The Garden Corner

The Garden Corner by Sharon Allen I was going to deal with people's concerns about low temperatures and the effect on our plants, but then it snowed. Snow has a wonderful insulating factor and will protect most plants from our frigid winter. Some plants, however, would rather not be buried in snow.

Silver leafed plants such as lavender, artemisia, and lambs ears prefer open, well-drained sunny sites. I don't bother knocking the snow off them, which in some winters would be quite impossible, but I do expect to lose some.

I am going to pass on a tip for repairing leaks in concrete birdbaths and ponds. In our front yard we have an 80-year old birdbath. There is a metal brace around the outside which has held the birdbath in one piece but has not kept it from leaking. Two years ago, after cleaning the surface of the birdbath, my husband used a general construction adhesive to attach a poly � sheeting product called "tu-tuf."

"Tu-tuf" is a vapor barrier product designed to water proof basements. It is available through Sto � Cote Products, Inc., PO Box 310, Richmond, IL 60071 (800-435-2621). I covered the poly-sheeting with a layer of concrete, pushing in river rocks in a random pattern to improve the appearance. After two winters and summers, the birdbath is still holding water. None of the concrete patches that I had previously tried worked for even a whole summer.

The next two Clay County Master Gardener meetings will be held on Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. (Dave Roetman will speak on vegetables varieties) and on March 13 at 6:30 p.m. (Drs. John Ball and Marty Draper will present a lawn and tree workshop). Both will be held at the 4-H center and are open to the public.

Sharon Allen is a Master Gardener. Write to her in care of the Clay County Extension Office, 515 High Street, Vermillion, SD 57069.

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