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Keith Farrand

Want to keep up on the latest things that are growing on at Farrand Farms? The man with the greenest thumb in Kansas City will help you with all his latest tips and share insight and info right here at Farrand's Notes. If you have some special questions or would like to suggest ideas for Keith to address just send him an email on the link under his picture.


Holiday Chores

Keith @ Monday, December 13, 2010

Yes, I agree, it's cold outside! But, let's not fret. There are still plenty of things to be done. Take a good look at the following suggestions before you take comfort by the warm fire.

It is the perfect time to mulch your roses, newly planted shrubs and perennials. Putting down 2-3" of mulch now can often make the difference between their success or failure. Remember, mulch is NOT a blanket to keep things warm, but is instead a cover to keep plants cold and dormant. Because our climate is subject to constant temperature fluctuations, if we don't mulch, many plants may begin to grow too early and can be lost. Mulch keeps the frost in the ground.

Strawberries will benefit from a 2" layer of wheat straw. Be sure to apply it loosely by pulling it apart. Wheat straw is good because it breathes and lets water and air pass through it freely. When spring arrives and you pull the straw mulch back, it leaves just enough straw to keep the strawberries off the ground and thus nice and clean.

Now is also a great time to dormant seed grass. Of course it won't germinate until early spring, but tests have shown dormant seeding now gives far superior results over spring seeding. You still have from now until Christmas to put down your last application of Hummert's Winterizer with Nutri-Life.

If you haven't yet planted your fall bulbs (crocus, tulips, hyacinths and daffodils) you still have a good window of opportunity to do so. Bulbs can be planted even until mid-January with great success if the ground is not yet frozen. A tablespoon per bulb of Bone Meal (or a low balanced bulb food) will do a lot to make those springtime blooms bright and cheerful.

Watering is still an issue this season. It's very dry outside. Take any opportunity you can before the ground freezes to water your perennials and smaller shrubs. Lots of water will help them to survive the winter.

The Greenhouse
Wow! This is the best poinsettia crop Farrand Farms has ever produced. The color is awesome! No where in the midwest will you find the holiday spirit and color more exciting. We still have a nice area set up for you to take family pictures. It's free and it's fun.

Our 'Table Top' poinsettias are only $2.99 while they last. It's a great way to add festive color to any table setting. We are still maintaining a good selection of other holiday favorites. Amaryllis and paperwhites are available in blooming forms or as bulbs ready for you to start. Cyclamen and Christmas cactus are always fun plants to decorate with too.

Thank you all for a great year! We wish you all the Happiest of Holidays and prosperous New Year!


PS: Want to see all the glorious color in our greenhouses? Go to our video on Toby's website or to the KC Star website and click on 'Lifestyles'.