The Garden Corner

The Garden Corner by Sharon Allen Snow Cover

I was going to deal with people's concerns about low temperatures and their effect on plants, but then it snowed. Snow is a wonderful insulator and will protect most plants from the cold. Some plants such as Lavender, Artemisia, and Lambs Ears however, would rather not be buried in snow.

Bud Formation

You may notice buds on some of your trees and shrubs. The buds can be either immature branches, immature leaves, or flowers, but it does not mean that they are coming out of their winter dormancy. Shrubs, such as lilacs develop large buds during the fall. Trees, shrubs, and perennials will not break dormancy until they experience a combination of warm temperatures and increased light intensity or increased number of daylight hours.

Concrete Repair

Even though it is a bit early to think about repairing concrete, I am going to pass on this tip. In our front yard we have an old birdbath which had leaked for some time. We tried various concrete patches, but none worked for very long. We found a poly-sheeting vapor barrier product (originally designed to waterproof basements) called "tu-tuf." After cleaning the surface of the birdbath my husband used a general construction adhesive to attach "tu-tuf." After letting it cure for awhile I covered "tu-tuf" with a layer of concrete, pushing in river rocks in a random pattern to improve the appearance. The birdbath has not leaked in over two years!

"Tu-tuf" is available through Sto-Cote Products, Inc., PO Box 310, Richmond, IL 60071 (800-435-2621).

Master Gardener Training

April Borders, our county Extension educator, has received the schedule for the 2003 Master Gardener classes. This year they will be held in Redfield, Madison and Rapid City. Please contact April for more details.


Remember that on Thursday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m., Drs. John Ball and Marty Draper will present a lawn and tree workshop at the 4-H center. I hope to see you there.

Sharon Allen is an horticulturist and Master Gardener. For comments, suggestions, and questions write to her in care of the Clay County Extension Office, 515 High Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, or contact her directly through the Internet at

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