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After Saturday's snowfall, Wichita back on pace for average annual amount of moisture


The historical annual average of moisture for the Wichita area is about 34 inches.  

With Saturday's snowfall of 7.8 inches (FYI: approximately 10" of snow equals 1" of rain), the area is on pace for an average amount of moisture for the year.  

Keeping pace with that historical annual average, the state's drought status has improved according to the U.S. Drought Monitor for the state of Kansas, with the Wichita Metro now in Moderate Drought status, rather than Extreme Drought status. 

As Bing Crosby used to sing, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

Rain Gauge Tracking

Boot trays aren't just for footwear

Boot tray used as a plant tray
Boot trays make great plant trays, helping to protect furniture surfaces.


Just about every household has one in some form or fashion, be it a bonafide tray or even a simple small rug to help keep floors clean, dry, and routinely worn shoes organized.  Typically located near an entryway, boot trays help to prevent dirt, mud, snow, and water from being tracked through the house.  The most important feature of a boot tray in my humble opinion is how it keeps moisture off your floors, no slipping, no sliding, less clean up and nicer looking floors long term.

But boot trays can be multi-purpose.

I've got a small coffee table that isn't being used as intended.  I've also got an ever-changing 'plantscape' in my house, so I've put that small coffee table to good plantscape use.  It's a fairly new table, so I also want to help protect the finish.

How do you do that?  Yes, you guessed it, use a boot tray.

I'm into the industrial look for furniture, so I picked up an inexpensive, black plastic boot tray to serve as a plant tray.  This is going to prevent any moisture and/or dirt spills - and they're going to happen - from hitting the surface of the coffee table.  Water spillage coming in contact with wood is not a good combination, especially if you miss getting all the moisture during a clean-up or wipe-down (think misting plants).  Unsightly water stains are one thing, but standing water on wood can give that table or plant stand a distressed wood look in a hurry, NOT good if that's not the look you're going for!

Boot trays range greatly in price, color, and materials, so it's easy to customize a look catered to your tastes.  You can go inexpensive and functional, or go bold!

Other alternate uses for boot trays:

  • Pet food mat (very popular use)
  • Litter box tray
  • Paint tray
  • Put a tray under the humidifier to collect spills, keeping the floor dry
  • If you're into raising chickens in the backyard, boot trays make great 'collection' trays.  They're way easier to clean than the henhouse floor.
  • Keep one in the garage or shop by the workbench, they speed up the process of sorting and organizing bolts, screws, and nails and keep drops off the floor.

Boot trays are multi-taskers, and inexpensive too!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

The final day of summer, 2023 - when to stop fertilizing flowering plants before the first frost

Go ahead and feed cosmos for more blooms before the first frost


This is my favorite time of year, cooler temperatures, FOOTBALL, mum season and other fall plantings coming into bloom, FOOTBALL, tree leaves changing color, and did I mention FOOTBALL!?

The change of season means that the first frost isn't far away.  In the Wichita neck of the woods, that first frost could come as early as the second week of October.  It will happen for sure by the first week of November, on average it hits around October 23.

Now is a good time to apply that last dose of fertilizer to some plants, but stop feeding others.

Since annual flowers die off with the first frost, there's no reason to stop feeding them, take advantage of what time you have left and give them one last feeding for more prolific blooms right up until Mother Nature decides to chill out.

For plants you intend to bring indoors, stop fertilizing now.  This will slow the growth of those plants and reduce plant shock.  After settling in, most plants will be ready to receive fertilizer in about six to eight weeks, there are exceptions, depending on the plant type.

For flowering plants that are part of your landscape, if you haven't already stopped fertilizing them, do so now.  New growth generated by continued fertilization won't have time to 'harden off' before that first frost, with that new growth dying off in winter.  It's a waste of fertilizer and leaves the plant vulnerable to more severe die-back during the cold, harsh months, and disease in the spring.  Fortify the plant's root system and your soil by using compost instead.  A stronger root system results in a plant that is more winter-hardy.

I'll be applying that last dose of fertilizer to annuals, and compost to my roses, peonies, and bulb flower beds on Saturday morning, before football of course!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Japanese Maples, Fruit Trees and Perennials on sale at Tree Top Nursery


Including groundcovers

Excludes mums, asters, landscaping and maintenance.


Thru Sunday, Sept 17th

*While supplies last. In stock items only. Exclude landscapes and maintenance.


Drought status for Sedgwick County has improved, thank you Mother Nature


Earlier this year, most of Sedgwick County was in "Extreme Drought" Status.  How dry things were, was being compared to the Dust Bowl years.

Thanks to Mother Nature providing some much-needed moisture since a much drier than normal spring, that status has improved to, "Severe Drought" for more than half the county.  There's now far less red and more dark yellow on the drought map, which is a good thing.

Kansas Drought Map Sep 2023The Wichita Metro received about 1.5 inches of rain yesterday, which will only improve the drought picture.  The area historically receives about 3 inches of rain during the month of September and coupled with the cooler temperatures, things should really start to green up, making way for some beautiful fall colors.

Here's a snapshot of what's taken place so far this year:

Wichita Weather Averages Annual

With fall planting in mind, we've got some great weather in the forecast!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Sedgwick County still in drought conditions, but relief is on the way

Tree Top Nursery Labor Day Sale!

5910 E 37th St N, Wichita, KS 67220

September 1st - 4th

Just in time for your Labor Day Weekend garden projects, all Shrubs and Ornamental grasses are 25% Off at Tree Top Nursery.


Save 25% on all shrubs and ornamental grasses. Including Hydrangea, Spirea, boxwood and many more.

Open Labor Day 9 am to 1 pm

*While supplies last. In stock items only. Exclude landscapes and maintenance.


Summer Tree Sale at Tree Top Nursery


Just in time for fall planting, Tree Top Nursery is having a huge tree sale! August 19th - 27th, come to Tree Top and save 40% on all sizes of shade, ornamental, and evergreen trees! We have a great selection of the beautiful, quality trees we’re known for. Buy now, and we will hold your tree for fall planting.


Remember, the best time to plant a tree was ten years ago. The next best time is today.

*Excludes landscaping and previously purchase items. While supplies last.

August 19th - 27th Only

Summer Special at Tree Top Nursery!


Summer Specials

Annual Flowers, Container Gardens & Hanging Baskets

Includes Vegetables & Herbs


Fruit Trees

& Berries


Tea, Floribunda,

Grandiflora & Climbing

Excludes - Shrub, Knockout, Drift, and Carpet Roses.

*While supplies last. In stock items only. Exclude landscaping and maintenance.