Category Archives: Misc

Insect Apocalypse

Here’s a great article by the NY Times on our insect population loss.

I hope you are able to read it – it’s quite in-depth.


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Help Feed the Bees – Sunday 11 a.m.

bees-Andy-DSC05061-600We can use your help this Earth Day, Sunday April 23rd at 11 a.m. at Whitecliff Park in Crestwood., Missouri.

Crestwood has been designated a Bee City USA and the Boy Scouts have built a bee hive at Whitecliff and the bees will soon be arriving.

What we are trying to do at the Whitecliff Recreation Center is provide them with plenty of pollinator plants for them to make their honey and survive the winter.

If you have an hour to spare, we can use your help plating.
Adults, Boy/Girl Scouts and really any one who can dig a hole is welcome.
If you have any questions, email

Whitecliff Recreation Center
9245 Whitecliff Park Ln
Crestwood, MO 63126


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Garden Calendar

This time table is for St. Louis Missouri, but should work for most Zone 6 areas. I will adjust it this year as my plants dictate.

After flowering – Amsonia – cut back a third and shape
After flowering – Baptisia – cut back a third and shape
After flowering – Maltese Cross – cut down to base
After flowering – Monarda – cut to base
After flowering – Salvia – cut back to base
After flowering – Shasta Daisy – cut to base
After flowering – Veronica spicata – cut down to base
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04-01 Rue – prune to 6″
05-15 Solidago rigida – pinch
05-20 Agastache – pinch
06-01 Ironweed (old) – cut down to ground when 2 feet
06-01 Monarda – cut back by half – once or twice.
06-01 Shasta Daisy – layer front row for lower display
06-05 Sedum – cut back to 4″ when 8″ tall
06-06 Solidago – cut back by half
06-07 Hibiscus – when 16″ tall – cut back by half
06-07 Echinacea – cut back some by 1/2 to delay bloom
06-10 Liatris – TEST – cut back by half when 18″
06-10 NE Aster – cut back by half for native – shape
07-10 NE Aster – cut back by half for native – shape
08-10 Coreopsis verticillata – shear blooms
08-20 Agastache – cut back to rebloom
08-30 Gaillardia – cut down to base


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Heimos Nursery Visit – Millstadt Illinois

After visiting the Heimos Nursery in Mildstadt, I’m posting a few notes about my visit.

They make their own potting mix.

  • 47% peat moss – fine/shredded
  • 47% Coir – coconut fiber husks – finely shredded
  • 5 % perlite (the speaker did not like perlite, but only put it in because the buyers insist on it.

They don’t use Osmocote or hard fertilizers. They use liquid feed which they tailor to each plant.

They don’t use rooting hormone. They said that plants are selected which are easier to root.

Most of their cuttings come from overseas – Mexico, South America…
One thing I noticed about the cuttings was that they were small and the stems were not large.  After the plants are rooted, they put them into a cooler temperatures so that the plants don’t grow large.

It seems like  big part of their business is rooting cuttings and then shipping them off to other growers and nurseries.

They use a product call Strip It to clean the hose drip lines and also use it to sanitize areas. She said they do this quite often. (Seems a bit much for home use.) This product is sulphuric acid!

They use yellow sticky cards to see if they have any insect problems.

They use Vernalization on many of their plants.

They don’t use Micorrhizae.

Seed Starting – they use tiny cells and just peat moss and cover the seed with small vermiculite.









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U City Garden Tour


Jesse Gilbertson, the director of horticulture for  U City in Bloom, is going to give a tour of some of the city gardens on Monday – August 8th at 9:30 a.m. We are going to meet at Centennial Commons in Heman Park on Olive Blvd. This should be quite an informative program for all types of gardeners. No reservations are required, just show up.

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Mary Ann Fink – Tips for a Better Garden

maryann-fink-01Recently, I was lucky enough to have Mary Ann Fink, one of the top gardeners in the St. Louis area, come and visit my garden. Here are a few notes from my conversation with her.

How can we grow flowers in a non-irrigated area?
Solomns Seal can take lack of irrigation.
Rudeckia will take lack of irrigation, but will look rough.

Shasta Daisy – to keep blooming, as soon as they are fading, not done, but just past their prime, take off just the top flower. There is a dormant bud just below the flower that may come into bloom. If you wait until they have gone to seed, it’s probably too late.

Asclepias tuberosa – plant pansies or small bulbs around it in the fall. It’s a late spring plant, and you want to mark the area where it is growing so you don’t dig it up accidentally.

Jerry Pence – great landscape designer.

Consider adding a walkway in my milkweed bed in the front to give it some visual interest and it’s easier to get into and weed.

10-6 Rule – This is for plants that tend to get tall. When it gets to ten inches, you cut it back to six inches. She suggested putting plants together that grow at the same rate so that you can just go in and trim the entire area at one time. New Englad Aster will take three prunings.

MA volunteered to help me during one of my talks.
(Possibly we could have her come and talk to Crestwood gardeners.)

Privet – cut to the ground every few years to rejuvenate.

MA likes the Claw – garden tool.

She suggests trying White Ball Buddleia – as it gets larger you can shear it.

She likes Veronica and Vervain.

Pom Pom Echinacea is borderline hardy,

Verticillium wilt – I may have in the soil. Killing Shasta Daisy?

Profusion zinnia – should be a good pollinator.

Bee Balm – cut to the ground when it is done blooming.

Hopefully Mary Ann will do a gardening program in the near future. I’ll keep you posted when she starts her class.








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Feb. 2nd – America in Bloom

america-in-bloom-logoBill Ruppert, America in Bloom leader in Kirkwood Missouri, will be sharing a program on how the America in Bloom program works and what benefits it has for our community.

Here’s what they are doing at

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Date: Tuesday – Feb. 2nd

Place: Crestwood City Hall – 1 Detjen Drive
Crestwood, MO 63126

FREE Milkweed Seeds for all attending!

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