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The Kansas City

GARDENER A M o n thly Guide t o S u cc essfu l G a rdenin g

August 2012

Anticipating Fall Harvest

Of Owlflies and Antlions Plant Insect Repellent in a Container Butterflybush: the Good, the Bad and what’s New Meet Tate Foster in Professional’s Corner

Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle... With Swan’s Water Gardens C

ere’s why you should have Swan’s Water Gardens build your water garden paradise in your backyard.

Located on 2 acres in southern Johnson Co. is where you’ll find Swan’s Water Gardens. A place where we live and breathe the “Water Garden Lifestyle” everyday.

First, we’ve been building and maintaining Water Gardens for over 17 years now. Over those 17 years our pond building techniques have been honed to perfection through years of hard work and fine tuning.

It’s where we specialize in backyard living and helping others do the same by creating beautiful water gardens in their backyards.

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Nowhere will you find anyone more dedicated to creating paradise in your backyard with water gardens than Swan’s Water Gardens.

In reality our ponds are built to exacting standards by experienced pond builders, under the watchful eye and direction of veteran pond builder Kevin Swan.

ome with us on an exciting journey and discover the ultimate Water Garden destination. A place where you can experience first hand what “Living In Paradise” is really like.

Learn the proven ways we use everyday in caring for and maintaining our water gardens. Water Gardens built correctly are much less maintenance than the same amount of grass and they’re so much more exciting. Has anyone ever invited you to sit and enjoy the grass in their backyard. Sounds exciting doesn’t it. But wait till you see their reaction when they see a water garden in your backyard! There’s just something magical about the sound of water in nature. Calm sets in and nature takes over.


Not only will you marvel at the precision of the excavation of your pond but you’ll be amazed at how well your finished water garden actually blends into your existing landscape. Once the excavation is complete the true artistry of the building process begins. It’s also where our secrets to building ponds that don’t leak are revealed. You can relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility your water garden provides without worry!


ake your plans to visit Swan’s Water Gardens in 2012.

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $295.00 for small patios or courtyards. We also have many more display gardens ranging in price from $2,500.00 up to $40,000.00 for more elaborate features built by Swan’s Water Gardens. We also have many exciting events scheduled for 2012 so be sure to watch for them in the upcoming issues of The Kansas City Gardener. Remember, we carry everything you need for your Water Gardens. Pumps, liners, underlayment, filtration systems, hose, fish, aquatic plants, lilies, lotus and garden accessories. Come shop in paradise with the pond professionals at Swan’s Water Gardens. Where we don’t just sell you products like the internet companies do, we actually show you how they work in our water gardens.

Swan’s Water Gardens 20001 S. Padbury Lane, Spring Hill, KS 66083 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm • Sat 9am-4pm 913-592-2143

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Letter to a gardener

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Betsy Betros Alan Branhagen Erin Busenhart Barbara Fairchild Diane & Doc Gover Kylo Heller Lenora Larson Pat Miller Dennis Patton Brent Tucker Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

P.O. Box 8725 Prairie Village, KS 66208 Phone/Fax: 913-648-4728 For advertising information contact Michael Cavanaugh at Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at

Join us and fellow gardeners. Become a fan.

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 27. August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener


ear garden friend, I’ve missed visiting with you across the garden gate. The excessive heat has kept us both busy watering to save our gardens or inside staying cool. Since we haven’t chatted in a while, I thought I’d bring you up to date on what’s happening in my garden. The Black-eyed Susans are the bright spot now. Their bold yellow faces are a welcome sight anytime of day. Although they seem underdeveloped this year, not as tall and not as many blooms. I wonder why? The Profusion Orange Zinnias that we planted en mass in the front of the garden along the street are barely surviving. Between the lack of rain and triple digit temps, they really have been put to the test. The tomatoes, peppers and herbs have done surprisingly well. At this point in the season, our tomatoes and peppers are about done. We only planted a few and planted early. The herbs have been beautiful additions to our summer menus. Overall, the garden looks bad. The daylilies need cleaning out, the speedwell and hydrangea

need deadheading, and it’s time to remove the mess of bark, leaves and branches left by the sycamore tree. Now that the triathlon is over, I’ll definitely spend more time in the garden. My first order of business is to spruce up all the beds so things look more alive than dead. Call me crazy, but I’m actually looking forward to it. Mike’s been filming the song birds in the backyard for a future website feature. We’ve positioned the feeders up close on the deck in order to get a close shot. With the birds so close to the kitchen window, we’ve had a ‘bird’s eye view’ of their feeding habits. Have you ever seen a male Cardinal feed a fledgling? It’s amazing to watch. The container water garden on deck has been attractive to the birds as well. The chickadees and nuthatches pop around on the plants gaining position for a drink. I’ve pared down the number of containers planted in spring.

With ugly, underperforming plants, I can’t justify spending any more time caring for them. You know my motto, it’s the survival of the fittest in my garden. The plants that are doing well get my attention. The red Dragon Wing Begonia and the ferns just won’t quit. Those are the highlights to date. If I detail anything else you wouldn’t have a reason to come by, which I hope is soon. Please let me know about your garden. What has flourished despite the brutal summer? Is there a plant that surprised you, that exceeded your expectations? I know you’re busy, but drop me a note when you can. I’d love to hear from you. Until then, be well. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue August 2012 • Vol. 17 No. 8 Ask the Experts ....................... 4 Of Owlflies and Antlions ......... 6 Soil Test Interpretation .............. 7 Powell Garden Events .............. 8 Bleeding Heart Vine ................ 11 Insect Repellent in a Container .. 12 Call Before You Dig ................. 13 Anticipating Fall Harvest .......... 14 Butterflies Medicine Cabinet ..... 16

about the cover ...

Rose Report ............................ 17 Butterflybush ........................... 18 Garden Calendar .................... 21 Upcoming Events ..................... 22 Hotlines ................................. 24 Weather ................................. 24 Bugs Wanted Dead ................. 25 The Bird Brain ......................... 26 Professional’s Corner ................ 27

Keep the vegetable garden growing by planting a cool season crop. See what to plant now starting on page 14.


18 3

Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton WHEN IS SQUASH RIPE Question: I have really gotten into vegetable gardening. This year I planted butternut squash for the first time. The vines are growing but my question is how do I tell when the squash are ripe for the picking? Answer: This is a great question and I get it all the time. There are a lot of old wives tales on telling the maturity but the best one to use is the thumbnail test. This test is simply attempting to puncture the rind with a gentle poke of the fingernail. A ripe, mature

squash will resist your nail while an unripe fruit will be bruised by light pressure. A note of caution, do not puncture the skin, just use light force. The maturity is also usually accompanied by a change in color and a loss of the shine usually associated with a fruit that needs a few more days. Change in stem color is another indicator but the best is to use the combination of approaches with the fingernail test as the deciding test. TRANSPLANT HOSTA IN FALL Question: Ok! I have given up this summer. I have planted a couple of hostas in too much sun both this year and last year they have burned during the summer. Is it possible to move them this fall instead of next spring?

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Answer: The summer sun has been brutal and not forgiving the last couple of years. As for the hostas, early fall or late summer is a great time to transplant and divide hostas. I would say any time in early September to early October would be ideal. Keep in mind they will have a limited root system and will need supplemental fall moisture and a drink if a very dry winter. On a personal note, a few falls ago I dug some starts of mine and gave to my mother. I did this over Labor Day weekend. I left the foliage on so she had some color in the late fall. The following spring the divisions looked just like mine in the garden. The leaves grew big and it appeared that they never

were transplanted or divided. So go ahead and get this chore out of the way this fall. Fall planting allows you to see the holes for nice spacing which is helpful. FALL VEGETABLE CROP Question: I still cannot believe the incredibly long spring conditions we had. I had a great crop of spring broccoli and was hoping I still had time for a fall crop? Answer: Fall is a great time to grow broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. There are two approaches. One is to directly sow seed in the garden. Seeds should be planted in very early August. The problem is getting the seed germinated in the heat of summer. I would recommend planting more seeds than

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The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012

needed and if good germination, thin to about one plant per foot. The second option is to use transplants. Many garden centers will carry a small supply of plants. Transplants can be planted in mid-August. Harvest is then in late September and into October. The normally cooler nights and lower insect pressure make it a great time to grow these delicious, nutritious crops in the garden. It also allows you to reap that much more bounty from the garden instead of just bare ground. TREE LEAF DROP Question: Help! My river birch is shedding leaves. They turn yellow and drop and it has been happening since early summer. I am afraid I will lose my tree, what is the problem and what can I do? Answer: Your river birch tree is responding to the hot, dry conditions of summer. Birch as well as many other trees use leaf drop as a coping mechanism to reduce drought stress. The thinning of leaves reduces water loss through evaporation. This usually happens every year but what was different this year was how early the natural leaf drop started. The good news is that a well-established tree will withstand this leaf drop and continue to be just fine. Trees can drop a number of leaves or even defoliate without harm. They just cannot tolerate it on a yearly basis. The thinning of the canopy will have no ill effects. If you like to water your trees the drop is a sign that a deep soaking is in order for best health.

SQUASH BUG PROBLEM Question: I am being overrun again this year by squash bugs. Is there anything I can do? I’m about to give up on squash as a result of this insect problem. Answer: Join the club as I gave up planting squash a few years ago because of the squash bug and vine borer. Control is very difficult if not impossible. Organic growers, I have no options except monitor the underside of the leaves and destroy the brown egg masses when found or get two bricks and bang together! A review of the literature will provide some other ideas such as the use of mulches, trap crops and row covers. Chemical controls can be effective but will require multiple applications. Keep in mind the squash bug eggs are on the underside of the leaf and the small nymphs are hugging the ground. So any spray that is used cannot just be an overthe-top-application. Instead the spray material should thoroughly penetrate under the foliage and all around the base of the plants. Repeat applications will be necessary. Also keeping ahead of the pest is a must. Once the squash bugs reach the mature stage then you are probably left with the brick method. Or do what I do, make a trip to the farmers’ market. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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SAVE THE DATE Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society invites you to their next meeting Saturday, September 22, at 9:30 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W. 67th St., (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. Hospitality and registration at 9:30am with business and program at 10am. Doug Beilstein, newly elected President of AHS and personal collector of over 1200 named hosta cultivars, will present the program. Doug is a member of the Fraternal Order of Seedy Fellows (FOofSF), and will show us what that outlaw group of hybridizers has been working on. There will be time to visit as we share a potluck lunch, club providing Kansas City Barbecue, drinks and table service. There will be lots of door prizes, and interesting plants for sale. Guests are always welcome! Info: Call Gwen 816-228-9308 or 816-213-0598.

For help with reseeding, call Tobin Lawn & Landscape. 816-765-5565

Earth Right products help you beat the heat. All of our soil applied products contain conditioner that helps plants wick water and stay cool. Fertilize smart in summer heat by using Sure Bloom® fertilizers. Great for gardens, turf, shrubs, trees and containers. Keep roots from burning and soil conditioned. Use Mushroom Stuff® to produce more blooms. Apply anytime and when the nights are cooler you will see new buds appear. Pond Stuff® pond clarifier is safe for wildlife. Maintain a clear water supply and relieve murky conditions. One pint treats up to 16,000 gal.

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Be sure to apply Earth Right Super Stuff® two weeks before reseeding turf or seeding new lawns for easier verticutting and two weeks prior to transplanting to make the digging easier. Earth Right helps your lawn and beds drain and helps absorb water and nutrients.

The Mushroom Stuff® Transplant Insurance Rhizomatous Tall Fescues (RTF) are gaining popularity in KC. RTF fescue and blue grass benefit from The Mushroom Stuff®. An application when turf seedlings are 1/2” tall will help the roots to expand and run so your lawn will be well established quickly, before winter sets in. The Mushroom Stuff® is promotes root protection so you can apply in fall to w i n t e r i z e shrubs, roses, evergreens, perrenial g a r d e n s , and trees . if we get an early freeze in the fall or a late spring freeze, our root systems will be stronger.

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Of Owlflies and Antlions


wlflies are a bit of an oddity, not often seen, but they are attracted to lights at night. They look a bit like a damselfly, except for the long clubbed antennae. Their big eyes may be the basis for their common name. Both the larva and adult of owlflies are predatory on other insects. Owlflies, like dragonflies, are aerial predators, that is they give chase in the air for prey and also eat the prey while in flight. When perched, they often have their abdomen sticking straight up, presumably mimicking a twig. They are a good sized insect, about 2 inches in body length. Antlions are closely related to Owlflies, but the habits of their larvae are more often noticed than the adults. Larvae of many species make conical depressions in dry loose soil, under overhanging objects which protects them from rain. The larva is buried at

insect in gardens. These delicate, gorgeous green insects are also predators in both the adult and larval stages on softbodied insects. Some species of lacewings have ear-like organs on their wing veins allowing them to detect the ultrasonic sounds made by (Left) Owlfly posed like a twig. (Center) The Spottedwinged Antlion is our only species bats, which gives the in this area with large spots on the wings. (Right) Green Lacewing. lacewing a “wingthe base of the depression, with A name used for the larvae up” on escape! strong jaws pointed upwards ready sometimes is “doodlebug” which All three of these insects are in may have to do with the patterns to clamp down on a hapless ant or the insect order called Neuroptera in the sand/dry soil left by them as other insect which falls into the which also includes dobsondepression. they look both for a place to dig the flies, fishflies, alderflies, and conical depression and the act of A combination of the angle and mantispeds. making the depression. Sort of like loose soil makes it near impossible for the prey to climb out and “doodling” patterns on paper. Betsy Betros is the author of “A Unlike the previous two insects, indeed, the harder it tries, the more Photographic Field Guide to the it slips down toward the antlion’s the Green Lacewing is a familiar Butterflies in the Kansas City insect at porch lights and a desired powerful jaws. Region.”

Photos by Betsy Betros.

By Betsy Betros

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Soil Test Interpretations: Potassium

Kylo Heller


e have talked about the significance and meaning of several common soil test parameters. This final discussion will focus on potassium (K). You may wonder why “K” is the symbol for potassium. I wish I knew the answer. I guess because “P” was already taken by phosphorus! Regardless, K is one of the three macronutrients needed by plants. In the plant, K provides much of the “pull” that sucks water into the plant roots, and helps regulate the turgor pressure in plants. Therefore, plants with inadequate K can be more susceptible to drought stress, something we’ve seen plenty of this summer. Potassium deficiency is exhibited differently in different plants. In grasses it often shows up as chlorosis along the leaf edges. Because K is mobile in plants, deficiency symptoms usually show up on lower, older leaves. There are four general forms of K in the soil, 1) mineral, 2) nonex-

changeable, 3) exchangeable, and 4) solution. The solution K is immediately available to plants, and the exchangeable K replaces the solution K that is removed by plants. Both are a very small amount of the total K in the soil. Common K soil test methods do not attempt to measure the total amount of K in the soil, but rather are an index to estimate the soil’s ability to supply adequate K throughout the growing season. Less than 150 parts per million (ppm) is typically considered low and could result in plant deficiency. Soils with 150 – 250 ppm are thought of as having medium K, and will sometimes respond to K fertilizer, but mostly just need maintenance K additions to keep the level from becoming low. Greater than 250 ppm is typically considered high, and therefore will usually not respond to potassium additions. Typically most Kansas City area soils have medium to high soil K. However, construction abused soils commonly have low fertility levels, including K. There are several different sources of K fertilizers. Plant residues and other organic wastes can contain significant amounts of soluble K, and thus are good sources of K. There are also mul-

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Organic matter from the compost bin is a good source of potassium. tiple inorganic potassium fertilizers. The third number of a fertilizer grade designates the amount of K, described as potash (K2O), contained in the fertilizer. For low testing soils applying 1 – 1.5 lbs. of K2O per 1000 sq. ft. is recommended. For medium testing soils

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Tropical Treasures Take Flight at Festival of Butterflies Powell Gardens adds more than 20 new tropical species to exhibit


isitors to the 16th annual Festival of Butterflies at Powell Gardens will be treated to more than 20 tropical butterfly species never before seen in Kansas City, including the Costa Rica Clearwing with see-through, glass-like wings. The new butterflies join perennial favorites for the festival, which runs August 3-5 and August 10-12 at Kansas City’s botanical garden, just 30 miles east of Kansas City on U.S. Hwy 50. During the festival the conservatory in the Visitor Education Center transforms into a tropical butterfly house where visitors encounter exotic species ranging from the world’s largest moth, the Atlas, to the magical Blue Morpho of Costa Rica. The new collection of tropical butterflies includes more than 10 species of the Heliconian family, commonly known as longwings. “These are colorful and active butterflies that like to fly,” said

The ‘Cat’ Room Local butterfly enthusiasts have teamed up to show visitors where the magic begins with a display of all sorts of caterpillars – from the sci fi-sh Hickory Horned Devil to the more common but still beautiful Monarch caterpillar. The Cat Room is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each festival day.

The Festival of Butterflies runs August 3-5 and August 10-12. Horticulture Director Alan Branhagen, who manages the butterfly exhibit for the Gardens. “It’s a lot of fun to test your identification skills with this group – they often mimic each other so it can be very tricky to tell them apart. Even some completely unrelated species mimic the longwings because they are toxic to many predators.”

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Other outdoor exhibits at the festival include the Native Butterfly Breezeway and displays by Master Gardeners and Monarch Watch, where visitors can learn how to tag Monarchs for research and how to plant way stations. Photography Exhibit by Bill Johnson Bill Johnson, a Minnesotabased photographer whose work has appeared in more than 800 publications, will exhibit “Insect Pollinators – Beyond the Honeybee” in the Multipurpose Room throughout the festival. This series of photographs illustrates the critical role insects play in the garden and showcases Johnson’s skill at capturing the beauty of these creatures. Johnson will share his photography skills during two classes offered at the Gardens scheduled for August 3 and August 10. Sign up at botanicalartsclasses.

• • • • • •

Fun for Kids Children’s activities include storytime with “Fancy Nancy” at 10:30 a.m. each festival day, followed by a costume parade complete with a Chinese dragon-style caterpillar float. Throughout the festival, children also can paint a pot ($3), have their face painted ($2) or make butterfly wings ($3) and caterpillar headbands (free). Outdoors, children can catch and release butterflies, go on a caterpillar hunt and make a wildflower seed “bomb.” Milkshakes & Moths, 7-10 p.m. August 3 This family-friendly event allows visitors to explore the “night life” at Powell Gardens. The event begins with home-made milkshakes and an indoor talk about the incredible variety of moths. Participants also can tour the butterfly exhibit for a guided look at the exotic moths on display, including the fascinating African Moon Moth and its local cousin, the Luna Moth. At dusk, nature experts will lead tours of several stations set up to attract and identify moths

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As the moon rises, guests will enjoy a guided stroll through the Gardens by moonlight. Tickets are $30/person or $25/members and include garden admission, a cocktail, light appetizers and the guided walk. For reservations and more details visit www.powellgardens. org/FullMoon.

Fairy Houses & Forts continues through Oct. 7. that live in this area. Tickets are $15/adult or $10 for members and $6/child or $5 for members’ children. Reserve them online at mothnight.


Missouri Barn Dinner Series presents Chef Michael Foust, 6 p.m. August 26 The last in Powell Gardens’ series of farm-to-table dinners takes place Sunday, August 26, with Chef Michael Foust of The Farmhouse and Café Thyme. Foust is a master at creating delicious fare with locally produced ingredients, including many of the fruits and vegetables grown in Powell Gardens’ own Heartland Harvest Garden. For details and tickets visit BarnDinners. Full Moon Friday, 7 p.m. August 31 This popular evening event in the Gardens returns with a twist for 2012—cocktails hand crafted by the Traveling Cocktail Club and light appetizers by Chef Michael Foust, all to be enjoyed fountain-side with live music by Heat Index.

Garden Chef Series See how culinary experts use fresh food grown in the Heartland Harvest Garden (with free samples while supplies last). Then sample what’s in season from the daily tasting station. Free with regular admission. * 2 p.m. Sunday, August 5: Healthy eating expert and cookbook author Katie Newell * 2 p.m. Sunday, August 19: Gina Reardon of Catering by Design * 2 p.m. Sunday, August 26: Brooke Salvaggio and Dan Heryer of BADSEED Fairy Houses & Forts: An Enchanting Garden Adventure 9 a.m.-6 p.m. now through Oct. 7 This summer blockbuster includes seven large-scale fairy houses and fanciful forts to inspire, amuse and ignite an interest in exploring the great outdoors, along with whimsical garden displays and an indoor display of smallscale fairy gardens and houses. Selected through a competition among architects, artists and landscape architects, the winning largescale entries showcase the region’s creativity and talent.

What’s Happening at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES OF KANSAS CITY Thursday/Aug 16/7:00-8:00pm Registration required (All ages) Many native amphibians and reptiles quietly live their lives in the Kansas City area, often out of sight but never too far away. Join us at the New Kansas City Regional Office as we share some of their secrets and get to know some of our local residents a little better. DISCOVER NATURE FAMILIES: CREEK ADVENTURE Saturday/Aug 25/10:00-11:30am Registration required (Families with children ages 5 and up) Slosh, splash and wade your way through Burr Oak Creek with Naturalist Kathleen. Investigate this watery world and meet some of the amazing creatures that call the stream home. Put on your old shoes and come out for a wet, funfilled family adventure! Discover

Nature Families programs are designed to help adults to mentor their children while exploring nature and mastering outdoor skills together. Located in Blue Springs, Missouri, one mile north of I-70 and one mile west of MO 7 on Park Road. Six trails, 1,071 wooded acres, two picnic areas, indoor wildlife viewing area, 3,000 gallon native fish and turtle aquarium, hands-on nature exhibits, gift shop, and sales of fishing and hunting permits. Programs are free. Call 816228-3766 to sign up for either of these programs.


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Related activities in August:

Enchanted Clay Ring Discovery Station, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. August 25-26. This activity is included with regular admission and does not require a reservation.


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‘Bringing nature home’ with Doug Tallamy at Lincoln University in Jefferson City Hurry … need to register by August 15


oug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and author of the best-selling book ‘Bringing Nature Home’ will be at Lincoln University on Thursday, August 30, 2012. He will explain the reasons for the decline of native plants and animals that depend on them and what we can do to help reverse it. Dr. Tallamy will discuss the important ecological roles of the plants in our landscapes, emphasize the benefits of designing gardens with these roles in mind and how to sustain wildlife with native plants in your own backyard and look at the consequences of failing to do so. Immediately after the talk, a special Missouri Prairie Foundation/ Grow Native transplanting cere-

Doug Tallamy (left) will discuss the important ecological roles of the plants in our landscapes, like Echinacea (center) and Blazing Star (right), and how to sustain wildlife with native plants. (Plant photos courtesy of LUCE Native Plants Program and LUCE Media Center.) mony will take place, followed by a book-signing. During the signing, visitors will have the opportunity to taste appetizers prepared with native edible plants and take tours at the Native Plant Outdoor Laboratory on campus next to Allen and Foster Halls. This laboratory is



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comprised of more than 80 herbaceous and woody plants native to Missouri. Dr. Tallamy’s presentation will begin at 9:30 a.m. on campus at Scruggs University Center, 819 Chestnut Drive. Parking will be at Dickinson Research Center, 1219 Chestnut and shuttles will run from 8:15 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. to bring participants to the event. Shuttle rides will also be provided to take participants back to their cars. The event is sponsored by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension’s Native Plant program in collaboration with the Missouri Prairie Foundation and Missouri Wildflowers Nursery. The Native Plants Program is committed to increasing awareness about the importance of adopting native plants in urban gardens and encourages producers and farmers to protect existing native plants to

provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Cost is $10 to the general public and $5 for adults 65 and older. There is no charge for Lincoln University students with valid ID. To register, make check payable to ‘Lincoln University’ and mail to: Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, Native Plants Program c/o Ms. Shirley Downing, 900 Chestnut St, Allen Hall Room 102, Jefferson City, MO 65101. Add ‘Tallamy Lecture’ to the memo section. Because seating will be limited, please register in advance. Check should be postmarked no later than August 15, 2012. Students who wish to participate need to send name and contact information to reserve a seat. If you have questions or need special accommodations, contact Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall at 573681-5392 or by email

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Tropical Plant Profile: Bleeding Heart Vine Clerodendrum

Brent Tucker


s the dog days of summer roll on and the heat becomes unbearable it’s nice to see several of my tropical plants blooming their hearts out despite the oppressive heat. Clerodendrum is a large genus of plants from tropical Asia and a few make great container plants that bloom right through the summer. Butterfly Clerodendrum, Glory-Bower and Bleeding Heart vine are several varieties that can be found in local garden centers. My favorite is the Bleeding Heart vine which produces panicles of red flowers surrounded by white calyxes which make for a striking contrast. Another contrast to the flowers are the large dark green leaves that are produced by this scandent vine. I grow this beauty in a pot that’s a bit small for it’s size since tight quarters seem to help it flower better. Because of the smaller pot I have to water fairly frequently and I feed with a fertilizer with higher phosphorus. I try to keep the soil evenly moist but allow the top of the soil to dry somewhat before I water again.

My Bleeding Heart vine is positioned where it receives 6 hours or more of sun as it is very tolerant of the heat. Once winter approaches I bring it inside before temperatures get below 50 degrees F at night and after I spray for insects. I don’t want to bring any of those indoors but thankfully this plant is not prone to many pests. This is also the time I trim the plant back a third to half its original size to fit in my East winter window. Along with its cousins, Bleeding Heart Vine is such a care free plant that I’m happy to have it blooming on my patio and I bet you will too. Brent Tucker has been growing exotic plants for twenty plus years, specializing in orchids, ferns and begonias. You may contact him at

CLASSES AT POWELL GARDENS learn garden edging and astronomy and yoga Gourmet Yardening: Garden Edging 101 9-11:30 a.m. Friday, August 17 Beautiful, crisp, natural dirt edges are possible and practical using the technique perfected by Will Hodge, Gourmet Yardener. To learn how, attend this seminar and receive your own Gourmet Yardener’s Manual complete with directions, illustrations and 11-minute instructional DVD. Hands-on training opportunity offered, weather permitting. $45/ adult, $39/Members. Registration required by August 13. Astronomy at the Gardens: “Catch the Moon” 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday, August 18 Catch the razor-thin crescent Moon in the western twilight sky. Plus, Saturn’s rings, now tilted to about 14 degrees, will still be impressive in our telescopes. The many treasures of the Milky Way and Summer Triangle are higher now and

One free, easy call gets your utility lines marked AND helps protect you from injury and expense. Safe Digging Is No Accident: “Always Call Before You Dig in Kansas” Call 1-800-DIG-SAFE, or 811, or visit us at


August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Greater Kansas City Iris Society Plant Sale Trailside Center 99th & Holmes, KCMO

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Yoga for Gardeners 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, August 26 The benefits of yoga are increased when practiced outside. Connecting yoga energy with the tranquility of Powell Gardens will be an uplifting experience for all. Bring your mat and be ready to experience yoga in the Gardens. $7/person, $free/Members. Registration required by August 20. To register for these classes, call Linda Burton at 816-6972600 ext. 209. Or register online and see pictures of projects at and follow the LEARNING link.

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better placed for our viewing. Ask to see the “Cub Scout” star. Come view the night sky guided by trained astronomers. (Evening programs will be cancelled if skies are overcast or rainy.) $12/ adult, $7/Members, $7/child 5-12. Registration required by August 16.

Planting flowers or a garden? Then you need to have your underground facilities marked! Missouri law requires that any person making or beginning any excavation notify MOCS. Placing a locate request is free and easy! Call 1-800-DIG-RITE (800-344-7483) or 811. For more information, visit

New and historic varieties of iris grown by local members will be offered for sale. Members will be available to answer questions on growing iris. Bring this coupon to our sale to receive one FREE Median Iris. No purchase necessary. 11

Plant a Pot of Herbs

Insect Repellent in a Container

Erin Busenhart


would fog my entire backyard for Mosquitoes if I could. However, for the safety of my kids, dog, other beneficial insects hanging out doing good things and the general well-being of Mother Nature, I try to find less invasive options to my growing bug problem. One great option is to pot up an insect repelling super container for your outdoor living space. It’s an easy, safe and affordable way to add a little extra protection against those pesky biters – hey, I’ll take all the help I can!

HERBS TO KEEP INSECTS AT BAY  Catnip: The active ingredient in Catnip is 10 times stronger at repelling bugs then DEET! Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme: Lemon scented herbs are highly effective at deterring Mosquitoes – and smell great! Lemon Grass: This lemon-scented herb actually contains Citronella! Rub on your arms and legs to ward off Mosquitoes Pennyroyal: Tie a bunch of this herb to a bandana around Fido’s neck to keep away fleas, ticks and Mosquitoes. Patchouli: Crush these leaves and rub on skin for protection against the biters. Rose scented Geranium: An excellent tick repellent – tuck leaves in pant cuffs and collars. Lavender: A beautiful herb that keeps away flies; place dries

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lavender in the home to keep out Silverfish. Santolina: A great herb to repel flies. Mint: All types of mint will deter all kinds of different pests – and great for the Mojitos too! Pot all your herbs up in any container with adequate drainage and locate it where you will have easy access – it can’t work if you don’t use it. All herbs do best with at least half a day of direct sunlight, although mint can tolerate lower light than other herbs. Crush leaves and rub oil directly on skin or follow a recipe for making a natural spray.

Dried herbs hung in closets or doorways are great for keeping pests out of the house. Mix different herb combinations together to find a mixture that works for you and your bugs! GOOD SENSE GUIDELINES Be sensible and always test a small area first before rubbing an herb all over your body. Do research before using on elderly, small children or pregnant women. Erin Busenhart is seasonal color designer at Family Tree Nursery, Overland Park, Kan. You may reach her at 913-642-6503.

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Reminder for Kansas & Missouri residents to always call 811 before digging

ansas One-Call and Missouri One-Call encourage people to make a free call two working days before digging to know what’s below. Call 811 to have underground utility lines marked prior to any digging project. This comes on the heels of a recent report by the Common Ground Alliance, which determined an underground utility line is damaged during digging projects every three minutes nationwide.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which will identify affected member utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a

mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. “Throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Max Pendergrass, Public Relations Coordinator for Kansas One-Call, “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. For more information about 811 and safe digging practices for your next project, visit www., www.kansasonecall. com, or




• Water Bath Container • Jar Lifters & Canning Funnel • Magnetic Lid Wand • Jar Wrench • Kitchen Tongs • Timer & Hot Pads



August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

3. 4. 5.

Pick a canning recipe and make sure to choose the freshest ingredients possible.

Fill the jar with the hot food, place the boiled lid on the jar & screw the ring on tightly. Place the sealed jars in the boiling water bath of the canning kettle & follow the recipe for processing times. After processing, carefully remove the hot jars & place them on a towel where sealing will occur as the jar cools. After the jars have cooled (usually overnight) remove the rings & wipe the jar. Label the jars with the date & its contents. Store in a cool, dark dry area.

traditional salsa 7 cups diced seeded peeled cored tomatoes (about 5 lb or 15 medium) 6 green onions, sliced 2 jalapeno peppers, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup vinegar 2 Tbsp lime juice

4 drops hot pepper sauce 2 Tbsp minced cilantro 2 tsp salt 4 (16 oz) pint or 8 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside. 2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large saucepan. 3. HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. 4. LADLE hot salsa in to hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. 5. PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. QUICK TIP:When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.


1) ‘Bull’s Blood’ beets get extra attention with showy burgundy foliage. 2) Shorter carrots like ‘Nantes’ best suit our soil. 3) Lettuce ‘Speckled Trout’ caught my eye in Colonial Williamsburg. 4) Alternate ribbons or checkerboard squares of red leafy lettuces and green butterhead lettuces.


5) Plant fall broccoli transplants ideally when temperatures drop below 90 degrees.



2 5

6) Kale and pansies beautify any landscape or container. Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder: Tammy Palmier


7) Spinach planted in October may overwinter. 8) Browse kohlrabi recipes for novel ideas. 9) Try blending cooked mashed turnips and potatoes. 10) Some mustard greens have reddish-purple tones. 11) Classic radishes.

6 7

9 10


The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012

Anticipating Fall Harvest Leah Berg


ardeners tend to be hopeful people, even when weather forecasts say no rain in sight. We may plant certain species through September, but must consider timing and watering needs. Individuals, community garden coordinators, and for-profit growers of produce may re-think what to do with existing sites. Others might consider what to do with newly available space (perhaps due to losses of ornamental landscape plants and stressed turf). Anyone needing practical advice about eligible edibles to plant for fall harvest will benefit from reviewing guidelines from the local extension offices, favorite garden centers, and the Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG). Look under the “Gardening Information” tab at for a summary of helpful details including the planting calendar timetable normally recommended. I attended KCCG’s fall gardening workshop a month after going on the 2011 Cultivate KC Urban Farms & Gardens Tour with my horticulture colleague Mark Goodwin. He’s starting a high tunnel project at UCM-Warrensburg while I experiment with certain edibles within ornamental landscapes. Mark plans to stagger several sowings of spinach and other greens, mulched with straw and protected at first with shade cloth from afternoon sun. Mary Roduner, KCCG, also likes using shade cloth, transplanting on cloudy days or evenings, and suggests planting cool-season crops a bit later than normal with soil so hot and dry. Dennis Patton, Johnson County Extension Service, recommends planting a little deeper than normal, and planting seeds heavier than August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

normal in case germination is poor due to heat. Thin as needed. Offer strategic protection later into weeks subject to frost. Consider floating row cover, cold frames, or hoop houses. Start with a good design after a careful site assessment for successful edible landscape projects of all sizes. For inspiration, visit the nation’s largest edible landscape, the Heartland Harvest Garden at

beneficial pollinator insects, and seldom need supplemental water once established. Consider who will weed and water, and what if restrictions apply? Realistically, we commit to DAILY watering while seeds germinate in summer heat. The fall crop tradeoff with less natural rainfall requires more irrigation initially – but later the established plants need less supplemen-

11 Powell Gardens, showcasing varieties that perform well here and all the best ideas for four seasons of harvest. Since daylight hours diminish rapidly into October, select sites still likely to offer 6-8 hours of sun then. Choose annual crops typically planted here in spring which also have short rates of maturity like radish, carrots, lettuces, mustards and other greens. Kale and spinach keep well into cool fall temperature and many gardeners overwinter them successfully. I also regularly visit the large 18Broadway garden downtown (, and the midtown Project Living Proof house ( with edible landscape areas more suited to small sites. Both demonstrate many sustainable practices. They include some native plants nearby that attract

tal water and adapt to cooling fall temperatures. Expect rapid growth when starting in warm soil temperatures compared to early spring. Place species needing less water farther away. My perennial herbs like sage, thyme, chives, oregano, rosemary and lavender tolerate dry conditions well. Create “zones” with plants needing frequent water closer to the spigot or rain barrels. Few crops tolerate neglect, let alone drought. KCCG staff estimate taking 6-9 minutes to handwater a 12’ x 4’ raised bed about 1-1.5” deep, at a rate of 5 gallons per minute, using 30-45 gallons of water. Check irrigation systems periodically for efficiency, repair as needed, and winterize in-ground systems in late October. A good environment for new seedlings like broccoli or greens is well-draining soil amended with

compost and topped with organic mulch to repress weeds, conserve moisture, and keep soil temperatures moderate. Thrifty veggie gardeners mulch transplants with layers of dampened newspaper (some shred it first), then top with grass clippings or straw. Newspaper represses weed germination well. At Farrand Farms and at home, Keith Farrand recently estimated nearly 60% water reduction using well-loosened wheat straw about 3” deep. ( Properly applied, it allows easy water and air penetration. Keith reports any weeds surfacing are “very weak-rooted and easily removed.” Avoid dark dyed mulch or rock, which absorb more heat. I use 2-3’’ of shredded cedar bark mulch around my woody plants and blended annuals and perennials, with higher acid pine straw around blueberries and oakleaf hydrangeas. Several heirloom seed packets from the Williamsburg, Va., Colonial Garden and Nursery came home with me from a late May visit to my college roommate, a natural resources specialist for Colonial National Park. I’ll add lettuce ‘Speckled Trout’ along the path to my basil and thirsty ripening tomatoes. Among existing snapdragons and parsley, I’ll weave new red foliage of ‘Bull’s Blood’ beets to mature into cooler months. And I’ll share some of the seedlings with friends Nancy and Susan, an edible “thank-you” for watering my garden while on my vacation. Trading recipes, seeds or plants, and moral support is half the fun for gardeners anticipating and eating colorful fall harvests. Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She teaches at MCC-Longview and is also the Agribusiness/Grounds and Turf Management department coordinator. Contact her at 816353-7170. 15

Lenora Larson


re Sulfur Butterflies chronically constipated? Why else would their caterpillars munch non-stop on Wild Senna, Cassia marilandica, the source of laxatives like Senokot? Do Viceroy caterpillars eat willow leaves, the original source of Aspirin, to prevent headaches? Of course not. However, it is extraordinary how many of the unique butterfly caterpillar food plants are also a source of human herbal medications. NABA (North American Butterfly Association) has estimated that 50% of the pharmacologic herbs are also on the short list of caterpillar food plants.

Physically and metabolically, mammals and insects have little in common. Butterflies do not have lungs, so the Pleurisy Root (Asclepias tuberosa, AKA Butterfly Weed) that humans use to treat asthma and pneumonia is not eaten by the Monarch caterpillars to cure a cough. The anti-depressants in Passion Flower, Passiflora incarnata, do not sedate the very busy Gulf Fritillary caterpillars that feed on them. This human/insect plant utilization is not even an example of convergent evolution, wherein very different organisms independently evolve the same solution to a life problem. For instance, butterflies, birds and bats have evolved wings, but not from each other. Butterflies don’t choose these plants for their medicinal value; the pharmaceutical overlap is just a fascinating coincidence. Exploring the Medicine Chest Pipevines, the Aristolochia species, have been used medicinally

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Photos by Lenora Larson.

Butterflies in Your Medicine Cabinet

The Black Swallowtail caterpillar eats Fennel, but doesn’t know of its use as an anti-flatulence remedy.

The Gray Hairstreak’s caterpillars feast on St John’s Wort, a scientifically authenticated treatment for depression and anxiety. since ancient times and are still prescribed by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars dine exclusively on this herbal remedy which renders them poisonous to predators because the Pipevines contain aristolochic acid, a profound renal toxin. To some, the curious flower looks like a human fetus and because medieval medicine was based on the “Doctrine of Signatures”, i.e., if a plant resembled a human body part, it was a treatment for that organ’s maladies, physicians gave Pipevine concoctions to women struggling in labor. Many surely died of kidney failure from this “cure”. Spicebush, Lindera benzoin, and the closely related Sassafras, Sassafras albidum, are caterpillar food plants for the Spicebush Swallowtail. American Indians used these plants to relieve menstrual cramps and purge intestinal worms. Modern herbalists brew the twigs and leaves of both into aromatic teas which reportedly reduce fevers and improve blood circulation and digestion. The Giant Swallowtail caterpillar eats our native Prickly Ash, Zanthoxylum americanum. American Indians valued Prickly Ash, AKA Toothache-tree, as a source of medicines to treat toothaches and open wounds since chewed

Echinacea (Coneflowers) are used to enhance the immune system and cure colds. The flowers are also a favorite nectar source for butterflies and a caterpillar food plant for the Silvery Checkerspot.

Black Swallowtail caterpillars also eat the Beautiful Queen Anne’s Lace which is brewed into a diuretic tea to treat cystitis and kidney stones. leaves and fruits numb the tongue, gums and tissues. Zanthoxylum preparations can now be purchased on the Internet with glowing claims of therapeutic and spiritual efficacy. This overlap is not limited to native plants. Both Giant and Black Swallowtail caterpillars dine on common Rue, Ruta graveolens, which has been a valued medicinal herb since Roman times. Called “Herb of Grace,” Rue was the original cure-all for most human ailments, especially failing eyesight. Finding Pharmaceutical Connections Lepidopterists note many familiar plants on labels of common herbal remedies. Thanks to the Internet, you can research any medicinal herb to see if it is also a butterfly food or nectar source. Just Google the herb’s name, followed by “butterfly” to discover whether there is a serendipitous connection. MICO Extension Master Gardener and Kansas Native Plant Society member, Lenora Larson gardens and hosts butterflies in the cruel winds and clay soil of Paola, Kan. Contact her at The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012

Charles Anctil


am a little late discussing bugs, as some begin coming out as early as May and feed through June. Nonetheless, be looking for sawfly larvae in early May. Roseslugs are the ones that feed through June. The curled rose sawfly has one generation per year.

Sawflies often feed on the undersides of leaves. Insecticidal soaps, neem oil and malathion should help.

Japanese beetle

Another bad, bad guy is the Japanese beetle! This “guy” will eat anything that is in the way. The reports from Rosarians in Iowa,

Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska all say the same thing. One day no beetles, the next day so many beetles you can’t see the blooms. Pick them off and put them in soapy water and get rid of them. Do not mash them – that will attract more! Don’t use Japanese beetle traps either as that will attract more as well. You might check out Natural Guard Grub Control and Milky Spore Grub Control. Good Luck!

Air layering

You have a favorite rose, you want more of the same, but you can’t find it anywhere – try air layering. This is a technique of vegetative propagation originated by the Chinese many centuries ago. Check out the local county extension agents for more information, or search the Internet. Or call me and I will send you a copy of the information I have. Rooter pots work real well too. John Moody here in town was very successful with the rooter pots. It is legal as long as you do not do this for profit. Works for me – might work for you! Charles Anctil has been an active Rosarian since 1958, Kansas City Rose Society, ARS Judge Emeritus, ARS Master Consulting Rosarian. If you need help, call him at Moffet’s Nursery, St. Joseph, Mo., 816-2331223.

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OPEN HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE Sat, Aug 18, 10am-1pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179 St, Overland Park, KS.


oin our dedicated group of Prairie volunteers who have been working since 2002 to restore 160 acres of existing Arboretum land, south of Wolf Creek, into native prairie. See the native grasses, wildflowers in bloom, wildlife food plots, Prickly Pear Cactus Glade and prairie birds. This will be a walking tour with stops along the way to learn about each area of the developing prairie. Bottled water recommended. No accommodations for mobility challenged individuals or children will be available. Each tour group is limited to 12, so please call 913-685-3604 to reserve a time. Tours will start every 20 minutes beginning at 10am with the last group at 1pm. Adults only, please. $5 per person. Parking will be at the Prairie “Old Home Site Entrance Gate,” 0.8 miles south of 179th St. on the west side of Antioch Rd. Follow signs at gate entrance. You may register for this tour by going to 913-685-3604.

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Alan Branhagen


utterflybush (Buddleia species and hybrids) is valued for its long bloom time, rich variety of colors available, wonderful fragrance AND because it is literally butterfly candy attracting those delightful garden visitors in hoards to come and nectar. At night, if you have never looked, it is also covered with equally delightful moths! If you deadhead the blooms you can literally have flowers from mid-summer (late spring this year!) until frost. Butterflybush have never been bigger in gardens across Greater

Kansas City. The mild winter didn’t kill them back at all so some have reached almost dizzying heights (my ‘Butterfly Heaven’ has reached 10ft.) if they were not cut back. I have had many gardeners ask what to do. First of all know your varieties of butterflybush: many new varieties are dwarf and truly compact. I am still old school and like the huge butterflybushes but some of the smaller, new varieties have proven outstanding at Powell Gardens and deserve a place in the garden where space is limiting. Butterflybush do bloom on new wood so can be cut back to any desired height in spring and they still flower profusely. Butterflybush is a noxious, invasive exotic weed in some parts of the country. It self-sows all around and is displacing native plants in the Pacific Northwest. At

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Honeycomb Buddleia with honeybees and a Common Buckeye. Powell Gardens, we monitor all plants added to the gardens and no Buddleia has ever escaped in over 20 years. Yes, we get seedlings in disturbed soil along the edges of flower beds but it has never once sown into a meadow or other natural land. This “bad” side of butterflybush has made it banned in some areas and shunned by many gardeners. We have not placed it on our “invasive” list and continue to grow it at Powell Gardens. Many of the newer varieties are also sterile or nearly so and set no seed but they all still produce nectar for the butterflies and bees!

Seedling Buddleia at Powell Gardens that is 8 feet tall and in full bloom by the end of May this year. Butterflybushes found at nurseries are all native to Asia and are (or used to be) tender, dieback shrubs in our zone. Any temperature below zero for any length of time kills their winter stems. I was told to never plant them in the fall or cut them back too hard late in the season or they would be killed by winter. Lately, they have seemed to do just fine if planted in the fall and watered regularly and mulched their first winter. Last year I even cut some of mine back all the way to the ground in November and they all came back profusely

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‘3 in 1’ Butterflybush (yes, that is it’s cultivar name!) in a mood to bloom white (it can bloom not 3 but 4 different colors) and covered in Viceroy butterflies. I have read butterflies don’t like the white-flowering butterflybush but simply is not the case. (though last winter was the mildest on record). Full sun to light shade, in almost any rich, but draining soil is fine for them. They do languish in drought but seem to survive. Don’t forget they make awesome container plants and will attract butterflies to even a high rise garden terrace. I have grown many, many varieties of butterflybush at my own home and through Powell Gardens. We can say some are gems and only a few are duds! When choosing a variety for your home garden I recommend beginning with how big do you want your plant to be? Next select for the color of the flowers that suits you and your design. We have observed no noticeable preference of one variety over another by butterflies. Some of the best dwarf (24-36” tall) butterflybush are the new Lo & Behold® varieties which have been outstanding for us in full sun and well-drained soil. I have

heard some local gardeners have not been as successful with them. Our favorite compact (4-5 ft.) butterflybushes would be the English Butterfly™ Series of which Adonis Blue™ is a personal favorite. We have tried all the new Flutterby Series which includes Flutterby Flow™ (spreaders no higher than 2 feet but 4 feet across), Flutterby Petite™ that are 2-2.5 feet tall; Flutterby™ Series (4.5-5 ft) and Flutterby Grande™ Series which reach 4-6 feet (or more?). A few of these we have found to be stellar and highly recommend Flutterby Petite Blue Heaven, Flutterby Lavender, Flutterby Grande Blueberry Cobbler, Flutterby Grande Peach Cobbler and Flutterby Grande Sweet Marmalade. The entire Flutterby Grande Series is now approved for sale in Oregon because they are completely sterile. If I had to pick a yellow-flowering butterflybush it would be ‘Honeycomb’, orange it would be Flutterby Grande Sweet Marmalade, “red” (more like sangria red as there is no true red in Buddleia) would be ‘Miss Molly’, ‘Pink’ would be Flutterby Grande Peach Cobbler’, Blue would be ‘Ellen’s Blue’, Violet would be ‘Black Knight’ and white would be ‘White Profusion.’ Powell Gardens has a big collection of butterflybush growing throughout the grounds and most local garden centers also sell them: go see for yourself and pick the varieties that suit your taste in color and fit your garden’s style. A mob of Butterflies are soon to enjoy your gardening endeavors too. Alan Branhagen is Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden. See his blog at

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Grow Native! Plant Profile

Barbara Fairchild


id you know there is a native marigold? Bur marigold (Bidens aristosa) is a fast growing annual found throughout much of the Midwest. Beginning in August, it features hundreds of solitary, sun-colored, daisy-like flower heads that bring a golden glow to a landscape. While it grows and flowers best in full sun, its natural habitat includes woodland edges, as well as prairies and fallow fields and roadsides and railroads. Its range extends from the east coast

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to Minnesota on the west and south to Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It prefers low, moist areas and typically is found in moist sites such as ditches, marshes, and wet meadows. There are numerous common names for bur marigold including bearded beggarticks, long-bracted beggarticks, tickseed beggarticks and western tickseed. These common names are derived from the egg-shaped, flat, hairy, dark brown fruit, which is tipped with 2 short teeth or bristles, enclosing small seeds. If you take autumn hikes you likely have given some of these beggars a ride that ended only when you pulled them off your socks. Not all of these hitchhikers are bur marigold seeds. In Flora of Missouri, Julian Steyermark lists


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Bur marigold Bidens aristosa

11 species of bidens and multiple variations. Most of these species share the tendency to stick to anything that passes their way. This trait, in fact, gives the genus its common name. In Latin the word bidens refers to having two teeth. This, in turn, refers to the twopronged “teeth” or stickers that adhere to passersby. At least one horticulturist says that while bur marigold seed possesses the two teeth typical of the Bidens, its seeds do not catch hold like the others do. Aristosa refers to the flower head and means bearing bristles. While bur marigold is an annual, it does reseed freely and prolifically – a tendency that has put it on the “weed” list for some folks. Likely it doesn’t belong in a formal garden, but its benefit to wildlife does give it a place in a naturalized setting, where it provides habitat for birds, bees and more. In a butterfly garden, for instance, it attracts the gray hairstreak, common checkered skipper and silvery checkerspot, as well as various species of bees. Bowood Farms Nursery in St. Louis recommends bur marigold (they call it tickseed sunflower) for a winter bird garden and note that it attracts buntings, chickadees, finches, sparrow and titmice. Establishment of bur marigold begins with planting seed sometime between August and the end of October. The seed will not germinate until the following spring,

but it requires exposure to cool, moist conditions during the winter. A clean firm seedbed provides the best germination. Seed also can be planted into a closely mowed, chemically-killed, or burned sod area with a light disking or harrowing that scratches the soil surface just as prairie grass seed is planted. The plant is fast growing and reaches heights of four to five feet. Hundreds of sweet-scented, twoinch golden daisies cover its fine foliage in late summer. For a more manicured look, the plant can be cut back in late June. In the fall, deadheading accomplishes two things: It reduces the number of volunteer seedlings and it improves the odds of a second round of blossoms. Thoreau described the blossoms this way: “It is a splendid yellow... Full of the sun.” On a practical note: If you take a hike and come home loaded with pesky beggarticks use the flat edge of a knife blade for easy removal. To learn more about native plants, visited www.grownative. org. At the site, you’ll find detailed information about native plants and by clicking on Buyer’s Guide, you’ll find vendors who supply native plant seeds and plant material. Grow Native! is a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Barbara Fairchild gardens in central Missouri, and writes for the Missouri Prairie Foundation. The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012


garden calendar


• Water bluegrass two to three times per week, applying a total of about 1 1/2 inches of water for a lush green look. • Water tall fescue one to two times per week, applying a total of 1 inch of water. • For lower water use water once every one to two weeks. • Apply last application of fertilizer to Zoysia by mid month. • Plan for fall renovation projects such as aerating or seeding. • Keep mower blades sharp. • Mow as needed based on growth. • Control unwanted Zoysia or Bermuda in early August using a non-selective herbicide. • Soil test to determine a fertility program.


• Apply 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week to gardens. • Divide irises and daylilies during their dormant period. • Make last application of fertilizer to roses by mid month. • Control black spot and other rose diseases. • Fertilize mums, hardy asters and other fall blooming perennials. • Deadhead annuals to encourage late season blooms. • Cut back and fertilize annuals to produce new growth. • Sow hollyhocks, poppies and larkspur for spring. • Prepare for fall bulb planting by making orders or researching varieties. • Take cuttings from geraniums and begonias for wintering indoors.


• Water young trees every one to two weeks, thoroughly soaking the root system. • Prune and shape hedges. • Check mulch layer and add if needed. • Prune broken, dead or crossing limbs. • Check young trees and shrubs for girdling wires and ropes. • Avoid fertilizing so limbs harden off before winter. • Hand remove bagworms.


• Water 1 inch per week. • Plant a fall garden—beets, carrots, beans and turnips for autumn harvest. • Plant transplants of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage for fall production. • Harvest crops on a regular basis for season-long production. • Ease fruit loads on branches by propping with wooden supports. • Net ripening fruit to protect from hungry birds. • Fertilize strawberry beds for added flower bud development. • Turn compost pile and add water when dry.


• Continue to water summered houseplants regularly and fertilize. • Check plants for insects such as scales, aphids and spider mites. • Wash plants to remove dust layers. • Make cuttings and repot plants before summer sun slips away.

Johnson County K-State Research and Extension recommends environmentally-friendly gardening practices. This starts by identifying and monitoring problems. Cultural practices and controls are the best approach for a healthy garden. If needed, use physical, biological or chemical controls. Always consider the least toxic approach first. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Need to Dispose Hazardous Products?


f you’re cleaning out the garden shed or garage, and it’s time to dispose of old herbicides, fertilizers, stains and paints, what do you do with them? Regional household hazardous waste collection facilities are available for residents to safely dispose of their household hazardous waste. A list of these locations, along with directions and hours of operation, is available on the Mid-America Regional Council web site (http://www. Here’s an abbreviated list for easy reference. In Missouri: Kansas City: 4707 Deramus; 816-513-8400 Lee’s Summit: 2101 SE Hamblen Road; 816-969-1805

In Kansas: Wyandotte County: 2443 S. 88th Street; 913-573-5400 Olathe: 1420 S. Robinson; 913-971-9311 Johnson County: Mission; 913-715-6900 Leavenworth County: 24967 136th St., Leavenworth; 913-727-2858 Miami County: 327th Street and Hospital Drive; 913-294-4117

Gardeners’ Gathering Climatologist Will Speak on Local and National Changes


t has been well-documented over the past 35 years that global temperatures have been rising at an alarming rate. Did you know that long-term regional temperatures and weather in Missouri and surrounding states have shown unprecedented volatility? Join the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City for the Gardeners’ Gathering with Dr. Patrick Guinan, University of Missouri Climatologist speaking on “Missouri Climate— Historical and Current Perspectives”, on Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Dr. Guinan will take a closer look at seasonal temperature and precipitation trends over the past 117 years; and share an in-depth analysis of whether the Show Me State is now experiencing heavier and more extreme precipitation. In August when all conversation encompasses the weather, learn how a group of weather enthusiasts in Missouri and 22

nationally engage in a daily precipitation program called CoCoRaHS or Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow network. This might be an engaging hobby for you as well as assist national climatologists. In a year when our spring was one month ahead of schedule, learn if 2012 is unusual or unique. Dr. Guinan will amaze you with his Missouri weather statistics as well as share information on MU Extension’s new Automated Weather Station Network that monitor several environmental variables on fiveminutes intervals. This enhanced technology system provides research and decision-making criteria for agricultural intensive processes. It’s hot, so be cool and attend this free lecture open to the public Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO. Door prizes. For further questions call Debbie Johnson at (816) 2135280.

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see

Club Meetings Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City Sat, Aug 4 and 25, 9am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Aug 12, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Greater Kansas City Gardeners of America Mon, Aug 6, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City MO. Program will be “Oh My Gourd!!” by Megan Sperry, Ozanam Horticultural Therapist. In this session we will learn about the various kinds of gourds. We will take a step by step approach to growing and preparing gourds to be made into birdhouses and other crafts. Several gourds will be on display in the various stages of preparation to become birdhouses. We will discuss care for your gourd birdhouses to make it last longer and also other projects that can be made from gourds. Guests are always welcome. Come join us and make a gardening friend! 816-941-2445; Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Aug 8, 12-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Migration of the Monarch Butterfly. Presented by Sandy Bonar. Registration required. 816-822-1515 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Sep 22, 9:30am; at Faith Lutheran Church, 4805 W 67th St, (67th & Roe) Prairie Village, KS. Hospitality and registration at 9:30am with business and program at 10am. Doug Beilstein, newly elected President of AHS and personal collector of over 1200 named hosta cultivars, will present the program. Doug is a member of the Fraternal Order of Seedy Fellows (FOofSF), and will show us what that outlaw group of hybridizers has been working on. There will be time to visit as we share a potluck

lunch, club providing Kansas City Barbecue, drinks and table service. There will be lots of door prizes, and interesting plants for sale. Guests are always welcome! Info: Call Gwen 816-228-9308 or 816-213-0598. Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Aug 18, 9am-12:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Independence Garden Club Mon, Aug 13, 6:30pm; at the Hannah home, 810 W Waldo, Independence, MO. We will tour their garden. Visitors welcome. For more information call 373-1169. Visit us at our website Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Aug 9, 7pm; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be provided. For more information about the meetings, programs, and membership details, go to Also on Facebook at Kansas City Cactus & Succulent Society Sun, Aug 19, 1-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Aug 6, 9am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Aug 11, 1:30-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Mo Kan Daylily Society Sat, Aug 25, 8am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Daylily Sale. 816784-5300 Northland Garden Club Tue, Aug 21, 7pm; at Linden Baptist Church, 611 NE 69th St, Gladstone, The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012

MO. Program: ‘Fresh Vegetable Delight’ by Marla Galetti, Sue Combellick, and Jean Jeske. Guests are welcome. For further information contact Gretchen Lathrop, 816-7814569. www.Northlandgardenclub. com Olathe Garden and Civic Club Tues, Aug 21, 12:30pm; in the Bass Pro Community room, 12051 Bass Pro Drive, Olathe, KS, 66061. Join us for an educational program giving tips and demonstrations for flower show arrangements. Betty Bonnes, Missouri Flower Show Judge, will provide this valuable information just in time for everyone to get ready for our Old Settlers’ Flower Show, Sep 6, 7, & 8, at the City Hall in downtown Olathe. The public is invited to participate in the show with plant and vegetable submissions. Ribbons are given. For additional information contact Lila at 913-764-2494, Donna at 913-829-2255, Gerry at 913-8940154, or Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Aug 13, 7pm; at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Speaker Aletha Simon: “Flowers and Stories they Tell”. Aletha Simon has been a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener since 1997. She enjoys giving talks on Art and Gardening topics. She spends the last 35 years of her nongardening time as a Docent for the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art giving tours to both adults and school groups. Her garden was featured on the 1998 Garden Tour as the “FourSeason Garden”. St Joseph Herb Gardeners Thurs, Aug 2, 6:30pm; at FCS Financial building. Herb of the YearRose. Lead by Nick Kohler and Julie Schmitt. State of officers election. President: Helen Snuffer 816-2797372

Events, Lectures & Classes August Salsa Made Easy Thurs, Aug 2, 6-8:30; at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in the Connection Cafe. Cost is $20 per session or $80 for the entire series (5 classes). Please email for registration details. Jams and Jellies Tues, Aug 7, 6-8:30; at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in the Connection Cafe. Cost is $20 per August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

session or $80 for the entire series (5 classes). Please email lrouse@ for details about registration. Cultured Foods Workshop Sat, Aug 11, 10am-noon; at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village (just a quarter mile west of the ColbernLee’s Summit Rd intersection). Rescheduled! Come explore the benefits of Cultured Foods – facilitated by Donna Schwenk, founder of Cultured Food Life. $10/Free for members. Please make reservations one week prior to workshop. Go to or call 816769-0259 to enroll. For more information, visit us on FaceBook! Freezing & Dehydration Tues, Aug 14, 6-8:30; at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in the Connection Cafe. Cost is $20 per session or $80 for the entire series (5 classes). Please email for registration details. Growing and Cooking with Herbs Thurs, Aug 16, 7pm; at Roeland Park Community Ctr, 4820 Rosewood, Roeland Park, KS. Growing herbs is not as hard as you think! Once you have the taste of fresh herbs. One 60 minute class $8 ($9 Non-Johnson County Residents). 913-826-3160 Open House On The Prairie Sat, Aug 18, 10am-1pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179 St, Overland Park, KS. Join our dedicated group of Prairie volunteers who have been working since 2002 to restore 160 acres of existing Arboretum land, south of Wolf Creek, into native prairie. See the native grasses, wildflowers in bloom, wildlife food plots, Prickly Pear Cactus Glade and prairie birds. This will be a walking tour with stops along the way to learn about each area of the developing prairie. Please dress for heat, sun, wind and unpredictable weather with boots (no open toe shoes or sandals) as the terrain is often uneven. Bottled water recommended. No accommodations for mobility challenged individuals or children will be available. Each tour group is limited to 12, so please call 913-685-3604 to reserve a time. Tours will start every twenty minutes beginning at 10am with the last group at 1pm. Adults only, please. $5 per person. Parking will be at the Prairie “Old Home Site Entrance Gate,” 0.8 miles south of 179th St. on the west side of Antioch Rd. (continued on page 24)

Does That Plant ‘Fill In Quickly’ or Is It Invasive? By Pat Miller


hen purchasing plants, sometimes you need to read between the lines. When it says it “fills in quickly,” that may be a code word for “ invasive.” Or, in the case of purple loosestrife, it may not tell you that it is actually on the Missouri noxious weed list, and legally requires control. And rightly so, as it multiplies quickly, especially in wetlands, and crowds out desirable plants. Perilla mint is a beautiful annual but it is also highly toxic to livestock. Although it is an annual, it reseeds profusely. So if planted in the vicinity of pastures, it could become a serious problem. And you have to consider that plant seeds can be spread by wind, water or animals. Thankfully, like many toxic plants, animals usually avoid it unless a lack of forage forces them to eat it. Vinca, especially Vinca major, can be invasive. Or it can be an aggressive groundcover that crowds out weeds, all depends on your perspective. I use vinca under established trees and large expanses under my deck and herd it back into place with herbicide. It reduces my need for weeding and mulch so for me it is merely “aggressive.” Showy evening primrose with its pale pink flowers grows sporadically along rocky roadsides and wildflower plantings in dry areas. But plant it in a fertile, well-watered flower bed and you’d better look out. It can take over. Lily-turf can vary in its aggressiveness depending upon species. Creeping lily-turf (Liriope spicata) is aggressive but varigated lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’) and blue lily-turf (Liriope muscari) are clump-forming and thus much tamer. So it pays to do a little

Vinca major

Liriope muscari research, ask some questions and check with other gardeners before purchasing plants. For more information, check out Flowering Perennials: Characteristics and Culture (G6650) at http://extension., Selected Ground Covers for Missouri (G6835) at and Noxious Weeds of Missouri (IPM1014) at http://extension.missouri. edu/explorepdf/agguides/pests/ ipm1014.pdf . Pat Miller is Agronomy Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. 23

Hotlines for Gardeners Extension Master Gardeners are ready to answer your gardening questions. DOUGLAS COUNTY

785-843-7058;; Mon-Fri, 1-4pm


816-833-8733 (TREE); Mon-Fri, 9am to 3pm


913-715-7050; Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm;


660-747-3193; Wed, 9am-noon


913-364-5700; Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm


913-294-4306; Mon-Fri, 9am-noon


816-270-2141; Wed, 1-4pm


913-299-9300; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9am-noon and 1-4pm

August Weather Report

Highs and Lows Avg temp 78° Avg high temp 87° Avg low temp 69° Highest recorded temp 113° Lowest recorded temp 46° Nbr of above 70° days 31

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 13 Avg nbr of cloudy days 8

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0 Avg rainfall 3.9” Avg nbr of rainy days 9 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases Full Moon: Aug. 1 Last Quarter: Aug. 9 New Moon: Aug. 17 First Quarter: Aug. 24 Full Moon: Aug. 31 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac


Plant Above Ground Crops: 21-24, 27, 28, 31

Plant Root Crops: 1, 4, 5, 9

Control Plant Pests: 11-13, 16, 17

Transplant: 27, 28, 31

Plant Flowers: 21-24

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see

(continued from page 23)

Follow signs at gate entrance. You may register for this tour by going to and follow the prompts. 913-685-3604. Landscape Design & Maintenance (AGBS 106) Aug 21-Oct 12, Tues/Thurs 5:458:30pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview Campus, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. The practical emphasis is on information relevant to our region, including site assessment and scale drawing of plans using a blend of regionally appropriate ornamentals, edibles, and native landscaping. Many handouts and a field trip supplement our great book. Instructor: Leah Berg. This 8 week class meets two nights a week at the Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus and may be taken for 3 college credit hours or audited for personal interest. For more information, call 816-604-2364  or e-mail Pam. Fees apply based on residency. Gardeners’ Gathering – “Missouri Climate-Historical and Current Perspectives” Tues, Aug 21, 6:30pm, at Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Lecture. Global temperatures over the past 35 years have been increasing at an alarming rate, but long-term regional temperatures indicate a different scenario in Missouri and surrounding states. This event is free and open to the public. Door prizes. For further information call 816213-5280. Irrigation & Installation (AGBS 145) Aug 22-Oct 10, Mon/Wed 6:309pm; at Metropolitan Community College-Longview Campus, 500 SW Longview Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO. Learn the design, operations, and efficient maintenance of irrigation systems from a professional local expert. Study water requirements, supply and distribution. This 8 week class meets two nights a week at the Metropolitan Community CollegeLongview campus and earns 3 college credit hours in the Grounds

and Turf Management program, or may be taken for personal interest. Instructor: John Barrera. For more information, call 816-604-2364 or e-mail Fees apply based on residency. New Volunteer Orientation Sat, Aug 25, 9-11am; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179 St, Overland Park, KS. Consider spending part of your leisure time volunteering at Overland Park’s 300-acre Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This hidden jewel at 179th and Antioch is a great place for people to get back in touch with nature, admire the beauty of numerous flower and water gardens and become part of a wonderful volunteer experience. You can find out about volunteer opportunities such as gardening, greeters, prairie restoration, greenhouse operations, weddings, photography, birds, special events and plant sales. Free - only requirement is 30 hours per year of volunteer time. You may register by going to and follow the prompts or by calling 913-6853604 or by emailing Tomato Workshop Sat, Aug 25, 10-11am; at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village (just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection). Today we honor the beautiful and colorful TOMATO – all heirloom varieties should be in abundant supply! Lou Elder will facilitate a FREE workshop on Seed Saving. Please make reservations one week prior to workshop. Go to or call 816-769-0259 to enroll. Gardening 102 Class- Weather, Soil, Lawns, Trees, Houseplants, and Pests Sat, Aug 25, 9am-12pm; at Dreher Building, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS. Learn basic gardening taught by Douglas County Master Gardeners. $10 per person, advanced registration required. For further information and registration, please call 785-843-7058 or stop in the Extension Office at 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, KS.

The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012

September Pesto Workshop Sat, Sep 1, 10-11am; at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village (just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection). Get creative with PESTO. It’s not just for Basil anymore. $10/Free for members. Please make reservations one week prior to workshop. Go to or call 816-769-0259 to enroll. Scotland Workshop Sat, Sep 1, 10-11am; at our historic Apple Barn, 150B NW Colbern Rd at Unity Village (just a quarter mile west of the Colbern-Lee’s Summit Rd intersection). The magical Findhorn Gardens draw many to its mystical and sandy shores. Member Linda Chubbuck shares insights from her recent trip to Scotland. $10/Free to members. Please make reservations one week prior to workshop. Go to or call 816769-0259 to enroll. Lawn Renovation Seminar Sat, Sep 8; at Springtime Garden Center, 1601 NE Tudor Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. Learn start to finish how to rid your lawn of

weeds, unsightly brown spots and bare patches and make your lawn the green lush carpet you’ve always wanted. We go over seeding, fertilizing and watering, aerating, verticutting, winterizer and more. FREE. Call ahead for details and to reserve your spot. 816-525-4226 Plant Usage in Landscape Design Wed, Sep 19, 7-9pm; at Raytown South Middle School, room 104. Explore the use of ornamental plants in planned landscapes, and examine their roles in functional and aesthetic design. Well-chosen plants enhance the environment and property values. Maximize your site’s potential by minimizing impulse shopping! Instructor: Leah Berg. Fee: $12. Call Raytown Community Education to enroll 816-268-7037.

SAVE THE DATE The Kansas City Rose Society Event:

“Jazz in the Garden” Sunday, September 9 The Kansas City Rose Society presents the 3rd annual “Jazz in the Roses” Sunday, September 9 4:30-6:30 at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Loose Park. Bring a picnic and come listen to the cool tunes of Kansas City’s very own legendary saxophone player, Mike White and the Mike White Quartet. Free and open to the public For more information, please see:

Begonia Show and Sale Sep 28-29; at Loose Park Garden Center Building, Kansas City, MO. Mid America Begonia Society annual show and sale is being held in conjunction with the Heart of America Gesneriad Society. Friday, sales only, open noon to 4pm. Saturday show and sale open 9am to 4pm. Contact Linda 913-231-1020 or Brent 816721-2274.

Tobacco Budworm Helicoverpa virescens

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Above: Tobacco budworm

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Below: Damage done by a Tobacco budworm

The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208

Submitted by Mary Roduner, Children’s Gardening Coordinator, Kansas City Community Gardens.

E-Mail: Deadline for September issue is August 5. August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

obacco Budworms are in the cutworm family. They feed on petunias and zonal geraniums. Larvae feed by tunneling through flower buds and growth tips at branch ends. There are many generations each summer in Kansas City with all ages of larvae present on the plant. Budworms overwinter as a pupa in the soil. Adults are nondescript moths. The best control is Bt liquid with spreader/ sticker sprayed at the recommended rate every 7days all summer. Spray the tops and undersides of leaves and well inside the mass of petunia leaves. Using a spray is best because it will get into smaller areas than a dust.

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The Bird Brain

Water! Water! Water! when it’s Hot! Hot! Hot! for bathing most at molting time, in August and September. The easiest way to offer water is in a birdbath. The bowl should not be deeper than 2?” and have gently sloping sides. If your existing bath is deeper, just add some flat rocks to give the birds a perching area. Birds don’t bathe like we humans do; they prefer to wade into shallow water and splash the water onto their bodies. After bathing and getting thoroughly soaked the bird will fly to a safe perch to preen (clean). Be sure to keep the water fresh and clean, placing the bath near the garden hose makes this an easy job. If algae build-up is a problem in the hot weather, clean the birdbath with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution or one part bleach to ten parts water. Use only a nylon brush for cleaning (never metal). Then rinse, rinse, and rinse again. Add

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ater can be the cheapest and most effective way to attract birds to your

backyard. Any water is an improvement over a dry backyard. Birds need water for two reasons: bathing and drinking. It helps a bird’s body to cool both from the inside and outside. A bath also helps to remove dust, parasites, loose feathers and other debris from their bodies. Birds will use the water about three times as often for drinking as for bathing. There seems to be a need

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fresh water to the clean bath and a capful of a commercially available enzyme that prevents stains, algae, mineral deposits and organic contaminates. The enzyme is safe for birds, pets and wildlife. A fun project to try is to freeze a large container of water – remove the “ice cube” from the container and place it in the birdbath. Your birds will love this cool summer “cocktail”. Birds cannot resist moving water. Add a dripper or a water wiggler to the water and watch the action. Drippers and wigglers constantly move the water and birds will hardly be able to resist. Drippers and wigglers also solve the problem of mosquitoes laying eggs as this is not possible in moving water. (No pesticides)

Doc and Diane Gover own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kan. Contact them at 913-491-4887.

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It’s entertaining to watch the various approaches that different species take to bathing. Wrens, titmice and chickadees are in and out quickly. Cardinals prefer to bathe alone. Robins will splash around wildly. Others will only take a sip and not immerse. It is fun to observe and a wonderful feeling to know that you are really helping your feathered friends. If you have questions, come see us. Our staff of Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you.

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Webworms are bad on honeylocust this year. We are also seeing big populations of scale on magnolia. Call us for your insect and disease control needs. The Kansas City Gardener / August 2012



he August meeting of the Johnson County Rose Society will be an evening of relaxing and enjoying the beauty of roses around the world and in our own back yards. Everyone is invited to bring pictures of their favorite rose gardenswhether these are in your own back yard or somewhere you have visited here in the US or abroad. Those wishing to will be able to share their thoughts about the gardens and how they have been inspired by their beauty. To round out the evening, Bud Smith will amaze you with his collection of photos from great rose gardens around the world. It will make you want to pack your bags! The meeting will be held Thursday, August 9, at 7:00 pm

at the Prairie Village Community Center, 7720 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS. Members and guests are welcome to take advantage of the “Consulting Rosarian’s Corner” during the meeting for a free individual consultation with a Consulting Rosarian about specific questions or concerns regarding all aspects of rose growing and care. All JCRS meetings are free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be provided. For more information about the meetings, programs, and other activities of the JCRS, or for membership details, please visit their website at http:/www. You can also visit them on Facebook at

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GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

For convenient mail delivery, complete the form below and send with your check for $20.00. You will receive a one-year subscription to The Kansas City Gardener. Name: Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E-mail: Where did you pick up The Kansas City Gardener? Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

August 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Professional’s Corner

Meet Tate Foster, with Hix and Son Aquatics, who has worked 22 years in the water garden and pond industry. Name: Tate M. Foster Company: Hix and Son Aquatics Job Title and Description: Partner – Water feature installer/ designer/repair person and upgrades. If it has water – I take care of it! Length of service with company and industry: Built my first pond at age 12. I’ve worked 22 years in the industry and 10 years as a company. Education and Experience: School of Hard Knocks – Ph.D. I’ve learned everything I know from doing it wrong the first time. Thankfully most of that happened before the company was established. I have participated in many workshops and seminars to enhance my pond/fish and equipment knowledge over the years. What’s your favorite part of your job: I am fortunate to have the opportunity, on a daily basis, to change the face of this earth as I see it. I try to recreate what I find in nature. Building waterfalls is just like figuring out a jigsaw puzzle, finding the right combination of stones and making them fit to guide the water the way I envision is the most intriguing part of my job, I mean my passion. Watching the expression on my client’s face the moment I turn their new water feature on is such an incredible feeling and makes every project a rewarding experience. Without a doubt, hands down, I love what I do. Favorite plant and why: I absolutely love water lilies! There are so many varieties it is hard to pick a favorite but, if I had to, it would be the tropical. From their distinctive variegated pads to how vibrant and fragrant their blooms can be, these lilies are truly awesome. Because they can bloom at night makes them my favorite. What every homeowner should know: Here are two tips that I share about ponds and water gardens – Always build it bigger! and Algae are inevitable. Non-green industry interests: I am very mechanically inclined and love to tinker with the way things operate, their functions and how I might improve on them. Oftentimes you can find me in my shop fabricating some new device or part to make my life a little easier. Contact information: Tate Foster, Hix and Son Aquatics; 913481-5415;; tate@hixandsonaquatics. com. 27


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