This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Sunscreen For Veggies? ~ Get More Blooms ~ Orange Means Hot
~ Drinks For The Droopy ~ Sweet & Corny ~ On The Cutting Edge
~ Houseplants, Douse Plants   ~ 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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~ July 14, 2010 ~

Raining, Pouring...
So what's with the hurricane-like storms of late? Sheesh... enough already. I think I spent at least an hour on Monday picking up tree limbs and small sticks. It was a doozy of a storm and once again it wreaked havoc in many places, our basement included. Yep, more water in the basement. Not as much as the last time but enough to warrant a call to a gutter company and guess what? We're getting new gutters. If it never rains again this summer you can blame us.

I was in the garden almost all day Monday deadheading and pulling weeds. Jake, our youngest son mowed the lawn (after much prompting) so I piddled around edging, weeding and kept myself busy with other general clean-up. Tuesday was a different story. It was hot! The humidity was awful and I was outside by 9 AM. I'm afraid I didn't get much done. The sun felt as if it were scorching my skin and the mosquitoes were eating me alive. I was not having a good time so I took off my gloves and called it quits. Tried again later that evening but could not believe how hot it still was. Thank goodness for air conditioning! Today was not any better. I guess I'll have to wait for a day like we had last week. Mid 80's, low humidity, perfect for working outside! Hopefully I won't have to wait until September.

~ Shelly   

Sunscreen For Veggies?
Hard working gardeners aren't the only ones subject to sunburn. Exposure to the sun will turn your potato tubers and carrot shoulders green giving them an unpleasant taste. This will occur when they are not planted deeply enough or have not been sufficiently mulched.  The green portions of the potato actually contain a bitter alkaloid that is moderately poisonous. Simply cover the exposed tubers and/or shoulders with soil or mulch and they should retain their intended taste and goodness.

Drinks For The Droopy...
It's not uncommon to venture out to the garden at the end of a hot day to find some pretty droopy plants. Don't immediately assume that they need to be watered. It may be that there is adequate moisture in the soil but your plant's roots just can't keep up with the needs of the leaves. If the soil is already moist you are better off letting the plants catch up on their own overnight. If they're still droopy in the morning give them a drink.

Houseplants, Douse Plants...
This is a great time of year to take your houseplants outside for a bath. Insect and mite populations can sometimes creep up on you this time of year, but not to worry. Take houseplants outside and gently hose them off. This will not only wash away harmful pests, but will remove dust from the leaf surfaces and leave plant pores cleaner and able to breathe easier.

Get More Blooms...
Deadheading roses and annuals such as petunias, marigolds, and zinnias will promote reblooming throughout the season. You can fool biannuals, like hollyhocks and foxglove, into thinking they are perennials by cutting off the old blossoms before seed pods form.

To deadhead a rose, cut the flower stem back to an outward facing bud just above a 5-leaflet or 7-leaflet leaf. For most other flowers simply cut the stem just below the spent bloom.

Sweet & Corny...
Corn lovers know that standard sweet corn is at its peak for only a day or so (supersweet corn maintains its peak quality for a little longer). Timing is everything. For the sweetest corn harvest when silks begin to dry, and kernels exude a milky (rather than watery or doughy) juice when punctured.

Orange Means Hot...
High summer heat can affect tomato harvests. Tomatoes ripen best when temperatures stay below eighty-five degrees. When the temperatures hover in the mid-nineties (or higher) several problems can occur. The ripening process slows down and color compounds do not form properly. Instead of a bright red tomato you may wind up with an orange-red one. The solution? Try picking the tomatoes at the first flush of color and ripening them indoors.


On The Cutting Edge...
If you've noticed a brown or grayish cast over your lawn it is likely due to your mower blade. Mower blades that shred grass rather than cutting it can cause this unattractive problem. Usually the blade just needs sharpening. Also make sure that the blade is installed properly. An unbalanced blade or one installed upside down isn't doing you any favors either.

"In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day."

~ Robert Louis Stevenson



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