will cause the rest of your turf to suffer as summer approaches.


"Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones. "

~ Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir



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