January 20. 2013

January's weather is often a challenging time in the Midwest . Last Saturday, the temperature was nearly a balmy 62 degrees and two days later the forecast calls for the coldest temps this year plunging into the single digits. Admittedly, there is never a dull moment in the weather in Kansas City.

Winter doesn't mean we get a break from outside work - there is always something to do when the temps are above freezing. It's an excellent time to clean up the lawn of leaves and debris. It is not only great for the grass, but it improves the neighborhood and it's always nice to come home to a well maintained home with nice curb appeal. It's also a good time to re-mulch any tired beds for a fresh look as well as winter pruning of trees and shrubs. It's important to know what and when to prune so as not to remove spring blooms. As we have seen through out the area, there are several dead plants from the extreme heat and drought of this past summer. While replacement plant material may not be available at this time, the unsightly dead plants can be removed as long as the ground is not frozen. On the warmer days, it's important to water any new plantings and evergreens this winter because of the dry conditions. It's also a great idea to water the foundation to protect from future problems. Lay a soaker hose 2-3' from the foundation, turn on low, and slowly water the soil to a depth of 1.5 - 2" to help the soil slowly absorb the moisture. This could helps save lots of money from future foundation problems.

As the lawn and flower shows arrive in the metro, take the time to go and get some ideas for what you might like in your home garden. It's a welcome sign of spring and gives a little more hope on these cold days on what's around the corner. It's the perfect time for winter design and planning of gardens. Don't wait too long to call us for design ideas as spring gets crazy for us and we may not have time for proper planning.

Try to enjoy the weather as we look forward to warmer days and call if we can help you out with any outdoor garden or lawn care. -Steve Stockman