home, an open heart, here grows a bountiful harvest...
It's cold out, and the
last thing on your mind is playing in the your garden.......
really hard to get motivated to do much of anything outdoors, but
there are a few tasks and chores which you should do on those days
when the weather is favorable!
are a few gardening tasks and projects that you can do this month to
help keep your garden looking it's best for the rest of this season,
and prepare for the long cold winter and upcoming spring.
annuals, and bulbs
sure that the canes of your climbing roses and other vining plants
are securely fastened to their supports. Winter winds can whip and
severely damage unprotected plants. Don't tie them so tightly that
the string or twist-tie cuts into the stem. I recommend using a
length of an old nylon stocking because it will stretch as the plant
grows, rather than cutting into the stem, as string will do.
five to six inches of soil around the bases of your hardy fuchsias
and roses. Use soil from another part of the garden, rather than
risking damage to the roots by digging around the base of the plant.
Chrysanthemum stems to 2-3 inches from the soil once they have begun
to die back.
can continue to transplant your perennials throughout the fall and
winter, as long as they remain dormant.
bulbs may still be planted in the early part of the month.
bulbs should be dug up and stored in a cool, dark area after first
sure that your tender plants are protected from frost. Mulching with
bark, sawdust or straw will help create a blanket of protection over
the root system. Should the weather get suddenly cold, place burlap,
cloth or dark plastic over your tender plants to give them some
added protection from the cold. Be sure to remove this covering when
the weather has stabilized!.
of the most asked questions at this time of year is "when can I
transplant my shrubs and trees?" This month and throughout the
next several months will be good times to transplant trees and
shrubs. At this time of the year, most ornamentals have entered into
dormancy, and can be safely dug and replanted. The key to
transplanting is to dig a large root ball (get as much of the root
system as is possible). Equally important, is getting the plant back
into the prepared soil as quickly as possible, to keep the roots
from drying out. (Only a transplanting fertilizer should be used at
this time of the year.) Large trees or shrubs should be staked to
protect them from wind whipping during winter storms. Keep them
staked until the roots have a chance to develop and anchor them.
soon as the leaves fall from fruit trees, shade or flowering trees,
raspberries and other deciduous plants, they can be sprayed for the
first time with a dormant spray. This spraying helps control
over-wintering insects and diseases. Apply according to label
your evergreens to shape.
the tops off your asparagus plants, and add a winter dressing of
aged manure to the bed.
strawberries two inches deep with hay or straw.
your raspberry canes to stakes to protect them from wind whipping.
you haven't already applied a fall or winter type of lawn fertilizer
(20-9-9), now is the time to do it. This encourages good root
development and helps improve the color of the lawn. Lime can also
be applied, if needed.
your lawn a good raking to lift away accumulations of debris.
leaves raked from the lawn. They should be composted. Alternatively,
you can just mow over them, turning them to a mulch which adds
important nutrients back to the lawn.
heating dries the air out in your home considerably. Help your house
plants survive by misting them or placing the pots on a pebble
filled tray of water to ensure adequate humidity and moisture.
up some spring flowering bulbs for indoor color during the winter.
Store the pots in a cool, dark place, until new growth emerges from
the soil, and then move them to a bright window.
to watch for insect or disease damage and take the necessary steps
to control the problem.
feed the birds and other small creatures which may not be able to
find food due to snow on the ground or other causes. Their natural
food sources have pretty much dried up by this time of the year. For
only a few dollars you can feed an enormous number of birds. You
don't have to be a bird watcher to enjoy the feeling that you get
when you've helped out one of God's creatures.
your hoses and put them away so they don't freeze and burst.
to watch for insect, slug and snail, or disease damage throughout
the garden, and take the necessary steps to control the problem.
small stakes or markers where you've planted bulbs or late starting
spring plants in the perennial garden, to avoid disturbing them when
you begin spring soil preparation. If you feel that stakes don't fit
your landscape style.... you might consider marking stones with
fingernail polish or paint, and set them on the planting spot
(painted side down)
you have finished your last mowing of the year, make sure that it is
properly stored. Run it until it is out of fuel.... old gas can turn
to varnish, and severely damage the engine.
and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Place some sand and
some oil in a large bucket, then slide your garden tools in and out
of the sand. This will do an excellent job of cleaning them, as well
as applying a light coat of oil to prevent rusting.This is also a
good month to restock any tools that have seen better days, while
the prices are lower.
tip from The 1899
Old Farmer's Almanac "Useful Hints": "Keep all fruit
stones (pits), cooked or uncooked. Dry them slowly in the oven, put
in a large jar, and in winter throw a handful on the fire of an
evening. They will crackle for a moment, send up a bright flame, and
fill the room with a delicious aroma."
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