Posts tagged lawn and garden show

Waking the garden

The following is from Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith, who wrote this on a more pleasant day than today:


Yes, Mr. Rogers, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  And presentations by Master Gardeners Deb Walser on New Perennials and Becki Lynch on Grasses at the Lawn and Garden Show last weekend got me really, really motivated to work in the yard.  As I moaned about achy muscles, my favorite Granddaughter Catie, chided me for not stretching before grabbing the rake and nippers.  Now is a great time to commence waking your flower and vegetable beds.   If you have heavy concentrations of leaves and debris in the beds packed down by snow and ice, rake them out and fire up the lawn mower or shredder.  Fluff the mulch and add the shredded leaves to the top of it. Air, water and nutrients need to reach dormant roots and bulbs. Encourage drainage.  Poorly drained soil or standing water will cause roots and bulbs to rot.  Think soil amendments.  Add compost to your beds.  If you’re thinking of having the soil tested, now is a good time and you can pick up the test from the Extension Office.    I got about half my beds trimmed and raked out today before I ran out of energy.  During a break I enjoyed cold tea instead of hot coffee, and planned further for the new bed I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  I know where the old seeder wagon and garden gate can stand.  I know approximately how much mulch and grass cloth to purchase.  And, I know about how many Hostas to buy at the Master Gardeners’ Spring Plant Sale.  I’ll broach the subject of the stone erosion control area to my favorite son at a later date.  

                 Draw a diagram of your deck and create an interesting focal point using your houseplants grouped with potted annuals.   Several years ago another Master Gardener suggested moving house plants outside for the summer.  It’s amazing how they thrive.  Just remember to keep them out of the direct, hot sunlight.  Get them ready now by repotting, if necessary.  Begin watering and fertilizing lightly and gradually increase exposure to sunlight. 

                Achy muscles aside, the fresh air and sunshine were so welcome. I’m anxious to get back out and clean up the remainder of the gardens.

                P.S. Many of you will be receiving or purchasing Hardy Oriental, Asiatic or traditional white lilies soon.  Keep them healthy by placing them in a cool, bright location in your home.  Keep the soil moist but not wet.  Perforate or remove the decorative foil so the water doesn’t collect in the decorative pot or basket.  Remember to place the pot on a saucer to prevent spills.  Continue to care for the lily after the flowers fade because they can be planted outdoors.  The planting site should be in full sun with well drained soil.  Lilies create beautiful backdrops or vertical accents.

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“A grass for you”

The following post is from Master Gardener Becki Lynch: 

I’m looking forward to participating in the WMT Lawn and Garden Show, both as a customer, and as a presenter.  But to get to my promise from last week,  here is a quick description of the four presentations that Master Gardeners will be giving over the weekend. Hours of the show are:  Friday, March 7.  3-8 p.m.;  Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 9,  10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hawkeye Downs on Sixth Street SW in Cedar Rapids.

Our first presentation will be on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and is titled “Kitchen Gardens.”  Ellen Skripsky is making this presentation and she is always a delight to hear.  You’ll soon see that she is not talking about a traditional vegetable garden, but one that includes fruit, vegetables, and flowers. She will also be sharing ideas and tips on raised garden beds, vertical growing, successive planting and other space saving techniques. You don’t need a lot of land to have a beautiful garden!

The second presentation is mine, (Becki Lynch’s) and is called “Landscaping with Ornamental Grasses.  It will be on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.  I will cover the basics very quickly, but the emphasis of this talk is on the next step – how to choose grasses to place in your landscape – looking with a designer’s eye. I will give info and tips based upon growth, form and size as illustrated in the beds on my property.  No matter how large or small your space may be, there is a grass for you!

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m., our Master Gardener radio expert, Deb Walser, will be presenting “Garden with Children.”  You’ve probably heard her on WMT, and here’s a chance to see her as she shares her knowledge on how to pass along the joy of gardening to your children and grandchildren. She will also give valuable info on how to grow enough vegetables for a family of four in a space only 4-by-8 feet.

Our final presentation will be on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and is titled, “Old Gardener’s Tales – Fact or Fiction.”  Bill Oliver will be unraveling those words of advice that we’ve heard from “Aunt Nellie” or “Great Uncle Joe.”  What does science say about some of our favorite old tales? You may be surprised! 

Well, there you go – if you have any questions about the show, just call our Master Gardener Hortline at 447-0647 and I hope to see you there!   


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