What's Coming Up #216: Watering, panicle hydrangea, pruning, thaws

What's Coming Up garden news

Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow

What's Coming Up Issue #216, February 17, 2016

Thanks for the warm "Welcome back!"

We are honored to be part of such a great community. You are why it's worth every hour we spend, every effort we make to share what we see and learn.

In this issue:

 Water Til it Weeps: Why you should be more generous with water for anything grown in a pot. Learn why and how with your houseplants this winter, put it to good use watering new perennials, shrubs and trees this spring. heat.

Pruning Panicle Hydrangea: It's a beautiful summer blooming, low care shrub with one problem, that it is too big for most gardens. Fortunately it's easy to control with one cut per year. Here's the when and how.

Thaw is Saw Opportunity, What's Coming Up #216, February 17, 2016: Recognize a winter thaw and get a jump on spring pruning. What to look for, what to prune.


We're focused on indoor plants in this watering how-to, and move right on to how it all transfers directly to outdoor plantings.

We're focused on indoor plants in this watering how-to, and move right on to how it all transfers directly to outdoor plantings.

Come prune with us!

The February thaw's coming and we have a ton of cutting to do. You can join us to Garden By Janet and Steven and learn by watching or helping.

We offer these opportunities because we know gardeners learn best with their hands. No charge! Just watch our calendar for tasks and towns that suit you. Then contact us as in the calendar listing. We'll give you the specific location and keep you updated on any last minute weather changes.

Big job: Bringing the mailing list up to date

We had a big fall-out after sending What's Coming Up 215, our first mailing in a while. We used to verify every deleted address to be sure we should remove that reader from our list. (Hey, most of you are personal friends, or so it feels to us. So we would make phone calls, check back against original sign-up sheets to catch our typos, and contact people acquainted with a person if mailing address suddenly failed.) This time we had to simply delete what failed to go through. That feels terrible, like slicing off half of our Christmas card list. (Okay, those of you on that list know we only ever get through about 1/3 of the list each year but we do hold everyone on the list near and dear.)

We will now go back to more careful editing of the list. You can help us where we may have cut some ties in error. Talk us up. Bring up in conversation that we're back. If someone says, "They are? I haven't seen anything!" please tell them to drop us a line so we can re-connect.

Our web address is gradually changing

You'll notice as you read our articles and follow links that we have two different web addresses now, GardenAtoZ.com and also GardenAtoZ.org. Our new articles are being posted on .org (where we can eventually give this 30 year labor of love official status as a non-profit) but .com is by far the bigger reference, with 1,000+ articles. It will be some months before we two can bring all the data to one site, since every .com article must be reformatted and reposted to .org. We do it with a smile, as an opportunity to improve and update as we go. We hope you keep smiling along with us.

We've built many links between related articles over the years, and feel they are valuable for you --and for us! Those links may be the toughest element to stabilize during the transition, as each must be managed individually. So if you click on a link and it fails, shoot us an email. Say "I was on page X and the link to Y failed." We'll add that fix to our to-do list. 

Lesson learned: We need your help as Sponsor

We're hardheaded independents, yes, but not beyond reach. We know now we can't ever do this alone. We won't give it up but we will beg and accept help.

We told you we'd received a $1,000 matching funds offer... and you matched that donation! Thank you so much! It means we can pay this year's web hosting- and forum support fees, and hire out the mailing (that had been taking us 12 hours per issue to reach you without being blocked as spam).

Next up: Spring and its huge workload is almost on us. With your support, we'll also hire assistance to more quickly migrate our .com articles to the .org site.

If you can help, send your check payable to GardenAtoZ to Janet & Steven at 120 Lorberta, Waterford, MI 48328 or donate via Paypal (email to Steve@GardenAtoZ.com from your Paypal account).