Adding peat moss or cottonseed meal will help acidify the soil.
Just before spring growth starts, cut your entire redtwig dogwood down to jut a few inches above the soil. The newest stems are the brightest, and it will keep it from getting tall and leggy.
If you like a more billowy form with more variation in the color, according to Horticulture Magazine, just remove about a third of the oldest canes each year.
There are at least three species often called redtwig, and many cultivars within those species. They are:
Red osier dogwood, or "Cornus Sericea" (not good in hot, humid parts of the country); Tartarian dogwood, "Cornus alba" (has variegated form that may be sold under the name 'Elegantissima' and needs afternoon shade) and bloodtwig dogwood, "Cornus sanguinea" (grows rapidly).
Lead Gardener of the Day
The newly organized Manna Meal Community Garden Committee is looking for volunteers to be "Lead Gardener for the Day."
The job is to volunteer for just one gardening work party in 2011 to fulfill the following list of tasks:
Be the first to arrive at the garden to greet and help other volunteers sign in; get everyone to sign this year's waiver (they do this every year); communicate the tasks available for the day so folks can decide what they want to do; help with planting and/or harvesting and record what was accomplished on pre-printed forms.
The lead gardener must also ensure that produce harvested is sent to the Manna Meal kitchen, help clean up trash and secure everything.
The group is planning an online calendar on the Manna Meal website where folks can schedule their day to volunteer for this special position, but until that gets into place, email drmusic...@suddenlink.net.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.