Subject: Perennial Gardening News
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From: GardenGuides Newsletter <>
List: port-acorn26
Date: 11/19/2002 22:20:11
Perennial Gardening News


- First Aid for a Dried Out Hanging Basket
- Private Lives of Garden Birds
- Timing Your Forced Bulbs

GardenGuides is moving to a new server this week, and
the site will not be available all the time. Everyone
is getting the 'plain vanilla' version of this
newsletter so that your newsletter won't break if the
server fades out. Everything should be back to normal
next week.

The forum will be down completely for 2-3 days. Our
members have decided to use the Chamomile Times forum
until GardenGuides is back. Here's a link:
<a href=" "> </a>

Our store is hosted at Yahoo! Shopping and will not go
down at all. If you haven't visited our Yahoo!
Shopping site, now is a great time to stop by. If
you're in the mood for a little holiday shopping, we
have a great selection of gifts for gardeners:
<a href=" "> </a>
And we've introduced some interesting new seed
varieties for the 2003 growing season, along with some
money-saving collections:
<a href=" "> </a>


First Aid for a Dried Out Hanging Basket

Let's face it: Our houseplants aren't the most
important things on our to-do lists, and even the most
attentive gardeners will sometimes forget to water the
hanging baskets. The good news is that unless the
plants are completely dead, they can usually be

Begin by clipping off dead flowers and browning leaves.
See! It looks better already. Now cut back yellowing
stems and stems with a good many yellowing leaves to
encourage the plant to send out new shoots. If your
plant has trailing stems, you may have to detangle
the stems first to determine which are worth keeping.

If you're like me, you may find it hard to clip off
buds that will be opening soon, so use your own
judgment to determine if this is necessary. A plant
with a lot of damage will have more trouble
recovering if it's trying to support buds during
the recovery period, and the buds may eventually fall
off without opening anyway. If the damage is mild,
leave the buds that are on undamaged stems in place.

Watering a dried out basket can be difficult. You
may find that as you pour water into the basket it
simply runs out without wetting the soil. The best
way to overcome this is to run a pan of tepid water,
and add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. The
dishwashing liquid acts as a wetting agent and allows
the water to soak into the soil. Set your plant inside
the pan of water and leave it for at least an hour, or
until the basket is saturated, and mist the plants a
time or two while they soak. If there are heavy chains
or ropes attached to your basket, support them with a
stick so that they don't lay on top of your plants.
When the plants are dry, it doesn't take much weight to
break the stems and leaves.

At this point we want to do everything we can to help
our plants get back on their feet, but it's best to
avoid feeding them for about five days. This gives
them time to overcome the shock before trying to send
out new shoots.

Watch your recovering plants closely for signs of
insects or disease. In their weakened state, they are
more susceptible to pests and fungus, and they should
be treated right away if you suspect a problem. Before
you know it, your basket will be bursting with blooms


Book Excerpt:
The Private Lives of Garden Birds
By Calvin Simonds
Illustrated by Julie Zickefoose

My neighbor up the hill and I have had an argument. She
is anti-blue jay and I am pro-blue jay. This argument
distresses us both, since we have seen eye to eye on so
many other issues. I am in favor of organic gardening;
so is she. She is against nuclear reactors; so am I.
When the town votes to widen a road, we both vote No.
When the town votes to establish recycling, we both
vote Yes. But I'm afraid if we were asked to vote on
whether or not to create the blue jay, we would
definitely split our votes on this issue.

<a href=" 
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Timing Your Forced Bulbs

As the holidays near, you can adjust the bloom time of
your forced paperwhites and amaryllis if you see that
they are going to bloom too soon or not soon enough.
If they are coming along too quickly, place them in a
cool room (50-60 F.) and water less frequently. If you
need to speed them up a bit, place them in the warmest
room in the house.