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Volume 13, Issue 52 ~ December 29, 2005 - January 4, 2006

The Bay Gardener

By Dr. Frank Gouin

Sharpen Up: Pruning Season is Here

February and March are great months for pruning summer-flowering shrubs and vines

–February 24

Choose the Right Pruning Tools

Buy the best pruning tools you can afford; They will stay sharp for most of the year

–March 3

Pruning Crape Myrtle: Part 1

For plentiful flowers and attractive stems, crape myrtle demands good pruning

–March 10

Pruning Crape Myrtle: Part 2

Eliminate weak twiggy stems to prevent small clusters of small flowers

–March 17

Pruning Buddleia, The Butterfly Bush

If you want your butterfly bush to attract hundreds of butterflies, you need to prune it before the first of April

–March 24

Pruning Fruit Trees

A yearly trim minimizes flowers, forcing better quality fruit

–March 31

Pruning Old, Over-Grown Yews

Unruly shrubs grow back after heavy shearing

–April 7

Pruning Roses

Spring-flowering roses should be pruned after they have flowered, while summer flowering roses should be pruned in mid to late March

–April 14

Pruning Hydrangeas

Four different species of hydrangeas grow in the Bay area, and each demands different pruning

–April 21

Lush Lawns Love Limestone

Bay soil is better suited for growing cranberries and blueberries than for grass

–April 28

Cut It Tall and Let It Fall

Weeds don’t grow in a well-maintained lawn

–May 5

On Bay Lawns, Weed Killers a No-No

The truth about weed-and-feed fertilizers

–May 12

Oh! What a Bay We Live On

Longer, cooler spring, delayed autumn frost give us longer growing season than our inland neighbors

–May 19

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Over-mulching is a national disease: Part 1

–May 26

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Part 2: Death by asphyxiation

–June 2

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Part 3: Death by competition

–June 9

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Part 4: Beneath a pretty face

–June 16

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Part 5: Plant death by drought from too much mulch

–June 23

Doing in Bermuda Grass

Burrowing rhizomes can travel underground at 12 to 18 inches per week in warm weather

–June 30

Too Mulch of a Good Thing

Part 6: What makes a good mulch

–July 7

Bagworms Are Feasting

Catch these buggers now before they demand drastic measures

–July 14

Discourage Deer from Dining on Your Lawn

Small bars of scented soap keep deer away from trees and shrubs

–July 21

Bunnies in the Garden

A little fencing goes far in keeping out these long-jumpers

–July 28

Raccoons in the Corn

Once these bandits have had a taste, there’s little to deter them

–August 4

Now’s the Time to Transplant Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Successful transplanting is highly dependent on soil pH

–August 11

Salvation for Root-Bound Plants

End-of-season plants may be bargains but need help if they’re to survive

–August 18

Sow a Fall Garden

Sugar podded peas for Thanksgiving anyone?

–August 25

Give Cool-Season Crops a Cold Start

Share your AC now for peas at Thanksgiving

–September 1

Sow a New Spring Lawn Now

But it’s a job to make it grow

–September 8

Renovate Your Lawn with Compost

For a lush lawn next spring, now is the time to take action

–September 15

Beat Back Weeds by Cutting Your Lawn Tall

Take it easy on lawn, mower and you

–September 22

Cattails Bring Autumn into Your Home

But you must preserve them properly lest they fill the house with great globs of fluff

–September 29

Make Your Own Compost

Part 1: What can be composted and how

–October 6

The Science of Composting

Microorganisms beneath our feet return to the soil what came from the soil

–October 13

The Right Mix for Compost

Keep at it now and your compost will be ready next spring

–October 20

Don’t Let Your Garden Go Naked

Age-old thinking that cultivated soils need to rest open and undisturbed is just not true

–October 27

Cover Your Garden with Rye or Mulch

Natural cover crops not only aid your garden plants; they could cut your fertilizer bill by 25 percent

–November 3

Repot Your Houseplants

The dirt on potting soil and soil-less plant media

–November 10

Grow Herbs Indoors Over Winter

With a south-facing window sill, you can have year-round fresh rosemary, thyme and more

–November 17

Pick a Fire-Safe Christmas Tree

A few simple steps help ensure your tree is fresh and green

–November 23

Decorate for Christmas with Greens

Native plants are attractive and retain foliage and color through holidays

–December 1

The Ideal Christmas Plant

Don’t let poison myths scare you from celebrating the holidays with poinsettia

–December 8

T’Was the Gardener’s Night Before Christmas

–December 15

Managing the Greens that Deck Your Halls

Evergreen leaves and berries bring hope for spring’s arrival

–December 22

Ask Dr. Gouin your questions at frgouin@erols.com. All questions will appear in Bay Weekly. Please include your name and address.

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.