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The Kansas City

GARDENER A M o n thly Guide t o Suc ce ssful G arde n ing

October 2012

Compliments on Complements

The Green Menace is Here Drought Impact on Butterflies Patrick’s Picks: Underused Foundation Shrubs Ask the Experts about burnt yews, rose rosette and more

Living and Loving The Water Garden Lifestyle...

It’s Not Just Something You Have In Your Backyard, It’s About A Way Of Life! There Truly Is Something Magical In The Healing Waters Of A Water Garden In Your Own Backyard Sanctuary


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 18 years now. Over those 18 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 you do the same by creating beautiful water gardens in your backyard.

Although our ponds appear as though anyone could duplicate them, nothing could be further from the truth.

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 how we use water to bring balance into our lives, our gardens and areas surrounding our home. Irrespective of the size of your backyard we can create that perfect balance with nature bringing you a lush and healthy water garden that both soothes and inspires you at the same time. 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 today to visit Swan’s Water Gardens in 2012.

You’ll see water features you can build for as little as $2,500 for small patios or courtyard water gardens up to $40,000 for more elaborate features all built by Swan’s Water Gardens. With so many different water gardens to see here, there is surely one that will fit perfectly in your backyard or maybe even in your front yard. For the do-it-yourselfer, we carry everything you need to build your water garden. 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 Spring Hill, KS 913-592-2143

Act Now... Call Us Today and Start Living In Paradise Right In Your Very Own Backyard!

The Kansas City

editor’s notes

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

Books and Blooms

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Editorial Assistant Lauren Cavanaugh Contributors Charles Anctil Leah Berg Erin Busenhart Rusty Denes Clarke Fry Diane & Doc Gover Lenora Larson Patrick Muir Dennis Patton Diane Swan Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

P.O. Box 8725 Prairie Village, KS 66208 Phone/Fax: 913-648-4728


hile introducing our new dog to a friend recently, she’d asked if I’d read “The Art of Racing in the Rain” authored by Garth Stein. Apparently it’s a must-read especially for dog lovers. I had not heard of the book, and told her it would be next on my reading list. Now for those of you who don’t follow my musings regularly, Murphy, our last dog, suddenly passed away about two years ago. Through his life we affectionately called him Last Dog because that was our intention ... to not have many responsibilities once he was gone, to be untethered when our youngest child graduated from high school. Suffice to say, the shortterm family urge for another dog was stronger than the parents’ longterm goals for freedom. More about the new dog, Maggie another day – but I digress. Curious about the book, I started my search. Never leaving my desk, technology makes it easy to have an electronic version downloaded onto my iPad or I could have ordered the paper-and-ink version and have it shipped to my

For advertising information contact Michael Cavanaugh at Submit editorial questions to Elizabeth Cavanaugh at

Become a fan. Post a picture. Ask a question. Give advice. Join us!

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

door. Both are just a few clicks away. If the weather was nice and I felt like driving to the book store, I could make a purchase there, or I could borrow a copy from the library. My preference is to feel the pages between my fingers, so I opted for the library copy. Let me just say – I love the library! Like the garden, I love the scenery, the smells and the sounds. Books organized and lined up on the shelves is as reassuring as tulip bulbs planted in fall. Both offer the promise of future pleasure. The scent of books, especially old ones, is unique and memorable, similar to the haunting fragrance of lilac. And when I walk into the library and hear .... wait for it .... whispers, at most, it reminds me of quiet sunset evenings in the garden. Do you do that? Do you compare your favorite things to garden-

ing? In my mind, nothing compares to being in the garden. The clean smell of the garden after a rain shower. The red and gold hues of fall. The certainty of another bloom in another season. The garden is my earthly respite. It’s the place where I make no apologies for dirty fingernails, muddy knees and a few weeds. It’s mine. It’s what I make of it, whether it’s designer approved or not. I’m happy and the birds are happy, so what more could I want? Maybe a dog that instinctively knew not to trample the garden..... More about the dog and the book later. I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue October 2012 • Vol. 17 No. 10 Ask the Experts ......................... 4 Water Gardens Flourish ............. 6 Local Orchid Society Show ........ 8 Fall Color in a Pot ..................... 10 The Bird Brain .......................... 11 Green Menace is Here .............. 12 Compliments on Complements .... 14 Lilypalooza .............................. 16 Rose Report .............................. 17

Patrick’s Picks: Underused Foundation Shrubs .................. 18 Impact on Butterflies ................ 20 Garden Calendar ..................... 21 Upcoming Events ...................... 22 Powell Garden Events ............... 24 Hotlines .................................. 25 Subscribe ................................ 27 Professional’s Corner ................. 27


about the cover ...

This combination planting gets compliments for the way colors and textures complement each other. Learn more about complementary plantings beginning on page 14.

18 3

Ask the Experts! questions from our readers

Dennis Patton PURPLE LEAF BIRCH Question: I have been looking at planting a specimen tree and someone recommended a purple leaf birch. They said it had attractive purple foliage. Do you know anything about this tree? Answer: Finding a good, long lasting purple leaf tree in our climate is no easy task. There are several varieties of purple leaf birch on the market. The variety I am familiar with is ‘Royal Frost.’ This tree from the description has impressive burgundy foliage all season long and contrasting bright white

bark. Of course when they write the descriptions they sometimes take a few liberties. This tree is in the group of white birches that have a difficult time handling our extremes in weather and oftentimes they become stressed and are attacked by borers. I would only recommend you plant this tree under several conditions. It must be babied its entire life. That means no droughts, so keep evenly moist but not wet, and provide a protection from hot afternoon sun and wind. If you meet these requirements then I think you should have success. Also do not think of this as a “forever tree.” If it lasts 10 to 20 years you will be doing well. I recently saw a group growing in Fairway. They have not been watered this summer and the

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The yews along the front of my house burnt up this summer. Should I prune off the damage or leave it alone? trees were half dead from a combination of heat and borers. Just realize that if you plant this tree it will need your tender loving care for life. BURNT YEWS Question: Help! The yews along the front of my house burnt up this summer. The tops are all brown. Should I prune off the damage or leave it alone? Answer: I am going to recommend that for the time being you just leave them alone. I know it looks bad but cutting out could result in more damage. My advice is to leave it alone and over time the damaged needles will drop. Then next spring or maybe even this fall new growth will start to appear. By waiting for the new

growth we then know exactly where to make the cut to remove the heat and stressed dead tissue. Since evergreens do not regenerate new growth easily we do not want to over prune and open up a hole which may take years to repair. So just be patient. Also use this as a learning tool. The yews with the most damage that I have seen are in full sun, tightly sheared and not watered enough. Yews given their preference in finding a home would prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. We have pushed this plant to be a full sun lover when in truth it is not. ROSE ROSETTE Question: I was at a local nursery and overheard a conversation about rose rosette, the dis-

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ease that has been found on roses. The owner of the garden center was telling a client that Extension has been recommending removing the plants. She went on to say that removal is not necessary, just prune out the infected canes and the plant will be fine. So who is right? Answer: You must realize you are asking an Extension source so of course I am going to say I am right! Here is the scoop. Rose rosette is a viral disease, which means the pathogen is within the cell structure of the plant. It moves in the sap of the plant so is transported throughout the plant. I have heard others say just prune it out, but I would counter that you are playing with fire. The virus is still present, pruning may mask the symptoms. Even while they are masked the infected bushes’ sap can be transmitted to healthy plants to spread the disease. Remember the disease is spread through sap movement by insects and pruning equipment. I guess the question is do you want to take a chance of infecting other roses in your yard, or for that matter the neighborhood? So removal is the only safe method of control. Pruning out the damage is kind of like being sort of pregnant, either you are or you aren’t. The same is true for your rose, either it has rose rosette or it doesn’t. PENNISETUM ‘VERTIGO’ Question: This summer in your demonstration garden at your office building I saw a large dark purple grass. I have also seen some planted in commercial landscapes. I think I was told the variety is ‘Vertigo.’ Do you have any information on this plant? Answer: Your information is correct. This grass is a Pennisetum and the variety is ‘Vertigo.’ It has

been on the market for a couple of years and is gaining in popularity. ‘Vertigo’ is an annual grass, which means it will die over the winter. It is one very fast grower. A small quart or gallon size pot planted in the spring will easily reach 3 to four 4 feet in height with equal spread. It will tolerate full sun and is somewhat drought tolerant. Like any annual it will grow best with even moisture. The plant is so large and coarsely textured so be sure to provide it plenty of space in the garden. It makes a great background plant or as a specimen to draw attention. Look for it this coming spring at local garden centers, and since it is a warm loving grass it will not look anything like it does in the garden center in a pot. Yes, that wispy little plant will turn into a massive clump of grass in summer that will add a splash of color. Who needs flowers when you have this dark purple, almost black foliage? EMERALD ASH BORER Question: Now that Emerald Ash Borer has been found in the area do I need to start treating my tree? Answer: That question is not easy to answer. I will give one of my classic answers, “well it all depends.” Deciding to treat an ash tree against EAB is a well thought out decision. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself about making the decision. 1. Has EAB been found within 15 miles of your home? Based on other states that have been dealing with this issue for years their recommendation is to wait until it gets close, just not in the area. 2. Are you willing to treat forever? Currently EAB treatment applied by a commercial operator needs to be done every two

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October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

years. So it is not a one-and-done but reoccurring application. Cost for treatment is probably somewhere between $150 to over $200 which is dependent entirely upon tree size. 3. Is your tree in good condition? Many local ash trees have poor structure, decay or other problems. Only specimens in good condition should be considered for treatment. 4. Can I do it myself? Do-ityourself treatments are only recommended for young trees, less than 6 inches in trunk diameter. Homeowner treatments must be done every year. Trees over 6 inches in diameter are best left to the professionals. These are just a few questions to ask. At this time I would say

not to panic. We are now working under a new set of norms when dealing with EAB since its local arrival. Yes, it is sad to think about losing potentially hundreds of thousands of ash trees. But also, when will we learn not to over-plant one species? This happens over and over, first it was the American elm over-planted and along came Dutch Elm Disease, then we over-planted ash and along came Emerald Ash Borer. Now we are over-planting red maple so what will be next? 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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Water Gardens Flourish

Summer review and fall maintenance tips

Diane Swan


ot and dry…the best words to describe this summer. Record-setting heat and drought conditions made it nearly impossible to keep up with watering the landscape. It was sad to see the landscape plants you invested in whither and die. But amongst all the dryness and dying, there was the bright spot of the water garden…water splashing from waterfalls, rushing down the stream and crashing in the pond. Aquatic plants were happily green and blooming!

The water lilies, both tropical and hardy, soaked up the sun and heat and rewarded us with beautiful multiple blooms. This was the first year I had seven blooms on one yellow hardy lily all blooming at the same time. The tropical lilies have repeatedly shot up bloom after bloom, each trying to reach higher to the sky. Large blooms of hot pinks, blues, and purples spotted the water. The fish huddled around the aerator during the heat of the day but didn’t hesitate to still come up and eagerly greet you for feeding time. Yes, in the heat of the summer, the water garden made it seem not so hot and dry. But now the rains are finally coming to green up our landscapes once more. The temperature is slowly cooling down. It’s time to start thinking of Fall and preparing

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for the eventual Winter Wonderland to follow. Lotus are usually the first to die back. Trim off the dead leaves and when they are finished, lower the Lotus into the bottom of your pond to winter over. With the cooling temperatures and shorter days you will see more and more yellowing leaves, especially on the hardy lilies. This is normal so just trim them off as short as you can until there are no more.

• • • • • •

Tropical lilies will actually keep blooming later into the Fall than your hardy lilies. During a mild Fall they have bloomed into November. If you want to save your tropical lily bulbs, it is best to let them die off naturally in the pond, lift them out and dry off. Remove leaves, roots and dirt, and store in a closed container in damp sand in a cool, dark spot in the basement until Spring. Remove your tropical marginal plants before the first frost if you

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The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

want to save them as house plants during the winter. A little sun and wet feet usually gets them through nicely. If you don’t want your tropical marginals, let them die off and then discard as an annual. Hardy marginals in the pond and stream can be trimmed down to about 1-2” and left in the pond. Floaters, such as water lettuce and water hyacinth need to be discarded. They are almost impossible to winter over indoors. Leaf Nets Because of the drought, our landscape trees are dropping their leaves earlier than normal. (Hopefully these last rains will encourage them to hang on longer.) Leaf nets come in various sizes for streams and ponds. They are a great way to keep the leaves out of your pond’s water. They might not look the best during this period of time but will save you a lot of time trying to keep the leaves out of the pond. Leaves in the bottom of the pond will start decaying and giving off gases that if trapped under the ice of winter could kill your fish.

Aerators Aerators are great for year round use. They add oxygen to the bottom layers of your pond and in the winter will leave an airhole so gases can escape. If you have fish and no aerator, you may want to use a floating de-icer in your pond to leave an airhole. It is usually gases trapped under the ice, not lack of oxygen that results in winter fish kill. Last but not least, most of your summer products for keeping clear water and string algae away will not work in water temperatures less than 50 degrees. ML Autumn/ Winter Prep is a great product, as it is a cold-water bacteria so it will help maintain your bacteria levels and your pond healthier during the winter. It is an easy once a month for three month application. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of your own personal Winter Wonderland and wait for Spring! Kevin and Diane Swan own Swan’s Water Gardens, a full service water garden center. You may contact them at 913-592-2143

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SPEAKERS’ BUREAU Need a speaker for your church, civic group or garden club? The Johnson County Extension Speakers’ Bureau have the speakers you are looking for on just about any topic like environmentally safe lawn care, or perennial flower gardening. We can adapt to meet your group’s needs, from a short 20-minute presentation to a longer format, if needed. While there are no fees for a volunteer speaker, a donation to Extension or the chosen volunteer organization is appreciated. To schedule a speaker for your group, please contact the office. For more information on this service, call 913-715-7000.

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Photo by Ron Parsons.

Photo by Wolfgang Bandische.

hen Charles Darwin wrote of “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful” in the closing to his Origin of Species, he likely had orchids in mind. In fact, he wrote Fertilisation of Orchids shortly afterward to document their evolution to attract specific pollinators. Orchids’ “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful” will be on display as the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City (OSGKC) hosts the Haunting Beauty Orchid Expo and Sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 19677 East Jackson Drive, Independence. The show will be open to the public. Admission will be $6. Hundreds of orchids in bloom will be exhibited by the society, individual hobbyists, as well as other regional societies and vendors from as far away as California

Photo by Wolfgang Bandische.


Local Orchid Society To Host Regional Show

Dr. Ed de Vogel admiring a jungle-collected specimen of Bulbophyllum macrourum and Connecticut offering hundreds more orchids for sale. The show will be judged by American Orchid Society accredited judges. The Haunting Beauty Orchid Expo also will provide the venue for the fall meeting of the MidAmerica Orchid Congress (MAOC), a regional organization of which OSGKC is an affiliated society. They share the objectives of pro-


Uniquely Yours

Closeup of the flowers of Bulbophyllum macrourum moting the enjoyment, cultivation, study, and conservation of orchids. Orchid enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada will attend. Such MAOC meetings feature speakers on any of the vast range of topics orchids encompass. Attending the lecture program requires payment of an additional registration fee. The keynote speaker for this meeting will be Ed de Vogel, Ph.D., of the National Herbarium of the Netherlands. His work exploring and documenting the orchid flora of New Guinea, one of the richest orchid environments in the world, gained wide recognition with the discovery in 2011 of Bulbophyllum nocturnum, so named because its blooms open at night and wither by morning. The International Institute for Species Exploration named Bulbophyllum nocturnum to its 2012 Top 10 list of new species. Dr. de Vogel’s keynote topic will be Bulbophyllums of New Guinea scheduled for 2 p.m., Oct. 27. He will be followed at 3 p.m. by Dr. Mary Gerritsen, co-author with

Masdevallia caudatum Ron Parsons of Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World, addressing the topic, “Masdevallias: Selected Species and How to Grow Them.” She is currently finishing a third book, Miniature Orchid Species, also co-authored with Ron Parsons, scheduled for publication late this year. Dr. de Vogel will give an additional talk at 11 a.m., Oct. 28. Tom Mirenda, orchid collection specialist for the Smithsonian Institution and regular columnist for Orchids magazine, the journal of the American Orchid Society, will be the main attraction for the banquet Saturday evening, speaking on “Orchid Travels in Costa Rica.” More information, including online registration using PayPal or downloadable registration forms, show rules, plant and exhibit entry details, may be found at

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Fall Color in a Pot ‘Magazine cover cool’ with minimal maintenance

Erin Busenhart


f you’re like me it’s time to yank the old and start anew! But what to do? Pansies don’t give the impact that our larger entryway demands and there is no mum in the world that will keep blooming from now until the Thanksgiving company arrives. Help! Here’s my suggestion for putting together a fabulous and longlasting fall container creation; step outside the box and check out the shrubs, perennials, grasses and ground covers. Incorporating shrubs, especially those with awesome fall color, adds chunky color

and texture that will look great for months. “Magazine cover cool” with minimal maintenance! And the best part? All of your plants can be replanted into your landscape – a great way to share the financial burden of replacing the things that bit the dust this summer. I know I have a few empty spots! And once you’ve got the bones of your container configured then go ahead and add your mum – mums are great; they’re the most popular fall flower! But that way, when the mum fades out in a few weeks, you can pop it out and pop another back in without having to completely rehab the whole container. And don’t forget the easiest finishing touch – pumpkins and gourds. Pumpkins and gourds add a great pop of color that won’t fall out of bloom! Pile up smaller ones to soften edges or stack a couple big daddies for an easy center focal point.

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Consider using shrubs, perennials, grasses and ground covers for fabulous fall containers. I could walk through the nursery everyday and everyday pick different plants that catch my eye, but there are some old standbys that I use again and again. Oakleaf Hydrangeas: Large toasty blooms and big, blocky leaves that turn from green to deep maroon. Sweetspire: Glossy green foliage that turns bright red in fall. Barberry: Yes, I know they’re painful to touch, but new varieties of plum purples, chartreuse yellow and coral oranges are fantastic in pots. Heuchera: Try deep blackberry purple ‘Obsidian’ or copper orange ‘Sweet Tea’. Liriope: Great grassy texture with purple fall blooms. Have some in your yard? Easily divide it to use in containers. Sedum: Upright Sedums are great height with pinkish blooms turning to toasty brown. Trailing Sedums

drip over edges in chartreuse yellow, green or blue. Euonymous: An old landscape shrub looks funky and fresh in pots. Love this look! Also great in containers are Artemesia, Russian Sage, Dianthus, Crape Myrtle, Ornamental Grasses, Creeping Jenny and Algerian Ivy. Feeling lucky? You can try leaving the plants to overwinter in containers – it depends on the plant, the amount of insulation the pot provides, and the winter (no problem with a repeat of last year) to how successful it will be. But, don’t worry, as long as you can dig a hole in the ground you can plant, so there’s no need to rush to get everything planted. 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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The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

The Bird Brain

answers your backyard birding questions

Doc & Diane Gover Why should I feed my backyard birds in the fall? As cooler temperatures arrive and daylight hours diminish it is a perfect time to prepare your birdfeeding stations for the harsh weather that is soon to follow. It is much easier to clean and rearrange feeding stations now than when it is freezing cold and snowing. Usually this time of year our feathered friends are enjoying Mother Nature’s bounty; but as we have all experienced the drought of 2012 we are unsure of what she

will offer in the way of natural seeds and berries for wildlife. What you are doing now in your backyard lets the birds know that you enjoy having them around and invites them to come back when they are not able to find a natural food source. Remember, people who don’t start feeding until the severe weather arrives may be missing out. Fall is the season to be sure to feed whether we’ve experienced harsh weather conditions or not. The birds may not be at your feeders every waking hour; however the birds that do visit are scouting as they need to be ready when cold weather arrives. They only survive winter’s frigid nights on what they can consume during the day. Cold temperatures will dramatically increase a bird’s calorie requirements, right at the moment

that food becomes harder to get. Insects will not be as active, snow will be covering seeds and ice seals away wild fruits. So they need to be ready. That is why they are scouting “food patches” ahead of time and taking inventory. It’s great to be included in their inventories. If the birds discover

that your yard is worth visiting, they will remember, and show up just before that first storm hits (birds are like barometers). If you wait until harsh weather arrives, the birds may not realize what you have to offer. In these conditions they cannot afford the luxury of exploring. So begin offering provisions now. The birds will be glad you did, and you will too, as you are enjoying the show right in your own backyard. Stop by to see us if you have any questions; our Certified Birdfeeding Specialists will be glad to help you. Our Mission is to Bring People and Nature Together. 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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October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener


THE GREEN MENACE IS HERE! Connecticut, Platte county Missouri and Wyandotte county Kansas.

Rusty Denes What does it mean? The Emerald Ash Borer, EAB (Agrilus planipennis Fairmare) is a beetle from Asia and was recently found in the greater Kansas City area. The EAB was first discovered in the United States in southeastern Michigan in 2002. The EAB is metallic green in color about 1/8” wide and 1/2” long. The EAB has been found in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, SE Missouri (in 2008), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec in Canada. In July and August there are new confirmations in

The EAB is called the green menace because: • It attacks both stressed and healthy trees. • Infected trees may die in one or two years. • Infected trees become structurally unsafe in a short amount of time. • Even though it flies relatively short distances, it has caused the death and/or destruction of millions of ash trees since 2002. • Travels in firewood, nursery stock and wood products. • Quarantine ash wood, products and nursery stock in counties with infested trees causes millions of dollars in losses. Symptoms of a possible EAB infestation: • Crown thinning and decline • Epicormic or water sprouts on trunk or roots


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EAB, the green menace • D-shaped exit holes 1/8” in diameter • Serpentine galleries • Woodpecker damage • Purple sticky traps are used to evaluate population levels. Missouri has quarantined Platte and Clay counties and Kansas installed a quarantine in Wyandotte county. What does that mean? • No movement of hardwood firewood in or out of the counties • Ash wood needs be processed in approved manner • Ash chips need to be of specific size or treated in an approved manner • No ash tree nursery stock can be transported in or out In Missouri to move ash wood or wood products, people and companies need a compliance agreement from MDA (Missouri Department of Agriculture), and PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine) is needed BEFORE any industry harvests ash in, receive ash from, or move wood through a quarantine area. To obtain a compliance agreement contact Mike Brown, USDA APHIS PPQ, at 573-893-6833. Once this agreement has been obtained, regulated articles may then be moved

exit holes by following the guidelines spelled out in the compliance agreement. If left unchecked the EAB will devastate the ash population. Does this mean we need to cut down every ash tree? Chemical treatments have proven to be effective, but does that mean every tree needs to be treated? What should you do? 1. Inventory your trees to identify if you have ash trees. Evaluate the health, size and condition of trees. 2. No chemical treatment is recommended if you are not within 15 miles of an infestation.

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The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

ment should not be used and the tree should be removed. 7. If the tree has some EAB infestation, chemical treatments may work, but again the treatment is a long term procedure. 8. There are some biological controls that are a long term solution that are being studied. 9. If you suspect EAB infestation, you should contact your Kansas or Missouri Department of Agriculture, conservation department, forest service or consult with a certified arborist. 10. Don’t become a victim of a scam artist! Make sure you are getting the proper evaluation and treatment for your trees. 11. Be careful of look alike insects. (One of my client’s had a Green June Bug.)

Purple sticky traps are used to evaluate population levels.

water sprouts on the trunk 3. Chemical treatment should be used as a long term program. Trees would generally need to be injected or treated with bark penetrating chemicals. This is a yearly treatment and should be planned for a 20-30 year period. 4. Chemical treatment may be used as part of a bridge program. Planting of replacement trees and treating the ash trees until the replacement trees reach adequate size. 5. If the trees are small or in decline, removal and replacement maybe the best strategy. 6. If the trees have less than 50% of the canopy chemical treat-

Resources: emeraldashborer/ plant_health/plant_pest_info/emerald_ash_b/background.shtml prgrams/health/eab/shtml http://www.emeraldashborer. info http://www.dontmovefirewood. org/ Emerald_ash_borer Missouri Hotline: 866.716.9974 Kansas Department of Agriculture: 785.862.2180 Rusty Denes of Denes & Co. (816753-TREE) is an arborist certified by the ISA & KS Arborist Assn. He consults and teaches classes on safety, pest management, and arboriculture topics. His degree in horticulture is from K-State.

Backyard Composting Monday, October 22 7–9 p.m.


ackyard composting is a great way to divert leaves and grass clippings from the local landfill. Composting is really pretty simple once the basics are understood and applied. This class will provide all the dirty little secrets so that you can compost with speed for a wonderful finished product. Be sure and plan to attend this session so you are prepared for the new solid waste regulations. Advance registration for this FREE class is required. To register online go to or call (913) 715-7000. Instructor: Dennis Patton, County Extension Agent, Horticulture Location: 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe, KS 66061, Room 1055

For help with reseeding, call Tobin Lawn & Landscape at 816-765-5565 or Sonshine Lawn & Landscaping at 816-525-7111

Regular applications of Earth Right Super Stuff® conditions soil and increases drainage. Be sure to apply Super Stuff® two weeks before reseeding or seeding new lawns. Use 2 weeks prior to transplanting & digging will be easier. Earth Right Super Stuff® improves drainage and nutrient absorption. AFTER THIS HOT DRY SUMMER PROMOTE WATER ABSORPTION AND ROOT GROWTH WITH EARTH RIGHT PRODUCTS RTF fescue & blue grass benefit from The Mushroom Stuff®. Apply when turf seedlings are 1/2” tall to help expand & run the roots. It will help your lawn establish before winter weather sets in. The Mushroom Stuff® will improve over-wintering roots for perennial gardens evergreens, shrubs & trees, including roses. By applying this in Oct you strengthen your plants. If we get an early freeze in fall or a late freeze in spring our root systems will remain strong.

Ground Maintenance

Fertilize smart in the fall by using Sure Bloom® fertilizers. Great for gardens, turf, shrubs,trees and containers. Keep roots from burning and soil conditioned. Use year round monthly for indoor containers. Sure Bloom® Formulas are the only fertilizers used in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden at Jacob L. Loose Memorial Park.

Serving the Greater Kansas City metro area

Join Judy Penner, Director of the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden and Jacob L. Loose Memorial Park on Oct. 6, 10 AM till Noon. Learn how to Prepare Your Roses For the KC Winter.


Leaf & Fall Cleanups

Digital Design • Installations • Mulching Seasonal Color • Container Planting • Grading Deck and Fence Restoration • Staining

Fall & Winter Fertilization

Shrub/Tree Trimming • Bedding Maintenance Mowing, Seeding & Aeration Gutter Cleaning • Buried Downspouts

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Photo by Anna Ramey.

Photo by Nancy Ewan.




The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

Compliments on Complements Leah Berg


y early October, summer annuals in many public display beds magically disappear, making room for new palettes of cold-tolerant pansies, kale, and chrysanthemums. Consider what species, cultivars, and colors are likely to COMPLEMENT each other (they make great partners – they enhance or “complete” each other) and inspire the COMPLIMENTS and praise we like to hear! Students in my landscape design classes also study COMPLEMENTARY COLORS, opposite each other on the color wheel. Yellow and violet (1), blue and orange (2), or red and green (3) look well together. I asked some hard-working horticulture colleagues what compliments they received in spite of the rough summer. I also inquired what they’d plant this fall. Nancy Ewan created a crazy quilt of annual color for a long raised bed framing the clubhouse patio at Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club. (4) Nancy was especially impressed with the performance of lantana, pentas, cannas and all the bold sun coleus varieties. Many club members remarked on the vigorous zinnias standing out at a distance within this mass of mixed colors. Nancy planned a seasonal “quick change” in late September to pansies, mums and kale in arcs and diamond patterns for the blocks of colors she prefers to straight rows. She’s also had good luck with checkerboard patterns in other locations. (5)

First she replaced the frost-sensitive impatiens in the clubhouse front entry beds with 5 kale on each side spaced 2’ apart and 3 colors of pansies (purple, pale yellow, light orange) spaced 6-8” apart. Likewise, Mission Hills Country Club horticulturist Anna

cannas ‘Panache’ surrounded by annual angelonia Angelface® Blue in a long rectangular bed near the Garden Center Association building in Loose Park. These should last until freezing weather. For Judy, “The angelonia was the plant of the season. It is so

4 Ramey planned her transitions for fall starting late September into October. “I’ll be changing out some of our summer annual beds to mums and ornamental kale. I’m using a lot of kale this year in hopes of giving the beds longer interest into the winter, especially in high profile beds like at the pro shop and clubhouse entrances. Most of our containers will be changed out to mums and kale as well.” One from a previous year featured pumpkins around the base accenting purple and orange violas with purple kale. (6) Anna’s summer annual favorites included coleus ColorBlaze® LifeLime and ornamental pepper ‘Purple Flash.’ Judy Penner said many visitors remarked on the rows of peachy

October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

carefree, no pruning and a real showstopper. I have only good feedback on this particular plant. With limited time and staff, it is nice to have a dependable and lowmaintenance plant.” Patti Urdang discussed with me stressed sites on the Park University campus suffering from more than the hot, dry summer. “Some of these areas take even more abuse through pedestrian traffic and storm water runoff. Each area is unique in solving its multitude of issues. The process would normally involve removal of sod, redirecting storm water, establishing new traffic patterns, adding reliable grasses, shrubs and annuals more heat and drought tolerant.” Certain high-impact areas were irrigated. Some seating areas and

paths are simply mulched with rock or shredded bark. Patti especially enjoyed compliments on a raised bed with mums and daylilies mixed with some ornamental edibles including bush beans, tomatoes, eggplant, and kale. By Labor Day, she pulled out summer annuals in another raised bed to plant mums in the school colors of burgundy and yellow complemented by Swiss chard’s crinkly green leaves with prominent red and yellow stems. In ways, I think we find it easier to pull out dead or struggling plants than to tear out those still healthy and worthy of compliments. Look for worn spots or “holes” to fill now. Try mums near richly patterned heuchera foliage. (7) Slip unusual edible kale like ‘Black Tuscan’ (a.k.a. ‘Lacinato’ or dinosaur kale) into containers (8) when removing frost-sensitive annuals like sweet potato vine. Think of seasonal changes like these as treats justified after a season of drought austerity – like pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving Day dessert deserved after months of low-carb dieting. Masses of mums in perfectly spaced soldier rows and pansies poised on tables in garden center greenhouses strike me as the fall gardener’s equivalent to Army Reserve troops and disaster relief volunteers. These armies of cool season plants stand ready to respond to the 2012 drought with badly needed aid and comfort. Leah Berg is a landscape designer with a conservation emphasis. She teaches at MCC-Longview and is the Agribusiness/Grounds and Turf Management department coordinator. Leah also volunteers at Powell Gardens. To consult privately, contact her at 816-353-7170. 15

Lilypalooza — fall lily bulb sale


n its third year, Gardeners Connect’s fall lily bulb sale has grown into an event requiring a name — Lilypalooza. As in the past two years, Gardeners Connect is offering a wonderful selection of premium lily bulbs, including asiatics, orientals, trumpets, orienpet hybrids, LA hybrids and martagons. You can see the full selection and prices online at You may also purchase your lilies online and pick them up at the culminating event on Oct. 27 at the Garden Center at Loose Park. Ordering online ensures you get the bulbs you want. We expect to run out of some of the selections. Gardeners Connect also plans to throw in a free bulb of the club’s choosing for every online order. On Oct. 27, lily orders may be picked up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you may shop the bulbs not sold online. In addition, short programs are planned beginning at 10:30 a.m.:


‘Time Zone’

Tracy Flowers, gardener at Kauffman Memorial Garden will share her expertise. Gardeners Connect president Chuck Robinson plans to give a program on lily care and lily favorites. Gardeners Connect Operations Manager Brian Chadwick-Robinson plans to give a program on “Mixed Up — What Are All These Lily Types and Crosses?” For another chance to share information on lilies, consider

attending the Kansas City Garden Club’s program at 10 a.m. on Oct. 1, when the Gardeners Connect president will talk about “There’s No 12-Step Program for Lily Addiction.” The program is scheduled for the Garden Center at Loose Park. Everyone is welcome to the meeting. Some special lilies are included in the Lilypalooza offerings. The Gardeners Connect June trip to St. Louis provided inspiration for two of them. At one of the private gardens the group toured, two Orienpet lilies really stood out. Orienpet are crosses of trumpet lilies with oriental hybrid lilies. Hybridizers have created some very sturdy lilies from these crosses, with trunks so thick some call them the “sequoias of the lily world.” One was ‘Time Zone,’ which has beautiful lavender colored up-

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facing flowers. The color is tinged with shades of rose and the center of the throat of the flower is pure white. The flower petals were thick, almost as tough as plastic. This lily had a trunk for a stem and was growing 4-5 feet tall. The other was ‘Flashpoint.’ It has robust red flowers with wide cream edges. The flowers face out. They don’t droop. It has super substance, even when compared to other orienpets. It also is fragrant. The one the tour group saw was 6 feet tall, easily. Six orienpets are included in the sale, including ‘American Sensation,’ which drew many votes from the lily selection committee. Another statuesque lily, it has white petals with golden yellow in the center and pomegranate pink brush stroked on the edges of the yellow. It should get 3-4 feet tall. Gardeners Connect, formerly known as the Garden Center Association of Greater Kansas City, is a nonprofit organization established in 1958 with the construction of the Garden Center at Loose Park. The board works to live up to its mission, “To educate and inspire members of our community to become more complete gardeners,” through its free speaker series, gardening classes, children’s activities, support of the Stanley R. McLane Arboretum at Loose Park and supporting its many affiliate clubs.

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Rose Report

Charles Anctil


ere’s something to think about…back in 1995 Jack Walters ran some tests on watering. He wanted to know just how much difference plenty of water makes in the growth and production of roses. All of the trial beds had the same soil mixture. All were fertilized the same. Showers and light rain were ignored. All of the roses grew well, but the three times a week roses were one-fourth bigger and had many more blooms and leaves that stayed productive all season. There is a new product endorsed by Dr. Ted Carey at KSU Research Center in Olathe, KS. It is called Alfalfa Mulch. This alfalfa is harvested before seed development. Grass and weeds have been controlled to keep foreign seeds out of this product. Apply to your flower beds 3” deep and water thoroughly to create an all natural mulch mat that will stay in place, conserve

soil moisture, reduce weed growth, and build organic matter. A 2 cu. ft. bag will cover 8 sq. ft. 3” deep. It is produced and packaged by James Kesler Farms in Sabetha, Kan. I usually start cutting back and defoliating my roses the last week of October to mid-November. Everyone has their own ideas about when to prune. I do it because in the winter I do not want my plants blowing in the wind plus the extra work tying them up. Also, after defoliating, I get a better look at the canes I need to take out and which plants need to be replaced maybe. If they are “wimpy” sometimes I will dig them up, pot them, and let them start all over again. Be sure you seal the canes with either finger nail polish, orange shellac or Carpenter’s Elmer’s Glue to help keep the stem borers out. If anyone would like a 2013 rose list just holler! Works for me…might work for you!

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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.

Before fall Seeding ... ask for these products at your favorite retailer!

We recommend an application of enviroMax mixed with envirolife (2 to 1 ratio) be used 7 to 10 days before verticutting and seeding. The ground will become softer, as pore space is added to the soil profile. This will make your job in verticutting a much easier task. You will prepare the soil to properly absorb water and nutrients, and the microorganisms in envirolife will begin to flourish throughout the soil profile. We have found by spraying PlantMaster over the seeds germination rate increases and germination time shortens. after the seed germinates, the grass will be able to grow longer roots, due to the fact that enviroMax has created pore space.

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Patrick’s Picks:

Underused Foundation Shrubs, South and West


’d like you to do a simple exercise for me right now, please. Take a moment to think about how many ugly, overgrown foundation shrubs you’ve dug up in your lifetime. Really, that many? For most of you, the main reason for removal has to be they were cheap home developer’s picks selected with no concern about the mature size. So when it was time to do the dirty deed of removal, it was hard, hard work. This month my selections are for southern and western locations and next month I’ll focus on the

eastern and northern falls of your abode. So with a resolution not to repeat past errors, Kathy Bark with Suburban Lawn and Garden in Leawood, Kan., highly recommends Amsonia ‘Blue Star.’ The plants mature at 3-6’ high by 3-6’ wide and prefer a full sun to part shade exposure. Amsonia is a workhorse shrub that reinvents itself in three distinct seasons. The plant emerges from the ground in early spring to eventually sport groups of star-shaped sky blue flowers in April through May. Bark says, “the foliage is feathery and delicate which adds a much needed textural impact to the garden. Gently swaying in the summer breezes, it is getting ready to put on a dramatic fall display. As the cooler weather approaches, the foliage changes to a rich reddishgold hue.’’


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Amsonia in the fall

American Beautybush

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‘Gold Mop’ Cypress

The American Beautybush, Callicarpa americana, matures through the season, its beautiful berry clusters in varying shades of mauve and white mature to bright purple. Bark says, “this is truly a sight to behold and photographs rarely do it justice.” There are reports the mature berries can be eaten raw or used in rendering jellies. This shrub, measuring 3-6’ high by 1-6’ wide, dies to the ground in our area, but rapidly regenerates the

long arching stems in the spring. Bark says, “This is one shrub that does not get pruned with the exception of cleaning the dead branches out. The natural appearance will provide a lovely contrast to the overly manicured landscape.” If you haven’t seen butterflies tripping the light fantastic around a burgeoning branch of butterfly bush, then you’ve been missing one of horticulture’s best highlights. Bark says, “One of the complaints about Butterfly bushes has been the

Photo courtesy

Patrick Muir

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sheer size of the varieties, many reaching 10-12 high.” But another undesirable trait has been “the leggy” nature of the plant when it doesn’t receive a spring clean up. Bark says, “But now there are no more excuses, ‘Blue Chip’ Lo & Photo courtesy

punch of color in the bane of all green blankets. Seeley says ‘Gold Mop’ “creates structure in the winter landscape when its surrounds are dormant. Branches appear to burst outward in all directions like a glorious fountain.”

Nandina ‘Firepower’

Fothergilla Behold® is dwarf AND compact, 1-2 feet high and wide, and still puts on a fantastic show of blooms which also serve as food for a kaleidoscope of butterflies.” Audrie Seeley of Audrie Seeley Landscaping in Kansas City, Mo., is a huge fan of ‘Gold Mop’ Cypress. Breaking free from the doldrums of most foundation plantings, ‘Gold Mop’ has been described as “a brilliant shade of shimmering yellow gold” that can provide a bright

Lil’ Kim Seeley’s other selection is the dwarf Nandina ‘Firepower’ that comes in at a height and width of 2-3 ft. She says, “Firepower reminds me of a chameleon. It changes color in the fall and holds it for some time. Unlike other nandinas, this variety doesn’t require pruning. The flowers appear along a branch with blossoms of starshaped petals with very large yellow anthers. And the small berry-like clusters have great staying power for bird friendly gardens.” Ken Wood with Family Tree Nursery & Garden Center in Shawnee, Kan., recommends the dwarf Lil’ Kim™ Rose of Sharon or Althea “which boasts a preponderance of white flowers with red centers from late June through fall. Wood says “The flowers last three days compared to the standard one day.” Bred in South Korea, Lil’ Kim provides the look of tropical

flowers on a cold hardy shrub. But don’t think this is one shrinking violet of a plant because it laughs in the face of hot weather. With a compact size of 3-4’ high and wide or shorter with some careful pruning, I can assure you won’t have any second regrets with Lil’ Kim Althea. Another recommendation from Wood is the Fothergilla ‘Blue Shadow’. Known for having the best fall display of any of the woody ornamentals, its leaves rival any canvas of modern art. Each leaf is a feast of orange, red and yellow. Wood says, “It puts the burning bush to shame and that’s saying a lot for this beautiful compact shrub.” The slow growing fothergilla is not just a pretty face in the fall. While subtle yet intriguing,

she sports little white bottle bushes on each stem of graceful, smoky blue leaves in April through May. So reevaluate both the southern and western exposures of your home and if it’s overgrown or suffering from the doldrums of a monochromatic sea of green, consider some of these fine selections. With a little forethought and the simple act of mapping out the final sizes of each plant on paper, you can avoid the sins of your past and perchance not have to uproot another overgrown shrub for many, many years to come. Patrick Muir is a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener and garden blogger. You can reach him at or at

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Lenora Larson

arly 2012 promised an outstanding year for butterflies. Mild temperatures ensured high survival rates for over-wintering species. By mid-March, Red Admirals and Cabbage Whites danced above the early-blooming Lilacs and Catmint. Spring migrating Sulfurs arrived a month early in a glorious explosion of yellow and orange. Then, abruptly, the rains stopped and temperatures soared into the triple digits. By August, meteorologists declared 2012 the 4th hottest summer in recorded history. Media Response to Drought The hysteria-prone headlines screamed, “Drought Kills Millions



of Butterflies!” Once again, the media does not understand science. But gardeners want to know the truth. Gardeners can handle the truth. Yes, millions of butterflies died this summer and fall. Millions died last year, and millions will die next year. Adult butterflies are genetically programmed for a short life of love and quick death. For most species, breeding is complete by mid to late summer so the massive butterfly die-off is normal. Lepidopterists Speak Out This year’s butterfly count, performed for NABA (North American Butterfly Association) by Powell Gardens under the leadership of Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, saw a slight decrease from the average number of species and individuals seen, but not the lowest in the ten years of counting. Despite the drought, several species set record numbers! Members of the local chapter of the Idalia Butterfly Society do voice concerns about the parched land, but not just because of flowers. These experts understand that the quality of caterpillar food plants determines the beauty of the adults and the vitality of the next generation. So far, drought-resistant native plants and well-watered gardens ensure next year’s population. But what will be the impact of a prolonged, multi-year drought on butterflies? Betsy Betros, author of A Photographic Field Guide to Butterflies in the Kansas City Region, reminds us that less than one percent of eggs survive to

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Drought Impact on Butterflies

Despite the drought, Gray Hairstreaks set a new record high at Powell Gardens’ annual butterfly count, held July 30, 2012.

Even the marginally hardy Spicebush Swallowtail survived our mild winter and emerged in record numbers this spring.

breeding adulthood, even in the best of times. When many eggs and caterpillars succumb to the heat, predator populations also crash, allowing greater success for the remaining survivors. Our native butterflies and plants have survived repeated severe droughts, including the 1930s’ dust bowls. Mother Nature is so resilient.

Dr. Chip Taylor, founder and executive director, expresses his greater concern about the impact of climate change because flowers are blooming weeks ahead of schedule. Flowers like Ironweed that should be blooming in September have already finished. What’s a thirsty Monarch to do?

Monarchs Need Flowers Lepidopterists primarily focus on caterpillar food plants rather than flowers. However, the amazing Monarch is an exception because they evolved a unique fall mass migration back to their wintering site near Mexico City. Nectar is the power drink that fuels their journey. Monarch Watch™, the Monarch migration research center, based on the KU campus, tracks the success of each year’s flight. Surprisingly, last year’s severe drought in Oklahoma and Texas did not reduce the number of Monarchs returning back to the Gulf Coast this spring.

Gardeners Can Make a Difference! Each gardener can create an oasis by planting nectar-rich flowers rather than sterile hybrids. This tactic provides nectar for both breeding and migrating butterflies. With the addition of specific caterpillar host plants, your garden becomes a butterfly haven and they will thank you with their beauty. 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, Kansas. Contact her at lenora.

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• Mow bluegrass at 2 to 3 inches. • Mow tall fescue at 3 inches. • Core aerate bluegrass and tall fescue through mid month. • Control dandelions, henbit and chickweed in the fall while plants are young. • Sharpen mower blade for a clean cut and healthier turf. • Mulch mow or remove leaves to prevent suffocation and death of the grass. • Fertilize bluegrass and tall fescue if you didn’t do so in September. • Sweep fertilizers and pesticides from hard surfaces to keep out of the water supply.


• Plant new trees and shrubs. • Water new and establishing plants as needed to send into winter with ample moisture. • Winter drought is hard on evergreens of any age so provide ample moisture. • Prune dead, broken or diseased branches and limbs. • Wrap young tree trunks to prevent winter injury and rabbit damage. • Transplant seedlings when dormant after foliage drops. • Turn leaves into black gold, compost or add as a soil amendment.


• Plant spring flowering bulbs through Thanksgiving for best results. • Pull any frost-killed annuals and discard. • Till soil in annual beds and add organic matter. • Remove perennial stems and stalks as they die down. • Dig cannas, gladiolas, dahlias and other tender bulbs for winter storage. • Delay winter mulching until several hard freezes.

• Begin winter rose care, remove diseased leaves and provide good soil moisture. • Sow fall germinating annuals, poppies, larkspur or hollyhocks.


• Harvest crops as needed. • Plant garlic for a jump on spring growth. • Dig sweet potatoes and clean for winter storage. • Remove garden debris and discard fallen fruit to reduce insects and disease next year. • Till garden soil and add organic matter. • Store pumpkins and winter squash in a cool, dry location for prolonged storage. • Harvest late season apple varieties. • Store leftover seeds to dry in the refrigerator. • Have your soil tested and correct pH if recommended. • Complete garden journal entries for successes and failures before forgotten.


• Start dark treatment for poinsettia flowering. • Bring houseplants indoors. • Check plants for insects to prevent spread. • Wash dust from plants by placing in shower or wipe with damp cloth. • Stop fertilizing until spring. • Avoid hot and cold drafts on plants.


• Drain and store garden hoses and sprinklers. • Clean and sharpen tools and wipe with oil. • Continue to turn compost pile and keep moist. • Store clay and other moisture-absorbing containers indoors to prolong life.

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

It’s Fall at Creekside Market! Mums • Kale • Pansies • Pumpkins • Gourds Straw • Indian Corn • Trees • Shrubs • Roses 800 E. Walnut (Hwy 58), Raymore, MO 64083


Hours: Mon. through Sat. 9am-5pm • Sun. 11am-4pm

Club Meetings African Violets of Greater Kansas City Tue, Oct 9, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City Sat, Oct 13, 9am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Workshop. 816-7845300 Greater Kansas City Dahlia Society Sun, Oct 28, 1-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Show. 816-784-5300 Greater KC Gardeners of America Mon, Oct 1, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City MO. This month we are having our annual Banquet, potluck style. The club is providing the meat; we ask that members and guest bring a vegetable, salad or dessert.  This is a fun way to wrap up the gardening season. We hope to see you there! 816-941-2445; GreaterKCGOA@ Greater Kansas City Herb Study Group Wed, Oct 10, noon-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Election of officers. No program. 816-784-5300


FALL Harvest and family fun in OctOber at POwell Gardens

Harvest Celebration & Antique Tractor Show Preview Day: Oct. 5 Full Festival: Oct. 6-7 Parade of power, hayrides, pumpkin painting and more! Scarecrow Spectacular Vote for your favorite scarecrow throughout October! Spooktacular! Oct. 19-20 Watch your favorite storybook characters come to life as you collect treats along the trail. Reservations required: 816-697-2600 x209. Jack O’ Lantern Walk, 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 21 A self-guided walk lit by eery Jack O’ Lanterns

816-697-2600 22

Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical gardenTM, is located 30 miles east of Kansas City on U.S. Highway 50.

Johnson County Rose Society Thurs, Oct 11, 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, Oct 21, 1-3:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Oct 1, 9am-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Program is “There’s No 12-Step Program for Asian Lily Addiction” by Chuck Robinson. Public is invited. Bring a sack lunch and join us for drinks and snacks provided by the club after the meeting. 913-341-7555. Kansas City Garden Club Mon, Nov 5, 10am; at Loose Park Garden Center Bldg, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Program is “The Best Producing Plants of the Beanstalk Children’s Garden” by Ben Sharda, Director of Kansas City Community

Gardens. Public is invited. A flower show will also be held after the meeting. 913341-7555 Kansas City Rose Society Sat, Oct 6, 10am-12pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Winterize Class. 816784-5300 Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Oct 9, 7pm; at Gamber Center, 4 SE Independence Ave, Lee’s Summit, MO. Author Craig Nienaber will present “Flower Gardening in Kansas City”. Join us for this interesting topic and of course, wonderful refreshments! Visit our web site at or call Robbie at 816-645-6091 with any questions. We especially enjoy new visitors to our club. Mo Kan Daylily Society Sun, Oct 7, 10:30am-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 Olathe Garden & Civic Club Tues, Oct 2; at Anthony’s Bee Hive, 1804 N 1100 Rd, Lawrence, KS. Information will be learned about helping to sustain our important bee population by practices and additions to our own yards in suburbia. The tour is open to the public. Those wishing to carpool will meet by 10am at the East Gate Parking Lot, 1229 E Santa Fe, Olathe, KS. Lunch will follow the tour at Tellers in Lawrence. For more information contact Lila at 913-764-2494 or Sho Me African Violets Society Fri, Oct 12, 6pm-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Members meeting. 816-784-5300 St Joseph Herb Gardeners Thurs, Oct 4, 6:30pm; at FCS Financial Building. Meet and Eat at our annual Herb Club potluck. Bring your recipes to share. Installation of Officers. President: Helen Snuffer 816-279-7372

Events, Lectures & Classes October Gesneriad & Begonia Show and Sale Sep 28-29, noon-4pm Fri, 9am-4pm Sat; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Plant Sales only on Friday. Flower Show and Plant Sale on Saturday. Co-sponsored by the Heart of America Gesneriad Society - Contact Susan 913-381-7889 and The Mid America Begonia Society – Contact Linda 913-231-1020 or Brent 816-7212274. Both these plant families are com-

The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

panions in nature and grow well together in the home environment. Come view some exotic varieties on display and for sale, and add to your plant collection. Great Trees Fall Seminar Wed, Oct 3, 7pm; at Prairie Village Council Chamber, 7700 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Great Trees for the Kansas City Region. Presented by the Prairie Village Tree Board. Learn what local experts think are the best trees for Prairie Village. Robert Whitman, ASLA, AICP, will share the process he developed and utilized to create a preferred tree list for the Kansas City region. He will review the results of his survey, and discuss a variety of recommended trees. Community Forum on KS Environmental Issues Thurs, Oct 4, 5:30-8:30pm; at Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS. Hosted by Environmental Action Committee of Village Presbyterian Church. “Just the Fracks: What is Hydraulic Fracturing?” Appetizers & Exhibits by Kansas Environmental Organizations; Supper of Locally Grown Foods Catered by Blue Bird Bistro; Panelists: Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey; Marci Francisco, KS State Senator; Paul Johnson, Kansas Rural Center; Joe Spease, WindSoHy; Moderator: James Joerke, Johnson County Dept. of Health and Environment. Advance reservations needed by Oct 1. A $20 donation is requested; $10 for students. Payable online at or by check payable to KNRC/Community Forum, 7301 Mission Rd, Suite 248, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Receipt of online payment or check confirms your reservation. Questions re Program: Deborah English 913-722-1272 / Questions re Supper reservations: Kathy Riordan 913-383-7882 / kfriordan@ Questions re Exhibit space: Margaret Thomas MargaretGThomas@ Soils and Soil Amendments Fri, Oct 5, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. The condition and health of your garden’s soil is a major factor in the success of your garden. Learn how to determine your soil’s condition and how to use soil amendments to increase the harvest from your garden. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. FREE. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. www. Winterize Roses Sat, Oct 6, 10am-noon; Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, in the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. Rose growers and want to be rose growers. Learn how to winterize your roses with Judy Penner, Director of Loose Park and Charles Anctil, Rose Judge in 5 states and Rosarian since 1959. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Earl May Annual Pumpkin FestivalSt. Joseph Sat, Oct 6, 10am-4pm; at 2424 North Belt Hwy, St. Joesph, MO. Hey kids..Join us! And Bring your family and friends! Pumpkin painting, face art, games, photo ops (bring your camera), jump house, cookie decorating, EM popcorn recipes, food served, and more! 816-232-7375 Earl May Annual Pumpkin FestivalLawrence Sat, Oct 6, 10am-4pm; at 3200 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS. Hey kids..Join us! And Bring your family and friends! Pumpkin painting, face art, games, photo ops (bring your camera), Lawrence Humane Society, jungle bounce house, games, food served (by GaDuGi SafeCenter), and more! 913-749-5082 Earl May Annual Pumpkin FestivalShawnee Sat, Oct 6, 10am-4pm; at 21700 Midland Dr, Shawnee, KS. Hey kids..Join us! And Bring your family and friends! Pumpkin painting, face art, games, photo ops (bring your camera), giant bounce house, straw maze, games, food served (by The Boy Scouts), and more! 913-422-1505 Lake Lotawana Community Club Homes Tour 2012 Sat, Oct 6, 10am-5pm. Six houses on tour, free pontoon rides from 10am to 4pm at Marina Grog & Galley-Gate 1. Tickets $15. Call Barb for info 816-2725048 Growing Great Garlic Fri, Oct 12, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. You can plant garlic in November for a June harvest. Learn about planting and caring for garlic so that you can harvest large, healthy bulbs. We will also discuss different garlic varieties. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. FREE. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. www. Use of Peonies in a Mixed Border Sat, Oct 13, 10am; at Sylvester Powell Community Center, 6200 Martway, Mission, KS. Ricki Creamer, owner of Red Cedar Gardens in Stilwell, will give a highly personalized view of peonies at a talk sponsored by the Heartland Peony Society. Her illustrated presentation will draw on a lifetime of gardening experience. Creamer’s presentation is free and open to the public. Maintaining Your Schoolyard Garden Sat, Oct 13, 10:30am-noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. Your school garden is planted and growing like crazy, now what? Schoolyard Gardens staff will give a hands-on workshop on how to maintain your school garden. See demonstrations on how to thin plants, keep weeds out, and harvest your produce. We will also highlight over-wintering crops and closing your garden for the season. Come ready to get dirty! Presented by MaryAnna Henggeler, Schoolyard (continued on page 24)

October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

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Scarecrows, Antique Tractors, Harvest Celebration & Spooky Fun Bring the family for fall fun at Powell Gardens


elebrate the harvest season in a big way throughout October. The festivities begin on the first weekend of the month with an antique tractor show, a scarecrow display, an art gourd exhibit, a wine tasting, a chef’s demonstration extravaganza and more. Wander among 100 or so tractors and machines from yesteryear, enter the kids in a pedal pull contest, munch on kettle corn and vote for your favorite scarecrow. Come back later in the month for the Halloween Spooktacular and Jack-O-Lantern Walk. General admission applies unless otherwise noted: $10/adults, $9/ seniors and $4/children 5-12. Harvest Celebration & Antique Tractor Show 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 5, Preview Day 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 6-7, Festival Days This festival of old-fashioned family fun includes an array of antique tractors, engines and other farm equipment, hayrides, tractor parades, a children’s pedal pull and barrel train rides. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, visitors can take part in a Missouri Wine Tasting in the Heartland Harvest Garden vineyard. Five wineries will provide samples for $1 each and from 2 to 4 p.m. can enjoy the music of Luerhman, Shaffer and Check. On Sunday, the Garden Chef Series concludes for the season with demos by Patrick Ryan, Beth Bader and Shannon Kimball. Festival pricing applies on Saturday and Sunday: $10/ adults, $9/seniors and $5/children 5-12.

Scarecrows in the Garden 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1-31 View the results of Powell Gardens’ annual Scarecrow Contest and vote for your favorite icon of autumn throughout the month of October. Show Me State Gourd Society Display 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 6-7 Admire a variety of carved and painted gourds and chat with some of the artists who created them at this Harvest Celebration display inside the Visitor Education Center. There also will be a table showing the stepby-step creation process. Halloween Spooktacular Tours starting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 This garden tradition moves to a new location in 2012—the Heartland Harvest Garden! Grab your costume and some comfortable walking shoes for a family-friendly night. Enjoy a guided tour through a land of fairytale fun filled with new skits and old favorites, plus plenty of opportunities to collect treats. This traditional event fills up fast and reservations are mandatory, so call 816-697-2600 x209 or see spooktacular well in advance for pricing and times. Jack-O-Lantern Walk 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 21 Take a spooky self-guided tour through Powell Gardens by the light of numerous creatively carved Jack O’ Lanterns and luminaries and enjoy free refreshments (while supplies last) in the Missouri Barn.

Powell Gardens is a not-for-profit botanical garden located 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. The Gardens are open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. 24

Upcoming Garden Events places to go, things to do, people to see (continued from page 23)

Gardens Coordinator and Andrea Mathew, KCCG Program Director. FREE. Call Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Advanced Landscape Design & Maintenance (AGBS 206) Oct 15-Dec 12, Mon/Wed 5:45-8:30pm 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 field trips supplement our book (also used in the previous class, AGBS 106). Instructor: Leah Berg. This 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. Tuition may be waived if in-district and over age 65. Gardeners Gathering Tues, Oct 16, 6:30pm; at Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO. Presented by Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Scott Reiter speaks on “A Year in the Life of the Linda Hall Library Grounds”. For more info, call Debbie Johnson at 816213-5280. Turfgrass Management (AGBS 135) Oct 18-Dec 13, Tues/Th 6–9pm An introduction to the basics of turfgrass management. Emphasis on plant growth, identification, and characteristics of the major cold and warm season turf grasses, plus disease and pest management. Establishment procedures, fertilizing, irrigation and mowing practices will be covered by grounds management professional David Kriegh. No meeting first week until Thurs, Oct 18. This class meet two evenings weekly, 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. Tuition may be waived if in-district and over age 65. Vegetable Gardening Basics Fri, Oct 19, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. This workshop is helpful for beginning and experienced gardeners. Learn the fundamentals of successful vegetable gardening including: site selection, soil improvement and preparation, garden planning, planting techniques, variety selection, garden maintenance and harvesting. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. FREE. Call

Earlene Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. Backyard Composting Mon, Oct 22, 7-9pm; at 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe, KS 66061, Room 1055. Backyard composting is a great way to divert leaves and grass clippings from the local landfill. Composting is really pretty simple once the basics are understood and applied. This class will ?provide all the dirty little secrets so that you can compost with speed for a wonderful finished product. Be sure and plan to attend this session so you are prepared for the new solid waste regulations. Instructor: Dennis Patton, County Extension Agent, Horticulture. Free. Advance registration required. To register online go to www. or call (913) 715-7000. Fall Garden Preparation Tues, Oct 23, 6-7:30pm; at 515 S Liberty St, Independence, MO. Come learn how to prepare your garden for the fall and get ready for winter. Plan now for next spring. Presented by Sharon Goldstein, Get Growing KC Team Member. FREE. Growing Under Lights and Building Your Own Grow Light Unit Fri, Oct 26, noon; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. Start your own vegetable plants from seed at home under lights! Learn how to use a grow light unit to successfully prepare for, plant and maintain seedlings that can be transplanted into your garden. We will also discuss how to build your own grow light unit at a low cost. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. FREE. Call 816-931-3877 to register. Lilypalooza Sat, Oct 27, 10am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Lily sale. 816-7845300 Hands on Flower Photography Sat, Oct 27, 9am-1pm; at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. $25 per person. Enrollment limited to 10. Want to improve your camera skills shooting beautiful garden scenes, as well as get to enjoy the beauty of the Arboretum? This class is focused on hands-on-photography instruction outside, with members of the Arboretum’s Photography Committee as the instructors. There will be plenty of chances to ask questions with both group and individual instruction. Bring your camera (film or digital and camera manual), lenses, tripod, memory cards, spare batteries and knee-pads (if desired). We will have a short lunch break after the outdoor session (bring a sack lunch or purchase one at the Arboretum) and will,

The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

as a group, review photos after lunch. Be sure to bring your card reader so the photos can be loaded onto a computer for review. You may register for classes by going to and follow the prompts. Bring your paid receipt to the class for admission. No refunds for missed classes. 913-685-3604. Haunting Beauty Orchid Expo & Sale Sat, Oct 27, 10am-5pm, and Sun, Oct 28, 10am-4pm; at the Hilton Garden Inn, 19677 E Jackson Dr, Independence, MO. Open to the public. Admission will be $6. Hundreds of orchids in bloom will be exhibited by the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City, individual hobbyists, as well as other regional societies and vendors from as far away as California and Connecticut offering hundreds more orchids for sale. The show will be judged by American Orchid Society accredited judges. More information, including online registration using PayPal or downloadable registration forms, show rules, plant and exhibit entry details, may be found at

November Food Safety Begins in the Garden Thurs, Nov 1, 11:30am; at Wyandotte County Extension, 1208 N 79 St, (Sunflower Room), Kansas City, KS. Learn how to manage your compost and manure applications, irrigation, & harvest practices to minimize the risks of food-borne illness. Jennifer Smith, Douglas County Horticulture Agent. Fruit Trees and Berry Plants Fri, Nov 2, noon-2pm; at Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. Join us for a special combined workshop on growing fruit trees and berry plants. Learn what varieties are best for this area and how to plant and care for them to get a bountiful harvest. We will focus on the major fruit trees for this area (apple, peach, cherry and pear) and will learn about the different varieties of fruit-bearing shrubs (strawberries, blackberries and raspberries) as well as some more exotic varieties. Presented by Ben Sharda, KCCG Executive Director. (Note: this is a two hour workshop with the first hour covering tree fruits and the second hour covering berry fruits.) FREE. Call Earlene

Franks at 816-931-3877 to register. www. AVC of Greater Kansas City 62nd Annual Judged Show/Sale Nov 3-4, 9am-3pm Sat, 10am-3pm Sun; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. Info: Fred and Pat Inbody. 816-373-6915. “Home for the Holidays” Flower Show Mon, Nov 5, noon-1pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. “Home for the Holidays” flower show presented by Kansas City Garden Club. Free and open to the public. View horticulture specimens, dish gardens, terrariums, planters in addition to floral designs. 816-5693440 Build a Compost Tumbler Sat, Nov 10, 9am-1pm; at Powell Gardens. Come build a compost tumbler and learn the benefits of composting. Composting is the “green” way to reuse yard waste and even kitchen scraps, turning them into nutrient-rich humus you can work into your garden and flower beds. Leave with one 55-gallon barrel tumbler and the know-how to use it. All materials provided. $142/project, $134/Members. Registration required by Oct 29. To register call Linda Burton at 816-697-2600 ext 209. Or register online and see pictures of projects at and follow the LEARNING link.

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


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

December 11th Annual Evening Shade Farms Holiday Open House Dec 8-9, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-4pm Sun; at 12790 SE Hwy TT, 7 miles off highway 13 on TT south of Osceola, MO. Watch for signs. Enjoy our delectable refreshments with a chance to shop for lots of unique gifts, all made here on the farm. Wonderful all natural soaps & body care products, essential oils, and so much more. A free parting gift for all shoppers. Free admission. Evening Shade Farms is a 30 year old company making All Natural Body Products. This event is a great feature story and photo opportunity. 417-282-6985.


Weather Repor t

Highs and Lows Avg temp 60° Avg high temp 69° Avg low temp 48° Highest recorded temp 98° Lowest recorded temp 17° Nbr of above 70° days 16

Clear or Cloudy Avg nbr of clear days 13 Avg nbr of cloudy days 11

Rain and Snow Avg snowfall 0

Promote your gardening events! Send information to: The Kansas City Gardener P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 Fax: (913) 648-4728 E-Mail: Deadline for November issue is October 5. October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Avg rainfall 3.0” Avg nbr of rainy days 8 Source:

From the Almanac Moon Phases

Plant Above Ground Crops: 15-18, 21, 22, 25, 26

Last Quarter: Oct. 8

Plant Root Crops:

New Moon: Oct. 15

Control Plant Pests:

2-4, 8, 30, 31 10-13

First Quarter: Oct. 21

Transplant: 25, 26

Full Moon: Oct. 29 Source: Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac

Plant Flowers: 15-18


How to Plant a Tree


hether you are looking to improve the curb appeal of your home, or simply looking for a little shade over your patio, planting a tree this fall is a great investment. The process is simple, and hopefully, these important tips will help your tree survive the Midwest winter. Step 1: Selecting the Perfect Tree While spring is generally thought of as the “best time to plant”, fall is actually a great time to plant a new tree as well. Any tree from a respectable nursery should be healthy. With fall planting, watch out for trees with bare-root seedlings and broadleaf evergreens such as Holly and Boxwood, as these may struggle through the winter months. Trees come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure to do your homework before you plant the desired tree in order to ensure there will be ample room for root and canopy growth.

Step 2: The Digging and Planting Process Before digging, make sure to measure the distance between the top most root and the bottom of the root ball. Make sure not to plant your tree too deep, or there may be growth problems in the future. Also keep in mind the width of your hole; the wider the better. The planting hole should be at least 1/3 larger than the diameter of the root ball, as this provides for the expansion of new roots. Also remember to always call Dig Safe before any digging begins! Step 3: Remove Wrappings, Wires, and Ties Most trees come in a burlap covering. Roots will have trouble growing through this burlap, and may break easily because little wood has developed at this point. Once all synthetic material has been removed, set the ball on firmly packed soil to prevent settling.

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Step 6: Mulching In the Midwest, a 3-inch thick layer of mulch with a diameter of 6-9 feet should be plenty to establish a healthy tree. Make sure to maintain the area to discourage weeds and turf. Avoid piling mulch against the tree’s trunk. This will allow rainwater, irrigation, and air to easily enter the root ball, since it does not have to drain through the mulch.

Step 4: Re-Filling the Hole When re-filling the hole around the tree, make sure not to construct a volcano-like structure around the trunk. Keep the soil around the root ball loose in order to allow the roots to easily expand. Also remember not to pack too much soil on top of the root ball so moisture can easily reach the roots. Step 5: Double Check the Depth Most professionals agree that a tree planted a little bit too high will survive better than one planted too deep. When the top-most root is deep in the root ball, pull the soil off the top of the root ball until even with the top root. If you find that your tree is planted too deep, do not pile soil on top of the root base to make it level! Make sure to wiggle the tree out of the ground and shovel soil underneath the root ball to bring it level. Proper planting depth is imperative to your new tree’s success so take some time to make sure all of these guidelines have been met.

Step 7: Supporting and Pruning the Tree Make sure the tree is straight and upright. Once this is done, drive two stakes through the backfill soil straight up and down and use opposing ties to keep the tree in place. The ties should be placed on the lower half of the tree to allow for trunk movement. Remove the tree stakes after six months, or one growing season, from when the tree is planted. Finally, you should prune your tree to remove broken branches and perform structural pruning if needed. Don’t be afraid to plant a new tree this fall. Despite the cold winter months, a properly planted tree will develop a healthy root mass throughout the winter, establishing a strong foundation. Once the snow has melted and the spring rains arrive, the tree will have a solid base and be ready to grow. Following these simple steps will provide you with a beautiful looking tree in no time! Clarke Fry is a marketing associate at Ryan Lawn & Tree. He can be reached at 913-381-1505 or

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The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

Peonies in a Mixed Border presented by Heartland Peony Society


icki Creamer, owner of Red Cedar Gardens in Stilwell, will give a highly personalized view of peonies at a talk sponsored by the Heartland Peony Society. Scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, October 13 at the Sylvester Powell Community Center in Mission, her illustrated presentation will draw on a lifetime of gardening experience. She and her husband Jim started Red Cedar Gardens in 1986. Their personal garden, which adjoins the nursery and serves as a display garden, was started ten years earlier when they bought the property. She speaks from personal experience. “I don’t sell anything that I don’t grow in our own garden. This is a personal love

of mine, not just a business. If I don’t like it, I don’t sell it.” Personal experience likewise determines which peonies she sells. “Peonies are tried and true plants for the garden. They’re on my very short list of must haves for the sunny garden, and there are even a few that do very well in light shade.” In her talk, The Use of Peonies in a Mixed Border, she’ll discuss and show her personal favorites. “Some are more exotic and expensive, but there are others that aren’t and that are equally wonderful in the garden. It all depends what you’re looking for. I favor ones with strong stems, plants that stay upright, and have attractive, long-lasting foliage.” Creamer’s presentation is free and open to the public.

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October 2012 / The Kansas City Gardener

Professional’s Corner

Meet Steve Painter, wildlife and pest control professional Company: Catch-It Wildlife & Pest Control, Inc. Owner: Stephen Painter History: In 1989, when we started the company, it was called CatchIt Wildlife Damage Control, Inc. Then 10-12 years ago we started offering residential and commercial pest control as well as termite service. The company has been growing steadily since the first day. Services: We offer wildlife removal such as squirrels, raccoons, moles, bats, snakes, opossums, skunks, groundhogs, chipmunks, etc. from your home or business. Raccoons and bats seem to be the pest of the month as of this date. Both of these species’ populations in the greater Kansas City metro area are going strong and have been for the last 5 years or so. We also offer pest control for the usual suspects — termites, ants, cockroaches, spiders, silverfish, mice and rats. For termites we offer two kinds of treatment; bait stations and liquid treatments. We offer a full range of other services as well. After we remove the animals from the structure we offer damage repair and exclusion repairs to keep them out for good. Large commercial bird netting jobs to keep pigeons away. Full attic insulation removal. We remove all contaminated attic insulation that has raccoon feces or bat guano and then install new attic insulation. We offer other clean up services and dead animal removal. We install snake fencing to keep snakes out of your yard. After we get the raccoons out, we install chimney caps to keep other animals, leaves, rain, etc. out. Popular Pest: Ants seem to be the biggest invertebrate pest and then raccoons come in number one for the animal pest. Popular Among Customers: We are consistently one of the highest ranked companies on Angie’s List, and have won their Service Awards. Many current customers we have proudly serviced since my first year of business, with professionalism, promptness, and sincerity. New control methods: This year a new termidicide came out that is very effective and utilizes less product and less labor when applying the product. This is helpful because we can pass this savings on to our customers. By keeping up with new and improved methods we are able to be more effective and efficient in our work. Little known secret: Most people think that raccoons when eating will wash their food because they see the animal putting their food in the water. In reality, they do not have saliva glands so they will put their food in the water to help them digest their food. Contact: Phone: MO 816-769-3106, KS 913-338-3330; email; 27


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The Kansas City Gardener / October 2012

KCG 10Oct12  
KCG 10Oct12  

The Kansas City Gardener