This Week's Gardening Tips from the Savvygardener
Missouri Organic Mulch, Compost, Bulk Soil
In This Issue
~ Bunny Love ~ Cold Storage At Your Feet ~ Wild Things In Lawns
~ Cold Cuts ~ Storing Fruits and Vegetables ~ This Week's Photos
~ Well Watered For Winter ~ Preparing for Winter ~ 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
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This Week's Photos

~ November 10, 2010 ~

Catalog Crazy...
I have been outside doing something or other since Saturday. I am trying to squeeze every bit of this wonderful weather out of every day. I have a feeling my days are numbered (perhaps by two) with colder, wetter weather looming in our forecast. Rain, something we need badly, is always welcome. Snow on the other hand, not so much. I like my snow once a year and that would happen to be on Christmas Eve. I know, I must be crazy to live in the Midwest. Last year I nearly went crazy being shut in for three months straight with all that snow. It's tough when you are a outside person to be stuck inside. Yes, I have a big winter coat and nice warm boots but once you get all of that stuff on it is quite difficult to get around. I do venture out to walk Sam Parker but that's about as good as it gets. I don't like the cold and as I grow older I understand why people migrate to warmer climes during the winter. Note to self, talk to husband about winter migration.

Holiday catalogs and magazines are arriving daily in the mail. Now is the time that I actually pick through those that I've been stacking for months and find time to peruse them. It's like saving all of the really good Halloween candy for last. Thank goodness the catalogs aren't edible. I'm sure I would not be able to resist. Garden Design, Horticulture, Country Living, Veranda, Better Homes & Garden, Midwest Living, Garden Gate... you get the picture. I was seated by myself on the sofa admiring the cover of this month's Garden Design. I love to look at the pictures in this magazine. Really, I read very little of it but boy to I love the photography. I will read the caption to see the location of the garden but I find this magazine to be a bit fluffy. That doesn't mean I don't like it because I do, but what I really like is the pictures. I turn the pages like some little girl reading a fairytale. Kevin especially likes it when I open a new magazine and I'm like, "Oh, this is so beautiful, look." Or, "Oh, my would you look at this." I'm sure it is all pretty annoying. It is hard to not want to share the beauty that lies between the pages and especially hard not to enjoy the good information found in many.

~ Shelly   

Bunny Love...
During the winter months, rabbits often gnaw on the bark of many woody plants. Heavy browsing can result in the complete girdling of small trees and small branches clipped off at snow level. Apple, pear, crabapple and serviceberry are frequent targets of rabbits. Small trees with smooth, thin bark are the most vulnerable. Other frequently damaged plants include the winged euonymus or burning bush, Japanese barberry, dogwood, roses and raspberries.

The best way to prevent rabbit damage to young trees is to place a cylinder of hardware cloth (1/4 inch mesh wire fencing) around the tree trunk. The hardware cloth cylinder should stand about 1 to 2 inches from the tree trunk and 20 inches above the ground. The bottom 2 to 3 inches should be buried beneath the soil. Small shrubs, roses and raspberries can be protected with chicken wire fencing.

Cold Cuts...
Now that we've got a couple of killing frosts under our belts it's time to do some cutting back of dormant perennials. Cut them back to about 3 inches above the soil surface. Once the ground is frozen, they can be mulched to guard against displacement due to soil heaving. These simple steps will help ensure a successful show of foliage and color next season.

Well Watered For Winter...
For maximum winter protection, Savvygardeners need to water landscape evergreens thoroughly once every week or so until the ground freezes. Evergreens continue to lose moisture from their foliage all winter, but once the ground is frozen, they'll be unable to take up enough water to replace it. Sending them into winter well watered reduces the potential for damaged foliage. There's more... broadleaved and tender evergreens exposed to drying winds and sun may need to be shaded on the south and southwest sides to reduce moisture loss and foliage injury.

Cold Storage At Your Feet...
Need a good place to store root crops? Just look down! Carrots, radishes, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes store well outdoors in the ground. Just before the ground freezes, bury them under a deep layer of leaves or straw to protect the ground from freezing. Simply harvest them as needed during winter by pulling back this protective mulch and digging them up. Just make sure you replace the mulch after each visit!

Note: This is not an effective storage method where rodents, rabbits, or other critters are present and hungry.

When Fruits And Vegetables Don't Get Along...
If you decide to store your vegetables indoors (instead of in the ground like we mentioned above) make sure you don't place them with any apples or pears. As they sit these fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and causes them to develop off-flavors. Yuck!

Preparing for Winter...
Each year we are asked for a reminder of what to do to prepare for winter. While recent temperatures have been up and down, there is no doubt that permanent cold weather is around the corner. Take advantage of the current mild weather and prepare for winter now, while you can still work in relative comfort outdoors! You'll find a handy checklist in our feature article, Preparing for Winter in the Garden...

Wild Things In Lawns...
Wild onion and wild garlic are difficult-to-control weeds. These weeds look very similar to the garden variety onion except the stems of the wild type are much thinner and do not grow as tall as the garden variety. The most effective method for controlling onion and garlic is to create a dense turf through proper fertilization and regular mowing, thereby making these weeds less noticeable and less problematic.

Wild onion and garlic die back to underground bulbs during early summer, but bulbs will germinate during the fall and winter. Selective chemical control is difficult and normally ineffective, so co-existing with these plants is often the best choice. One method is to apply 2,4-D immediately after mowing so the herbicide can enter through the cut leaves. This will usually burn back the leaves but may not kill the underground bulb, thus multiple years of applications will be needed.


"Frost is the greatest artist in our clime
He paints in nature and describes in rime."

~ Thomas Hood



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