Missouri Organic

This Week's Timely Tips from the Savvygardener

July 13, 2011

In This Issue
Suncreen For Vegetables?
Drinks For The Droopy?
Houseplants? Douse Plants
Get More Blooms
Sweet & Corny
Orange Means Hot
On The Cutting Edge

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~All About Composting
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Seeds Indoors
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Shrub Pruning Calendar
~Pruning Clematis 
~Gardening in the Shade
~Summer-Flowering Bulb Care
~Drought-Tolerant Flowers for KC
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~ Changing the pH of Your Soil
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~ Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
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~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 Phots


Boy, it sure has been hot! Today is a little better thanks to some much appreciated cloud cover. The storm that blew through here last night packed a wallop. High winds, pea size hail, vivid lightening and booming thunder. We lost power again. I'm sure glad we have a generator. It makes losing power not such a pain. 

The heat has been so oppressive. I have been diligent about getting out early in the gardens to water, deadhead and anything else that might need to be done. I do what needs to be done and then back into the house I go. I do not like it when it gets this hot. Even the evenings have been unbearable to be outside. The combined high temps and high humidity make it just awful. I'm afraid we have more of the same headed our way for the weekend. The dog days of summer have arrived! I guess we better settle on doing the minimum for now and wait patiently for this heat to break. UGH!
~ Shelly
Suncreen For Vegetables?
sunny hot

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...

good idea

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. 


"Give fools their gold, and knaves their power;
Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall;
Who sows a field, or trains a flower,
Or plants a tree, is more than all."

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

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