dragonflyF15's WunderBlog

November? Already?

By: dragonflyF15, 4:37 PM GMT on October 31, 2012

Zones 4b-6a

Ornamentals:
-Continue watering evergreens until the ground freezes. Soils must not be dry when winter arrives.
-Now is the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. Before digging the hole, prepare the site by loosening the soil well beyond the drip line of each plant. Plant trees and shrubs at the depth they grew in the nursery and not deeper. Remove all wires, ropes and non-biodegradable materials from roots before back filling. Apply a 2-3 inch mulch layer, but stay several inches away from the trunk. Keep the soil moist, not wet, to the depth of the roots.
-Remove the spent flowers and foliage of perennials after they are damaged by frost.
-Newly planted broad-leaf evergreens such as azaleas, boxwood and hollies benefit from a burlap screen for winter wind protection. Set screen stakes in place before the ground freezes.
-Now is a good time to observe and choose nursery stock based on fall foliage interest.
-Plant tulips now.
-Mums can be cut back to within several inches of the ground once flowering ends. After the ground freezes, apply a 2 to 3 inch layer of loose mulch such as pine needles, straw or leaves.
-Mulch flower and bulb beds after the ground freezes, to prevent injury to plants from frost heaving.
-Roses should be winterized after a heavy frost. Place a 6 to 10-inch deep layer of mulch over each plant. Top soil works best. Prune sparingly, just enough to shorten overly long canes. Climbers should not be pruned at this time.
-Take steps to prevent garden pools from freezing solid in winter. Covering pools with an insulating material, or floating a stock tank water heater in the pond, will lessen the chance of ice damage.
-Covering garden pools with bird netting will prevent leaves from fouling the water. Oxygen depletion from rotting organic matter can cause winter kill of pond fish.

Vegetables:
-Fall tilling the vegetable garden exposes many insect pests to winter cold, reducing their numbers in next years garden.
-Any unused, finished compost is best tilled under to improve garden soils.
-To prevent insects or diseases from over-wintering in the garden, remove and compost all plant debris.
-Overcrowded or unproductive rhubarb plants can be divided now.
-Root crops such as carrots, radishes, turnips and Jerusalem artichokes store well outdoors in the ground. Just before the ground freezes, bury these crops under a deep layer of leaves or straw. Harvest as needed during winter by pulling back this protective mulch.
-Thanksgiving - Weave a holiday wreath of garlic, onions, chili peppers and herbs. It will make a gourmet gift for a lucky friend.

Fruit:
-Keep mulches pulled back several inches from the base of fruit trees to prevent bark injury from hungry mice and other rodents.
-Harvest pecans when they start to drop from trees. Shake nuts onto tarps laid on the ground.
-Fallen, spoiled or mummified fruits should be cleaned up from the garden and destroyed by burying.
-A dilute whitewash made from equal parts interior white latex paints and water, applied to the southwest side of young fruit trees will prevent winter sun scald injury.
-Commercial tree guards or protective collars made of 18-inch high hardware cloth will prevent trunk injury to fruit trees from gnawing rabbits and rodents.
-Mulch strawberries for winter with straw. This should be done after several nights near 20 degrees, but before temperatures drop into the teens. Apply straw loosely, but thick enough to hide plants from view.

Miscellaneous:
-Now is a good time to collect soil samples to test for pH and nutritional levels.
-Roll up and store garden hoses on a warm, sunny day. It's hard to get a cold hose to coil into a tight loop.
-To prevent injury to turf grasses, keep leaves raked up off of the lawn.
-Continue mowing lawn grasses as long as they keep growing.
-A final fall application of fertilizer can be applied to bluegrass and fescue lawns now.
-Clean house gutters of leaves and fallen debris before cold wet weather sets in.
-Set up bird feeders. Birds appreciate a source of unfrozen drinking water during the winter.
-Be sure to shut off and drain any outdoor water pipes or irrigation systems that may freeze during cold weather.
-For Cyclamen to bloom well indoors, they need cool temperatures in the 50-60 degree range, bright light, evenly moist soils, and regular fertilization
-Winter house plants basics: - reduce or eliminate fertilizer until spring. - shorter days mean slower growth. - slower growth means less frequent watering. - plants in plastic pots need less water than those in clay pots. - plants in cooler rooms need less water and grow slower than those in warm rooms.

Happy Gardening!

Three Wise Men

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October to do's!

By: dragonflyF15, 1:06 PM GMT on October 02, 2012

Wow! Hard to believe another month has flown by!

Ornamentals:
-Plant searly pring bulbs like among hostas, ferns, daylilies or ground covers. As these plants grow in the spring they will hide the dying bulb foliage.
-Plant tulips now.
-Container grown and B & B trees and shrubs can be planted. Loosen the soil in an area 5 times the diameter of the root ball before planting. Mulch well after watering.
-Continue watering, especially evergreens if soils are dry.
-Nuts or seeds of woody plants usually require exposure to 3 months cold before sprouting. This may be provided by outdoor planting in fall or "stratifying" in an unsealed bag of damp peat moss placed in the refrigerator.
-For best bloom later this winter, Christmas cactus, potted azaleas and kalanchoe may be left outdoors until night temperatures drop to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Spring bulbs for forcing can be potted up now and stored in a cool, frost-free place until it is time to bring indoors, usually 12 to 15 weeks.
-Cannas and dahlias can be dug when frost nips their foliage. Allow the plants to dry under cover in an airy, frost-free place before storage.
-Transplant deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves.
-Trees may be fertilized now. This is best done following soil test guidelines.

Lawns:

-Seeding should be finished by October 15.
-Broadleaf herbicides can be applied now to control cool season weeds such as chickweed and dandelion
-Now is a good time to apply lime if soil tests indicate the need.
-Continue mowing lawns until growth stops.
-Keep leaves raked off lawns to prevent smothering grass.
-Winterize lawn mowers before storage.

Vegetables:

-Sow cover crops such as winter rye after crops are harvested.
-Continue harvesting tender crops before frost.
-Gourds should be harvested when their shells become hard or when their color changes from green to brown.
-A few degrees of frost protection may be gained by covering tender plants with sheets or light-weight fabric row covers.
-Dig sweet potatoes before a bad freeze.
-Harvest winter squash and pumpkins before frost. For best storage quality, leave an inch or two of stem on each fruit
-The average first frost usually arrives about October 15-20.

Fruits:
-Store apples in a cool basement in old plastic sacks that have been perforated for good air circulation.
-Persimmons start to ripen, especially after frost.
-Monitor fruit plantings for mouse activity and take steps for their control if present.
-Place wire guards around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits.

Miscellaneous:

-Begin peak fall color in maples, hickories and oaks.
-It's autumn, get out for a walk, hike, drive, canoe and enjoy nature's art~

Happy Gardening!


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About dragonflyF15

40yrOld Horticulturist,which means I'm a plant/tree/shrub Geek.My work revolves around Mother N and weather.I love working,playing,resting outdoors!

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