Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Yard of the Week’ to take needed timeout

September 20, 2000

Danny and I have been in Colorado for almost a month. When we returned to Kansas, having missed the hot wind, high temperatures and no rain, we couldn't believe the way the yards looked in Baldwin City. After driving around town, we decided it might be a good time to discontinue the "Yard of the Week" until we get some fall rains and cooler temperatures.

We worked for several days in our yard. I pulled wheelbarrows full of dead plants and declared not to plant anything ever again. Two days later I was buying mums at the Baldwin City Library annual mum sale. I went home and planted them in the ground. It just made me feel better to see some bright color again. Kansas gardeners are always optimistic. We have to be a tough breed.

Danny has been checking trees and bushes for a sign of green. Even the leaves on the firebushes have completely browned, crumbled and are falling off. No bright red color from them this fall. The bushes will look better when the leaves do fall off. Large mature trees in the timber and around town have turned brown. We are wondering if they are just smart enough to shed excess baggage until next spring or have they died? We won't know until next spring.

Danny found that the young trees we bought that had been balled and burlapped did better than those that are planted in buckets with peat. It is important to pull the roots out and untangle them from the root bound base. In a year this dry, peat will sometimes act as a wick and dry out the moisture around the roots. One tree Danny planted bare-rooted, did the very best.

When buying a tree it is always hard to tell if perhaps the nursery let the tree roots dry out and the roots are not strong and healthy. We'd appreciate hearing from other gardeners sharing their experiences with newly planted trees.

If any leaves turn pretty this fall, we will celebrate their beauty and again choose a few yards for the "Yard of the Week." If not, we will continue next spring. We have many more yards that were nominated but we ran out of weeks to choose them. If the Baldwin City community thinks this was a worthwhile project, let us know so we can evaluate our first year and plan for next year.

Danny and I enjoyed visiting the many pretty yards and meeting lots of interesting people throughout the spring and summer. We learned a lot and even picked up ideas from other gardeners to use ourselves. We would be interested to know what flowers, if any, did the best through those hot, windy days this August. It would be interesting to compile a list to share with other gardeners.

Thank you to the people who called or e-mailed nominations to us. We especially thank those who invited us into their gardens to visit.

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