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The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

January 2017

Small Houseplants for Small Spaces

Resolutions for Gardeners Evergreens for Midwest Winters Gardening for Bees in the City Plus details of winter gardening events


editor’s notes

The Kansas City

GARDENER A Monthly Guide to Successful Gardening

If you can dream it ...

Independently owned and operated since 1996 Publisher Michael Cavanaugh

Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year. For gardening begins in January with the dream. ~ Josephine Nuese

Editor Elizabeth Cavanaugh Contributors Nik and Theresa Hiremath Dennis Patton Phil Roudebush Larry Ryan Brent Tucker Scott Woodbury Distribution Publishers Delivery Solutions, Inc.

How to Reach Us ...

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

See us on the Web: www.kcgmag.com

Don’t Miss A Single Issue! Get a subscription for yourself or your favorite gardener. See page 19.

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

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or some reason, I’m up earlier than usual today. And so is the dog. I pour kibbles for her, and start coffee for me, then wander to the front of the house to check out the morning. Colors of the rising sun paint the eastern sky, and I’m hopeful that the forecasted “mostly sunny” day will come to pass. The garden is snow-covered now, and with above normal temperatures, melting has begun. Coffee in hand, I stand at the front window pondering the landscape. Except for the boxwood, holly and arborvitae in their evergreen coats, the garden is mostly naked and fast asleep. Of course, there is plenty of action below the soil as earthworms and root systems continue doing what they do so well. Now that the bustle of the holidays has passed and the pace has slowed, I’m able to breathe in the garden’s solitude, it’s peaceful state. These are the times I get comfortable and dream of what is possible in my garden.

With paper and pencil, I sketch the garden as it is … or at least as I remember. From there I begin inserting “what-ifs.” What if I planted a mass of lantana to edge the street; it seems to do well in areas near parking lots. What if we replaced the globe blue spruce with a weeping crabapple to mirror the one on the opposite corner of the garden? What if we moved all of the peonies to a sunny location in the back, and replaced them with Missouri evening primrose, a Kansas native? What if I went completely crazy and (with an unlimited budget) renovated the entire front garden to be pollinator-friendly? Of course, I would include plants that attract beneficial insects too. The wish would be to have multitudes of bees, butterflies and birds come and go throughout every season.

What are the dreams for your garden? Do you take time to contemplate its potential? Have you wondered about a plot for growing your own vegetables? Or how about a fruit tree? Wouldn’t your neighbors be impressed with your passion for pollinators? Maybe it’s ferns and hosta that fill your dream garden. Of course, my dreams aren’t limited to plants. Hardscape and multiple accessories are included. For example, a pond in proximity to the gazebo would be nice. That way we could hear the waterfalls. Let’s not forget an elegant iron trellis for the climbing morning glory. How about a patio that includes a firepit and a place for the grill? Some dreams are destined for reality. Some are simply thoughts of what could be. Either way, if you can dream it ... I’ll see you in the garden!

In this issue January 2017 • Vol. 22 No. 1 Resolutions for Gardeners .......... 4 Ask the Experts ......................... 6 Native Trees presentation ........... 7 Help Birds Survive Cold ............. 8 Evergreens for Midwest .............. 9 Small Houseplants ..................... 1 0 Powell Garden Events ................ 1 2 Beekeeping Workshop ............... 1 3

about the cover ...

Gardening for Bees .................. 1 4 Kansas Wildflower ................... 15 Upcoming Events ...................... 16 What’s New for 2017 .............. 16 Pets & Plants ............................. 1 7 Garden Calendar ..................... 18 Subscribe ................................ 19 Professional’s Corner ................ 19

If you live in a small place, or have a small space that needs something green and growing, Brent Tucker shares his top picks, like anthirum. Learn more starting on page 10.

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FAT BIRDS are warm birds KEEP ‘EM HAPPY ALL WINTER LONG WITH HELP FROM WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE! Some flew south, while others took perch. For the ones that hunkered down, give ‘em the nutrients they need to brave cold temps. Swing by Westlake Ace Hardware for a variety of seeds & feeders so you can be generous. After all, they chose your yard over Disney World.

FILL THEIR Feeders BIRDS BRAVE WINTER WITH FOOD, SO KEEP FEEDERS CHOCK-FULL OF DELICIOUS SEED. plants provide nesting sites Tip: native & natural food & shelter for inclement

weather, so place feeders about 10-ft. away

GIVE ‘EM Shelter

LET THERE Be Water

LODGING IS ESSENTIAL IN THE COLD WINTER MONTHS, SO GIVE BACKYARD LOYALISTS A PLACE TO TURN IN ON LONG, CHILLY NIGHTS. CHOOSE FROM A VARIETY OF BIRDHOUSES TO PROTECT ‘EM AGAINST THE COLD PRECIPITATION.

ALWAYS PROVIDE A FRESH SOURCE FOR DRINKING & BATHING. AND WHEN TEMPS DROP, USE A BIRDBATH DE-ICER TO PREVENT WATER FROM TURNING INTO A SKATING RINK.

Tip:

insulate birdhouses with wood chips & dry grass so birds can plug cracks & holes to retain body heat on the coldest of nights

FEED ‘EM Like Kings FILL FEEDERS WITH HEAVY, HIGH-ENERGY FOODS LIKE ACE WILD BIRD FOOD. IT REDUCES SHIVERING & KEEPS THEM SINGING. ATTRACT CARDINALS & COLORFUL SONGBIRDS WITH WILD DELIGHT ADVANCE FORMULA NUT N’ BERRY, CARDINAL FOOD AND MANY MORE VARIETIES OF BIRD FOODS.

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6:47 PM


What’s Happening at Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64110 816-759-7300 For more information, email discoverycenter@mdc.mo.gov. Winter Trees January 7 ∙ Saturday ∙ 10 AM–2:30 PM Walk-in (all ages) Most trees have dropped their leaves and are in a state of dormancy during the heart of winter. This makes them a bit more challenging to identify, but there are methods we can use to learn about them. Join us for a brisk hike as we explore winter trees and all they have to offer to wildlife. Then we will make tree bark rubbings so you can take home your own piece of wintertime art.   Northern Cardinals of Missouri January 21 ∙ Saturday ∙ 10 AM–2:30 PM Walk-in (all ages) The northern cardinal is one of Missouri’s most beautiful non-migratory birds! Would you like to discover how you can attract these striking birds during the wintery months, including making a simple homemade feeder? Once you know more about their nesting habits, eating behaviors and favorite foods it’s a sure bet you’ll have them as guests for your viewing pleasure year-round.

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Resolutions for Gardeners A

new year typically brings about resolutions right? Be they for losing weight, being more organized or simply an overall “being better” wish, resolutions are good goals to have. Gardeners are no exception to wishing for the better; better gardens, better planning, better record-keeping, etc. Following are five resolutions that we wish every gardener, no matter their level of expertise, will embrace in the new year:

1. I will not blame myself for gardening failures.

Oftentimes, Mother Nature is not our friend when it comes to gardening. Or life gets in the way. We do not want you to despair! Simply try again and learn from experience. Your garden, and your gardening friends, are both extremely forgiving.

2. I will not be afraid to ask questions.

How else can you learn? Take advantage of the experience of your neighbor, your aunt, the garden center employee or the local extension agent. If they are like typical garden fanatics, they will appreciate your interest and be flattered that you want to learn from them. And learn you will!

3. I will try something new.

This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Have you ever met a gardener who didn’t want the newest of the new, for bragging rights if nothing else? But what about really new...like a new growing style or completely new crop of vegetables. Cruise around on Pinterest and we guarantee you’ll find something irresistible that’s out of your usual comfort zone.

4. I will share my passion.

We’ve done and seen studies that show many of today’s gardeners got their start by learning from someone else, usually a parent or grandparent. Can you be that mentor? Will you be the reason your son or daughter serves homegrown vegetables to your grandchildren? Can you be the reason your neighbor plants window boxes for the first time?

5. I will embrace nature and garden for the birds, the bees and the butterflies (and the bats too!).

One of the most enjoyable benefits of having a garden is being able to enjoy the beautiful creatures who visit it. So plan your flowers and vegetables with that in mind then sit back and enjoy the show.

WATER’S EDGE

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

Feel free to steal these resolutions for your own, we won’t mind! Let’s Go Garden!   Source: National Garden Bureau


© 2017, The Scotts Company, LLC. All rights reserved

Feed your passion.

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Ask the Experts Readers share their questions about landscape issues, and DENNIS PATTON gives expert tips and advice. WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF OAK ITCH MITES Question: I am sick and tired of those darn oak itch mites. Will they be back next year? Answer: I have consulted my crystal ball and the Ouija board and both say they don’t know. At this point we have no idea whether they will return. Once spring rolls around we can get a better handle on the potential outbreak in 2017.

issues. As they say, only time will The main indicator will be the number of oak margin galls which tell. are associated with the mite. If the trees leaf out and become PREVENTION infested with the gall formation Question: What can I do in my yard to prevent oak leaf itch mites then I think it is fairly safe to draw a conclusion the mite attacks next year? may return. If the spring season Answer: Absolutely nothing. passes and there are little or no OFF*1 galls present then the likelihood 5E Series WATERING TURF IN THE WINTER may decrease. I think a good hardand 5055E Question: Do I need to water 5045E –– might –– also help reduce MFWD, winterOR the 2015 mymodels lawn this winter? Answer: People that know me for say my favorite answer to just months financing about any horticulture question is –– AND –– “it depends.” That is the best answer OFF to this question. It depends on the Implement Bonus*1 maturity of your lawn and how much moisture falls this winter. www.toro.com NEW S240 SPORT • Turbocharged PowerTech™ engine Usually a well-established • Independent 540 PTO lawn will have no issues mak§ • Category 1 and 2 compatible NEW S240 SPORT ing it through the winter without supplemental water. But if we have a warmer winter and little or no § moisture then a soaking once or • 18.5 hp (13.8 kW, 603 cc)* so would ensure that it comes out • 42-in. mower deck strong in the spring as tempera1 Family 3Ethe Series • Bumper-to-bumper 3-year/ tures warm. A fall seeded or sodded 1023E and 1025R• 18.5 3032E and 3038E hp (13.8 kW, 603 cc)* 200-hour warranty** lawn is another story. This grass • 42-in. mower deck will have a less vigorous root sys• Bumper-to-bumper 3-year/ 200-hour warranty** tem and unable to pick up as much soil moisture. You might dig around TimeMaster™ in a few small spots and if the upper 30”RIGHT. Wide Area Mower BUILT couple of inches are dry then get Z235  InsertRIGHT. PRICED Bullet Feature or Benefit

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MANDEVILLA MAINTENANCE Question: I brought my mandevilla indoors for winter. It gets morning sun. Should I cut it back? Answer: I did this several times and had mixed results. My best advice would be not to cut back the growth until you move it back

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CLEAN UP HOSTA GARDEN Question: Should I cut off and remove all the dead leaves in my hosta garden? Answer: It really depends on you. There I said depends again. The foliage has died down and provides little or no protection to the crown of the plant. I like to clean up a lot of perennials in the fall just so I can be a step ahead come spring. Personally, I remove all perennial growth that has little or no winter interest and provides no food for wildlife. I do leave the foliage on plants that may be prone to winter injury and more temperamental in our climate. Hostas are very happy in our climate so clean up and you are ready to sit back and watch the new shoots come spring.

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Great Native Trees of the Kansas City Region presented by The Kansas Native Plant Society

Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 1 p.m.

at the Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, KS

Should I cut back my mandevilla while wintering indoors? out in the spring. Cutting back will remove the newest and most productive foliage for keeping the plant alive. Cutting back will also create more stress on the plant as it tries to develop new buds. Expect a lot of leaf drop over the winter with the low light levels. Your goal is to keep it alive and then come spring, repot, trim back, fertilize and boot back outside for another summer of color. SPEED UP LEAF BREAKDOWN Question: I chopped up my yard leaves and put them in the garden as mulch. How can I make them break down faster? Answer: Think about the leaves in the garden the same as if they were in a compost bin. The two driving factors for quick breakdown are ample moisture and a constant food supply for the microorganisms that create the compost. Keep the leaves and soil moist by watering as needed throughout the winter. The next trick is to feed the microbes. Dry leaves have little or no nutrients so sprinkle a little fertilizer over the leaves and water well. This combination of lightly feeding and keeping moist is the secret to success. If the leaves remain dry come spring you will

still have chopped leaves instead of compost to enrich the soils for healthy plants. IS WINTER PROTECTION NEEDED FOR HYDRANGEA Question: I planted an Endless Summer hydrangea in a plastic pot this summer. Should I move it to the garage? Answer: Well it all depends. The problem with many macrophylla hydrangeas is the flower buds are not always winter hardy. The best flowers are produced on the overwintering buds. So a harsh winter can take out the blooms. Also being in a pot provides the roots with less protection from freezing and thawing. My recommendation is to bring the pot into the garage once the temperatures start dipping into the mid-teens. As late winter rolls around move the plant back outdoors when the temperatures stay above twenty. I know several people that do this with great success. Dennis Patton is the horticulture agent for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. For free information fact sheets, visit www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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Ken O’Dell, the Kansas City Regional Leader of The Kansas Native Plant Society, will give a one-hour PowerPoint presentation on Great Native Trees of the Kansas City Region. We will show photos of our great native trees, see how they live and reproduce, manufacture their food, survive against all odds, and add to our enjoyment of life. We will have seating for 50 people. Reservations are not needed or taken. Come early to get a chair. If you are not a member of or volunteer at the OP Arboretum, there is a $3.00 admission fee. More information is at www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org. Click on the events calendar to contact Ken O’Dell.

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Help Birds Survive Cold Weather Attention birders! THERESA HIREMATH discusses backyard bird winter needs, and how you can help.

T

ypically, your feeders serve as a supplemental food source for birds. In contrast, during periods of extreme cold and severe winter weather, your birds may switch to utilizing your feeders as a critical source of food that enables them to survive from day to day. So make sure your foods are worth their weight with quality high-calorie, fatty foods for the birds. You can play a vital role, as feeding the birds becomes critical when extremely cold conditions occur. At these times, a reliable supply of energy-heavy food can mean the difference between life and death for a bird. To stay warm, birds will expend energy very quickly, some losing up to 10% of their body weight on extremely cold nights. Food is the most essen-

tial element, providing birds with the energy, stamina and nutrition they need. Providing an ample supply of high-calorie foods such as suet, bark butter, sunflower, Nyjer and more is crucial to a bird’s survival. Suet is full of essential fat and protein which helps birds such as woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, wrens and others, maintain their high metabolic rate and body temperature to survive. Nyjer and a finch blend (Nyjer and fine sunflower chips) are high in fat and protein, and they are a favorite of goldfinches, Pine Siskin and Purple and House Finches. Seed blends loaded with fresh high-quality sunflower and safflower seeds and millet are great for most bird feeders. Millet is high

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

Suet is full of essential fat and protein crucial to helping backyard birds survive winter. in carbohydrates and is especially good for attracting ground-feeding birds, such as native sparrows, juncos, towhees, quail and doves. Bird food cylinders are a win-win for you and your birds. Cylinders are long-lasting, allowing you fewer trips to fill the feeder (super-nice in cold weather!). Choose a cylinder packed with high-calorie peanut, tree nut and sunflowers to help the birds stay warmer. Some cylinders are even made without seed shells, providing a quick energy snack for birds and no mess for you. In order to meet your birds’ needs, it is important to have at least one foundational feeder that dependably provides food every day and does not have to be filled very often. Studies have demonstrated that a constant and reliable

source of supplemental food helps to improve the overall health and body condition of wild birds. Help your birds know your food is worth the weight by locating your foundational feeder in a sheltered location out of the wind and keep it full of the high-calorie, fatty foods that provide birds the crucial nutrition they need to survive and thrive even during the coldest times of the year. Our backyard bird feeding experts would love to help you select bird foods that are worth the weight, so stop in to the store to see us today! Nik and Theresa Hiremath own and operate Wild Birds Unlimited of Leawood at 11711 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas. Contact them at 913-491-4887. Grow fresh, tasty veggies and herbs year round!

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Evergreens for Midwest Winters Local forester, LARRY RYAN identifies evergreens that will perk up your winter landscape with color and texture.

Hemlock

E

vergreens play an important part in the Midwest landscape. After hardwood trees drop their leaves, evergreens become a winter focal point. At the very least, they add a splash of green to the winter landscape. For many, color has a way of lifting low spirits on a dreary winter day. A few evergreens that do well in Kansas City landscapes include our native eastern red cedar, pines, varieties of spruce and arborvitae, and hemlock. Some professionals argue many of these do not do well as they often have short life spans. My opinion has changed in the last 30 years. If we can get 15 to 20 good years from a tree, that is good. This provides an opportunity to refresh parts of the landscape periodically. Let’s look at the strengths of four of these trees: Vanderwolf pine, hemlock, columnar white pine, and arborvitae. Vanderwolf pine is a soft 5 needle pine that grows about 2 feet a year, is almost columnar, and has a lovely blue tint needle. It can be used as an individual tree for a specimen plant. The blue color will pull your eye to it and away from other plants. In the winter with so many grays and browns, this tree can be striking. It is also attractive when grouped in a cluster of three or more. We use a cluster of these trees at the entrance of our office. This tree will grow considerably faster than blue spruce. This can be good or bad. Both spruce and Vanderwolf pines eventually get

Vanderwolf pine

Columnar white pine

Green giant arborvitae

large, so make sure you have the space available when you plant. Hemlock is a unique evergreen because it will tolerate moderate shade. In the forest it often grows under the shade of other trees. In shade, it will be slower growing. This can be an advantage for many spots in your landscape where you do not want a big tree. It is an attractive, soft needle. I have one next to the stone face of my home and it provides a lovely soft contrast. Columnar white pine resembles the standard white pine in many ways but it has a tighter upright growth habit. Like the white pine, it has a soft needle that is pleasant when brushed against. You can comfortably plant this tree close to your patio (5’ away) and enjoy everything about it. Each fall when our deciduous trees lose their leaves, the inside needles will turn bright yellow and fall to the ground. It is the 3 year old needle only that yellows. The first two year needles remain green. The needles will hold that bright yellow color for several weeks and make a lovely mulch in pots close to the front door. Then slowly the yellow color will dissipate into a normal brown. Green giant arborvitae has been very popular the last decade. It has a very conical shape when young, has dark green foliage, and grows several feet a year. It is often planted where the homeowner wants a living screen. It likes full sun. You will enjoy this plant as a specimen, grouping, or as a living hedge.

Most do not tolerate wet feet, but need ample moisture in the soil. The hemlock tolerates the most shade. When you research the evergreen you want to add to your special spot in your landscape, look at the specifics of the site: wet or dry, sunny or partial shade, overhead wires or wide open, and plant-

ing space available. The answers to these questions will help you decide that “right” plant for your spot. Happy planting. Larry Ryan is a forester and president of Ryan Lawn & Tree, Overland Park, Kan. He can be reached at 913-381-1505.

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1

Small Houseplants for Small Spaces If you’re looking to bring the garden indoors, but space is limited, BRENT TUCKER offers his recommendations.

T

hese days it seems that our living spaces are getting smaller whether by desire or necessity. Yet we still want to add green life into our homes. It’s a good thing then there are small plants that can fill any small spot in your home. With a little digging you can find a world of small plants from a micro miniature Begonia to fill a small glass terrarium or a compact flowering Anthurium to give you some flower power. Here are some suggestions to get you on the right track. Begonia As I’ve previously written, I have a love for begonias and the variety of size is amazing. There are miniatures to compact begonias that can fit on your shelf in the bathroom or perhaps even your nightstand beside your bed. A small terrarium begonia like Red Planet or luzonensis reaches only

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

a few inches tall and both have pretty pink to white flowers and decorative foliage. Or how about Autumn Embers (picture 5), that has beautiful amber orange foliage sure to liven up that table under the window. Variety is huge here! Pilea This is another large plant family that most people might be familiar with. This family contains Artillery Fern, Aluminum plant, and Chinese Money plant. This group of shade loving succulent like plants is so easy to care for and can be used in a variety of areas. They can even be used in terrariums too. Chinese Money Pilea, P. peperomioides (picture 1 and 8), is such an easy plant that produces round coin-like leaves. It can grow up to a foot tall and wide and takes neglect really well. It spreads by runners in the pot and these can be separated and shared with others.

Peperomia Here again is another large plant family that contains a variety of compact sizes and leaf colorations. It’s also known as the radiator plant and has succulent like stems and leaves. In fact, there are a few species that are grown like cactus and succulents. I have many favorites but the ones that come to mind are Green Ripple (picture 10), Baby Rubber plant, and P. prostrata. There are even a few species that their leaves resemble watermelon rind. Again most of these are super easy and take some neglect. Try a few varieties in your terrarium as well. Brazilian Fireworks  This plant (picture 4) has turned out to be one of the easiest plants to grow. It’s also known as Rose Pine and Purple Shrimp plant and coincidentally is related to the tropical Shrimp plant. It has silver veined

green leaves that are topped with rose colored, pine cone shaped flower spikes that are produced throughout the year. It stays about a foot tall and wide, and will grow in low to bright light levels in your home. To flower reliably it will need to be placed near a bright window. This one is so easy and you can plant it out in a pot with Impatiens for summer. Anthurium Flamingo flower or painter’s palette (picture 9) is a very tropical looking flowering plant that will produce beautiful flowers all year long. This flowering plant is a bit on the larger size when full grown, however they will flower when young about 8 to 10 inches tall. Flowers range from white, pink, to red and last for weeks while more are produced. Anthuriums like to be allowed to dry between watering and misting helps to create


the humidity they like. Remember, they are tropical after all. Place them in a bright window where flowering will be at its best. Nestle them in with your orchids they will make a nice addition. Sansevieria Most of you know this by snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (picture 2) and you know how easy these are to care for. There are some compact varieties that can easily be placed in small areas of the home. The variety of leaf variegation in the bird nest types are many and there are a few that stay well under a foot tall like S. ballyi and Pinguicula (picture 3). The toughness of these plants is amazing and the only way you could go wrong with them is by overwater-

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ing. Also, some of them grow so slowly that they can stay in the same container or space for years. Also, don’t forget about African violets (picture 6), flame violets, ferns, and orchids (picture 7). All of these plants can be found at your local garden centers, plant club sales and friends. These are only a few in a myriad of choices of compact plants. Sizes, textures, and colors are only the icing on the cake when it comes to choosing a new houseplant. Now, which one to try? Good growing! Brent Tucker is Horticulturist of Seasonal Displays and Events at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Gardens. You may reach him at btucker@powellgardens. org.

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10 The Kansas City Gardener | January 2017

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Enjoy Winter at Powell Gardens Spring Splendor Exhibit opens Jan. 14 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Horticulturist Brent Tucker is designing a lovely escape from winter! Step inside the conservatory and surround yourself in a spring garden filled with colorful gerbera daisies, kalanchoe, ‘Senetti’ pericallis, stock, snapdragons, primula and lobelia. Kiss your winter blues goodbye! Enjoy this colorful display through the month of February.

Wassailing Dinner and Feast Jan. 14 5-7 p.m. Take part in a one-of-a-kind winter tradition! Join us to wassail– toast the good health of–the apple orchard in the Heartland Harvest Garden and enjoy a hearty winter feast! First, we’ll gather indoors to enjoy hors d’ouvres, meet the Wassail King and hear the history of wassail. Then, get swept up in the wassailing tradition as we gather outside at the Apple Spiral.

Surrounded by cheerful bonfires, we’ll toast to the health of the apple trees, ward off evil spirits and enjoy some ol’ recipe wassail! After the outdoor festivities, return to the warmth of two roaring fireplaces in the Grand Hall and enjoy a feast of whole roast pig and delicious recipes featuring produce grown in our Heartland Harvest Garden. Tickets are $75/member, $100/nonmember. Purchase tickets at www.powellgardens.org/wassailing or call 816-697-2600 x209. Winter Nature Hike Jan. 15 1-4 p.m. On this hike, discover the beauty of the Midwestern winter landscape! Experience the sights and sounds of winter along the Byron Shutz Nature Trail – the striking, almost lightning-like form of bare tree branches reaching out to a clear winter sky, the subtle beauty of a sea of dried prairie grasses, the quick flurry of native birds alighting in an evergreen tree. Led by our director of horticulture, Alan Branhagen, you’ll learn lots

about the trees and animals you’ll encounter. The nature trail is 3.25 miles, so be prepared with proper clothing and footwear. Bring binoculars too! Registration required. $12.50/member, $15/nonmember. Visit powellgardens.org/walkwithnature or call 816-697-2600 x209 to register. Forever Evergreens Feb. 11 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Discover and learn about the conifers that thrive in Greater Kansas City gardens so you can enrich your own home landscape with beauty for all seasons. This 3-part program begins with Conifers I, where you’ll learn about some common easy-care varieties. Conifers II will focus on intermediate varieties and Conifers III will include a tour of our American Conifer Society Reference Garden. Alan Branhagen will bring in his private collection of conifers for study. Registration required. Single class: $12.50/member, $15/nonmember. Take this class in conjunction with one or both pruning

2017 Annual Spring Gardening Seminar March 11, 2017 Rockhurst University, KCMO

An all day event offering a variety of presentations from backyard birding to everything you wanted to know about mulch. $49.00 including lunch Visit www.mggkc.org/spring-seminar for detailed information on each of the 13 presentations plus enrollment instructions. Keynote Speaker - Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture Powell Gardens will discuss his new book “Native Plants of the Midwest” and offer ideas on how to enrich your landscape with native plants. 12

January 2017 | kcgmag.com


Beekeeping Workshop presented by Midwestern Beekeepers Association Saturday, February 25, 2017 classes. 2 classes: $$25/$27.50. 3 classes: $37.50/$40. Call 816-6972600 x209 for details and to register. Prudent Pruning: Fruit Trees Feb. 11 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Spend a morning in the Heartland Harvest Garden learning the basics of pruning to improve fruit production! You’ll have the opportunity to learn firsthand from our gardeners all the best techniques for pruning peaches, apples, grapes, blackberries and blueberries. Bring your gloves! Consider joining us for the afternoon session on pruning ornamentals. Single class: $12.50/member, $15/nonmember. 2 classes: $$25/$27.50. 3 classes: $37.50/$40. Optional lunch: $10. Our gardener-recommended pruners and folding saw may also be purchased for an extra fee. Call 816-697-2600 x209 for details and to register. Prudent Pruning: Ornamental Trees Feb. 11 1-4 p.m. Are you unsure of the proper way to prune your small trees and shrubs? Gain confidence through this class! You’ll get a broad base of knowledge as you learn the best times to prune, horticulturally

sound techniques and even basic tool care. You’ll also get plenty of hands-on experience. Parts of this class are outdoors, please dress appropriately and bring gloves. Registration required. Single class: $12.50/member, $15/nonmember. 2 classes: $$25/$27.50. 3 classes: $37.50/$40. Optional lunch: $10. Our gardener-recommended pruners and folding saw may also be purchased for an extra fee. Call 816-697-2600 x209 for details and to register. Vintage Valentine Affair Feb. 11 Spend a sweet evening with your valentine in our beautiful Grand Hall! Throughout the night you’ll enjoy five exquisite wines paired with imaginative chocolateinfused light bites, and a fun exploration of the intertwined nature of romance and gardens. Your hosts for the evening will be sommelier Hillary McCoy and our own Barb the Gardener. Each attendee will receive a keepsake love potion handcrafted by Barb, made with enticing ingredients from the Heartland Harvest Garden. Learn more and purchase tickets by visiting www.powellgardens.org/vintagevalentine or calling 816-6972600 x209.

at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015 The Midwestern Beekeepers Association will have their 22nd Annual Beginning Beekeeping Workshop on Saturday, February 25, 2017. The workshop registration fee is $35 and includes the workshop, presentation notes and First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith S. Delaplane. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. Beekeeping suppliers will be on site to order bees and supplies. The class size is limited to 60. To register, please visit Midwestern Beekeepers Association website at www.midwesternbeekeepers.org/ to download a registration form. For more information, please call Bob Williams at 816-331-6634.

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The Kansas City Gardener | January 2017

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Gardening for Bees in the City Hills. There are more unattended areas growing weeds like chicory and Queen-Ann’s lace to the north and fewer people spraying herbicides on them. That’s just the opposite in Holly Hills, which has the second lowest population of bees in St. Louis according to Camilo. Basically his research found that weeds growing in abandoned lots do more for wildlife diversity than highly manicured lawns and bushes. Makes me think that planting natives in homes, community gardens, churches and parks can do the same, OR BETTER. Camilo encourages homeowners to replace 20% of mowed grass with native plants to improve habi-

Planters Seed Co. • Since 1927 •

Photo by Darla Preiss.

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re we serving nature by gardening with native plants and is it possible to promote biodiversity in urban places? Given the negative effect development seems to have on biodiversity these are valid questions. St. Louis lacks natural wildlife diversity and quality plant communities. That’s a typical consequence of development. But what happens when development begins to revert back to nature? That has happened in parts of North St. Louis where Dr. Gerardo Camilo, a bee scientist at St. Louis University, says there are greater numbers of bees than in communities in south St. Louis like Holly

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

SCOTT WOODBURY, he’s the bees knees when it comes to selecting the best natives for pollinators in your garden.

Bumblebee on swamp rose

Metallic sweat bee on purple coneflower

tat for bees. This conversion also improves storm water infiltration. Camilo also recommends mowing grass at 3-4 inches high every two weeks instead of 1-2 inches every week to increase habitat and food for bees. This combined with a tolerance for lawn weeds like violets and dandelions helps bees and other beneficial insects survive in urban places by providing them with nectar-producing flowers. Some native plants definitely attract bees better than others. It is

not one size fits all. Bumblebees love big flowers that they can wallow in like blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis) and poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata). On balmy late-winter days tiny sweat bees and flies appear on blooming prairie pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) and Ozark witchazel (Hamamelus vernalis). Pull up a chair or sit on the ground for the best view. Later in spring black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) and American linden (Tilia americana)

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

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Golden Alexanders — Zizia aurea

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for its uniqueness among past choices for WOY. It represents a new family on our list (Apiaceae), it is a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies, it is found in at least a 1/3 of Kansas counties, and it is shade-adaptable which makes it a good landscaping plant since so many yards have shade. Zizia aurea is an excellent source of pollen and nectar for numerous species of large and small bees. Azure butterflies, Soldier Beetles, Ladybird Beetles, several spiders and wasps are also attracted to the flowers. For more photos and a detailed description of Zizia aurea, visit kswildflower.org.

olden alexanders (Zizia aurea) is the Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) 2016 Wildflower of the Year (WOY). Golden alexanders is 12” to 36” tall with yellow flowers in flat-topped umbels blooming in May and June. This species is found in moist prairies, wet thickets, open woodlands, ditches and along streams in the eastern 1/3 of the state. Even though it is commonly found in moist habitat, it still survives well through dry summers. Zizia aurea is in the Apiaceae or parsley/carrot family, but it may cause vomiting in humans if eaten and should be considered toxic. The plant resources committee chose this species primarily Photo courtesy of mobot.org.

Photo by Scott Woodbury.

Honeybee on Black-eyed Susan trees bloom, luring a cacophony of bees by day and silent armies of moths by night. At the tail-end of spring, native swamp rose (Rosa palustris) and Carolina rose (R. caroliniana) attract small bumblebees that do a crazy-dance on the flowers. Scientists call it buzz-pollination. Dance little bumblebee, dance! When summer rolls around the best bee performance in town is on the stage of a wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) flower cluster where metallic sweat bees, honeybees, small bumblebees, flies, beetles, moths and wasps all take turns lapping up its sweet nectar. It reminds me of a frenzied bait ball of sardines slowly being devoured by tuna, diving birds, sea lions, and whales until the last fish is gone. This is another National Geographic moment waiting for you in your own back yard. Sadly, the cultivar ‘Annabelle’ has no nectar/pollen producing flowers and no performers. Next bee-magnet on deck in summer is ladies eardrops (Brunnichia cirrosa), which, like children, can

Kansas Wildflower of the Year

more easily be heard than seen. Bees swarm to this high-climbing woody vine so the trick is to grow it on a low trellis or fence so you can view the show without binoculars and more easily prune it. I recommend cutting it back hard every 2-3 years. It will bloom on new stems and is best pruned in winter. For more information about lawn alternatives check out the Missouri Botanical Garden’s rainscaping web page at www.mobot. org. To find sources of native plants referenced in this article and many more that support pollinators, visit www.grownative.org, Resource Guide. Also check out the plants featured in the Grow Native! Pollinator Buffet program. Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for more than 20 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program.

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Gardeners Connect presents What’s New for 2017 Saturday, Jan. 21

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ew introductions are the driving force building excitement in gardening every spring. Rita Arnold, coowner of Arnold’s Greenhouse in LeRoy, Kansas, plans to present most of the new introductions that will be available at their garden center and others this spring, including new annuals and vegetables, during a free lecture Saturday morning, Jan. 21. Rita’s program, “What’s New for 2017?” is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the auditorium of the Discovery Center, 4750 Troost, Kansas City, Missouri. The free program, open to everyone, is presented by Gardeners Connect. Coffee and refreshments are planned to be offered before the program at 10 a.m. in the Lewis and Clark Room down the hall from the lobby and auditorium entrance. Rita will offer an encyclopedic account of plants to watch for this spring. Come for all of it, or come for what you can. This will be your first and most comprehensive chance to hear what Rita has to share about plants for 2017. Be ready to take notes and leave the program filled with ideas and inspiration. Arnold’s Greenhouse has become a large retail and wholesale garden center operation. The Arnolds offer more than 2,500 cultivars of plants. George and Rita Arnold entered greenhouse growing business in the 1970s. George filled free time during evenings when Rita was a registered nurse at a hospital near LeRoy by building his first greenhouse with his father. It was 10 feet by 16 feet 16

January 2017 | kcgmag.com

and could hold about 160 flats of plants. George sold a few hundred dollars worth of cabbage, broccoli and various other vegetables to the local Duckwall’s store. His hobby business grew, and by the 1980s George and Rita were

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

Club Meetings African Violet Club of GKC Tues, Jan 10, 6-8pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Bonsai Society of GKC Sat, Jan 28, 10am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 GKC Herb Study Group Wed, Jan 11, 11am; at Rose Room, Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816513-8590 Heart of America Gesneriad Society Sat, Jan 21, 10am-noon; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Heartland Hosta & Shade Plant Society Sat, Mar 25; at **NEW LOCATION*** First Lutheran Church, 6400 State Line Rd, Mission Hills, KS 66208. Check-in and Hospitality at 9:30, Meeting 10am. Speaker Mary Ann Metz is an enthusiastic landscaper and shade gardener who will present “Landscape Design with Shade Plants”. After lunch Janmarie Hornack, Earth Right LLC, will present a short talk on the natural solutions to plant health. The Club will provide barbecue for a potluck at noon, you may bring your favorite dish to share. There will be great food, door prizes, great raffle options and best of all, two great speakers. Everyone is welcome! See you there! For info call, Gwen Wheeler 816-213-0598.

Rita and George Arnold own and operate Arnold’s Greenhouse in LeRoy, Kansas. Rita will educate and inspire you with her presentation on plants that will be available in 2017. Grab your gardening friends and join us Jan. 21. selling a wide variety of plants to wholesale markets. In 1997, they built the 60- by 80-foot steel building and attached 120by 288-foot greenhouse that is now the centerpiece of Arnold’s Greenhouse. The mission of Gardeners Connect, founded in 1958 and based at Loose Park, is to “educate and inspire members of our community to become more complete gardeners.” More information on its events and membership can be found at www.GardenersConnect.org.

KC Cactus and Succulent Society Sun, Jan 15, 1:30-4pm; at the Loose Park Garden Center, 51st St and Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. Visitors are welcome. For information on Garden Center events, call 816-513-8590. Kansas Native Plant Society Wed, Jan 18, 1pm; at the Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS. Ken O’Dell, the Kansas City Regional Leader of The Kansas Native Plant Society, will give a one-hour PowerPoint presentation on Great Native Trees of the Kansas City Region. We will show photos of our great native trees, see how they live and reproduce, manufacture their food, survive against all odds, and add to our enjoyment of life. We will have seating for 50 people. Reservations are not needed or taken. Come early to get a chair. If you are not a member of or volunteer at the Overland Park Arboretum there is a $3.00 admission fee. More information is at www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org. Click on the events calendar to contact Ken O’Dell.

Leavenworth Co Master Gardeners Wed, Jan 11, 11am; at Riverfront Community Center, 123 Esplanade St, Leavenworth, KS 66048. Doug Grimm, owner of Grimm Gardens, will be speaking about new products, plants and Championship trees. The meeting is free. Visitors are welcome. For more information contact Melony Lutz at 913484-4568 or the Leavenworth County Extension office at 913-364-5700. Leawood Garden Club Tues, Jan 24, 10:30am; at Cure of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS. At about noon, Jason Alison of Kat Wholesale, Inc, will present “Emerging Trends in the Landscaping Business.” The meeting and our membership is open to everyone and guests are most welcome. Bring a sack lunch – beverages and desserts are provided. For more information, please visit our website www.leawood.org/leawoodgardenclub or send an email to leawoodgardenclub@gmail.com. Lee’s Summit Garden Club Tues, Jan 10, 7-9pm; at Winterset Park Community Center, 2505 S W Wintercreek Dr, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Our program speaker will be from the Mid America Begonia Society. Refreshments will be provided and visitors are always welcome. Visit our website www.leessummitgardenclub.org or call 816-540-4036 for information. Mid America Begonia Society Sat, Jan 21, 1:30-4pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 MoKan Daylily Society Sun, Feb 5, 11:30am-2:30pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, KC, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Olathe Garden and Civic Club Tues, Jan 17, 12:30pm; at Bass Pro Shop, I-35 & 119th in Olathe. The program will be “All About Hummingbirds” presented by Nik Hiremath from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Store. The store is located in Leawood. The public is welcome. For information, email Caren Burns, at carenburns@comcast.net. Orchid Society of Greater Kansas Sun, Jan 8, 1:30-4:30pm; “Orchids Underground”, at Birds Botanicals, “The Cave”. Come see this unique setting where hundreds of orchids are being grown and flowered in an underground facility with artificial light. Open to the public. For directions, go to www.birdsbotanicals.com or www.osgkc.org.  Overland Park Gardeners of America Mon, Jan 9, 7pm social, 7:30pm meeting; at Colonial Church, 71st and Mission Rd,


Prairie Village, KS, lower level. Have you ever moved from a home with a complete established garden. Then you move to a new home to start it all over again. Well, Al Turner, one of our members did just that. Come to hear all about the transition and what he left behind. All visitors are welcome. Any questions, contact Karen Clark, 785-224-7279. Sho Me African Violet Club Fri, Jan 13, 10:30am-2pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Membership. 816-513-8590 Water Garden Society of GKC Tues, Jan 17; at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 2552 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108. Parking is free behind the building. Our first speakers at 6pm are George Koepp, a financial advisor with Edward Jones and Cheryl Boushka, an estate planning attorney. Their topic is Script Your Family’s Future—Why You Need an Estate Plan. At 7pm, speakers Michael and Linda Harwood will be sharing their pictures and experiences from the International Water Lily and Garden Symposium in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. While in Mexico, they saw native water lilies, toured a tropical fish hatchery, museum and Mayan ruins. The doors open at 5:15pm for snacks and socializing. See you there!

Events, Lectures & Classes January and beyond Must Have Plants Tues, Jan 24, 7pm; at Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, 66061. Learn the tried and true plants that grow well in Kansas City. $10. Register at www.johnson.kstate.edu or call 913-715-7000. Vegetable Gardening 101 Tues, Jan 31, 7pm; at Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, 66061. Whether you’re new to gardening or an experienced hand, find out the basics for planting a successful vegetable garden. $10. Register at www.johnson.k-state.edu or call 913-715-7000. African Violet Annual Sale Sat, Feb 11, 9am-3pm; at Loose Park Garden Center, 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Sponsored by African Violet Club of Greater Kansas City. This is our annual sale of African violets and other gesneriads. For more information: kskd1@juno.com Growing Beautiful Hydrangeas Thurs, Feb 16, 7pm; at Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, 11811 S Sunset Dr, Olathe, 66061. Learn the

different varieties and tips for growing gorgeous hydrangeas. $10. Register at www.johnson.k-state.edu or call 913715-7000. Beekeeping Workshop Sat, Feb 25, at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Rd, Blue Springs, MO 64015. The Midwestern Beekeepers Association will present their 22nd Annual Beginning Beekeeping Workshop. The workshop registration fee is $35 and includes the workshop, presentation notes and First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith Delaplane. Registration will begin at 8am and the workshop will be from 9am to 5pm with a break for lunch. Beekeeping Suppliers will be on site to order bees and supplies. The class size is limited to 60. To register, please visit Midwestern Beekeepers Association website at www.midwesternbeekeepers.org to download a registration form. For information, please call Bob Williams at 816-331-6634. Using Native Host Plants in the Ornamental Garden Sat, Mar 11, 5:30pm Pot-luck Dinner and 6:45pm Presentation; at Prairie Village Community Center, 7700 Mission Rd 66208. Free to the public. Sponsored by Idalia Butterfly Society, Lenora Larson will present Taming the Beasts: Using Native Host Plants in the Ornamental Garden. Most caterpillar food plants and many pollinator blooms are natives that may challenge a fastidious gardener. Fear of a weedy mess and/or the reaction of their Homeowners’ Association often prevents gardeners from planting for butterflies and bees. However, my garden contains the host plants for over 50 species of butterflies and there are no “weeds”. Using butterfly host plants as examples, this presentation will discuss the elements of garden design and provide multiple specific tactics to civilize any overly enthusiastic plants. Lenora Larson is a Marais des Cygnes Extension Master Gardener and member of local chapters of both the Idalia Butterfly Society and Kansas Native Plant Society. Questions? Contact lenora.longlips@ gmail.com. Annual Spring Gardening Seminar Sat, Mar 11; at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. An all-day event offering a variety of presentations from backyard birding to everything you wanted to know about mulch. $49.00 including lunch. Visit www.mggkc.org/springseminar for detailed information on each of the 13 presentations plus enrollment instructions. Keynote Speaker, Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture Powell Gardens will discuss his new book “Native Plants of the Midwest” and offer ideas on how to enrich your landscape with native plants.

Promote garden club and society meetings, classes, seminars and other gardening events! Send all the details via e-mail to: elizabeth@kcgmag.com Deadline for February issue is January 5.

Pets & Plants: Marijuana By Phil Roudebush, DVM, DACVIM

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arijuana (Cannabis sativa) is an annual herbaceous plant, which has been cultivated throughout history as a source of fiber, seed oil, food, recreation, religious inspiration and medicine. The flowers and to a lesser extent the leaves, stems and seeds contain psychoactive and physiologically active chemicals known as cannabinoids. The main psychoactive constituent of marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) although the plant is known to contain over sixty different cannabinoid compounds. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is growing in popularity for people and use of medical marijuana is being extrapolated to animals as well. It is important to remember that despite some state and local laws that approve use of medical marijuana, federal laws still consider the plant to be a controlled substance and it is illegal to possess or use it for any purpose in people or animals. Marijuana may have use for medical purposes in animals but safety, efficacy and dosage studies are lacking at the present time. Animals can be exposed accidently or maliciously to mixtures of cut and dried marijuana flowers, leaves and stems. Dogs are most commonly affected but clinical problems have been reported in cats and other pet animals. Consumption of marijuana in baked foods such as cookies or

brownies often occurs with dogs. Clinical problems after oral exposure include sudden onset of depression, weakness, wobbly gait, urine dribbling, tremors and rarely seizures and coma. The clinical signs may improve with environmental stimulation and then worsen again with rest. These problems are usually not life threatening and often resolve within 24 to 48 hours although fatal reactions have been reported with exposure to large quantities of plant material. Diagnosis is usually based on ruling out other causes of similar acute-onset signs and historical information provided by the owner. Over-the-counter illicit drug test kits (urine) for people may help confirm exposure in the early phases but have not been validated in dogs or other animals–a negative result does not preclude exposure. Treatment goals include early decontamination (induce vomiting, activated charcoal) and supportive care. Marijuana or its active constituents may be used for medical purposes in animals in the future but exposure of dogs and other pets to marijuana can cause health problems and should be cause for concern. Phil Roudebush is a retired veterinarian, specialist in small animal internal medicine, and Extension Master Gardener. He can be reached at philroudebush@gmail.com.

The Kansas City Gardener | January 2017

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January

garden calendar n FLOWERS

n LAWN

• Avoid walking on frozen lawns as it may injure the grass. • Rake fallen leaves that pile up on the lawn to prevent the grass from suffocating. • Proper mower maintenance is important, tune-up now. • Scatter snow instead of piling up on the lawn next to drives and walks. • Talk with lawn service company now about summer contracts. • Dormant seed following a light snow or rainfall.

n TREES AND SHRUBS

• Gently brush off heavy snow from tree and shrub limbs to reduce damage. • Prune storm-damaged limbs quickly to reduce damage and prevent tearing of the bark. • Allow ice to melt naturally from limbs. • Bring twigs of flowering trees and shrubs indoors for forced spring blossoms. • Avoid the temptation to prune on a warm winter day. • Water fall-planted trees and shrubs when soil is dry and not frozen. • Watch out for rabbit damage to bark of trees and shrubs.

n VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

• Peruse seed catalogs and prepare order. • Check stored seeds for decay. • Soil test, prepare for spring planting by making required additions. • Start vegetable transplants for the garden under grow lights. • Order fruit trees. • Pick up fallen fruit before spring arrives and discard. • Be on the lookout for rabbit and rodent damage to fruit tree bark.

• Scan nursery catalogs for new introductions. • Still have bulbs to plant? Get in the ground now. • Start seeds throughout the winter depending on growth requirements. • Water fall-planted perennials as needed to prevent desiccation. • Watch for signs of frost heaving and cover tender roots. • Replace mulch layers as needed. • Check stored bulbs for rot and decay and discard damaged ones. • Curl up with a good book and learn more about gardening.

n INDOOR PLANTS

• Wash dust off plant leaves to allow more sunlight to reach the leaves. • Water plants with room temperature water. • Insecticidal soap sprays can be used to remove pests. • Mealy bugs and scales can be wiped off with a swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. • Rotate plants to develop a well-rounded plant. • Keep new plants separated to be sure they do not harbor insects. • Reduce fertilizer use until spring when more sunlight is available for growth.

n MISCELLANEOUS

• Repair garden tools. • Sand and seal tool handles to prevent splinters. • Apply brightly-colored paint to tool handles to make them easier to spot in the garden. • Keep bird feeders and water supplies filled for feathered friends.

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 www.johnson.ksu.edu, or call the Extension office at 913-715-7000.

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January 2017 | kcgmag.com

Mowers, Blowers, Hedge Clippers and Chain Saws are in stock now! All equipment assembled, serviced and ready to go when you buy it. Nothing goes out of here in a box!

We service what we sell and more! We also carry Lawn & Garden supplies, pet supplies and bird seed.

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Cold winter days can be spent perusing seed and plant catalogs, and planning the next gardening season. If you’re looking for suggestions, here’s a sunny annual from Proven Winners worthy of consideration. Learn more at KCGMAG.COM.

Please enclose your check payable to The Kansas City Gardener and mail with this form to: P.O. Box 8725, Prairie Village, KS 66208 Photo courtesy of provenwinners.com.

The Kansas City Gardener is published monthly Jan. through Dec.

Professional’s Corner

Bennie Palmentere

About: Experienced staff with 20 years experience helping customers with decisions about light systems, plant nutrients, hydroponic systems and do-it-yourself products. We never use

owner, operator River Market Hydro

high-pressure sales tactics and we never will sell you more than you need. At River Market Hydro the customer is always right. How we started: In the fall of 2012, I purchased the company formerly called Green Circle Hydroponics, which was established in 1992. I’m a financial advisor by trade and was researching the popularity of home gardening and the big demand for organic produce. Just by coincidence a long time friend of mind owned the store and was looking to sell, so I thought why not. Finances to gardening was a complete 180 and I knew I would have to learn the business quickly or surround myself with knowledgeable people. Type of operation: River Market Hydro is a full line retail and E-commerce store for indoor/outdoor gardening supplies. We offer a full lineup of fertilizers, nutrients, grow lights, hydroponic systems, aquaponic supplies and a number of organic soils. What can gardeners grow with hydroponics: With all of the different ways of hydroponic growing you can basically grow any type of plant. Yes, some are easier than others, such as greens, herbs, and tomatoes,

whereas root vegetable plants like potatoes, turnips and carrots, would take some skill. Classes: We offer classes throughout the year on hydroponics, soil, indoor setup, and many other topics. Visit our website or Facebook page for details and registration. Distinctly River Market Hydro: The business is quite unique in the sense that we offer education and direction on how to grow. My manager Jeff Krupkowski, a graduate from Iowa State, is the key to our success. Jeff is a wealth of knowledge and teaches all of our classes. We have customers that travel from far distances just to visit with Jeff to pick his brain. You should get to know him too. Little known secret: I would say the location of our store. The building is located on a one way street just south of the river market and sometimes difficult to find. We are right across the street from Planters Seed Co. at the bottom of the adjacent parking lot. Contact information: 12 E. Missouri Ave., Kansas City, MO. 64106, Ph: 816-4211840; Open seven days a week 10am to 6pm during the week and 10am to 4pm on weekends. On the web at Rivermarkethydro.com.

The Kansas City Gardener | January 2017

19


January White Sale n ee

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CONTAINERS

10% Off

ALL Tropicals & Houseplants

25% Off

Colorful Foliage & Blooms to Brighten the Winter Days

Great Selection of

Bird Feeders & Wild Bird Food Don’t Forget the BIRDS

Free

Small Scapes Workshop in February

www.suburbanlg.com

135th & Wornall

20(816) January 2017 | kcgmag.com 942-2921

K-7 & Prairie Star Pkwy Closed for Winter Season

105th & Roe (913) 649-8700

KCG 01Jan2017  

houseplants, resolutions, evergreens, bees