"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
- Plant a basket of Paperwhite narcissus for holiday bloom.
- Start your Amaryllis bulb now to bloom for the winter season.
- Finish filling flower beds with bulbs and flowers for winter and spring bloom.
- Prune Raspberries and Roses - just to prevent snow breakage.
- Cut back chrysanthemums and perennial flowers after bloom; clean up the ground.
- Water evergreens and newly planted shrubs if the weather is warm and dry.
- Water bulbs, especially potted ones.
- Clean up flower beds to prevent cutworms, slugs and snails.
- Clean up vegetable gardens to prevent diseases for next year.
- Pre-chill tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses for forcing winter blossoms.
- Wrap the trunks of young trees to protect them from winter sunburn.
- Spray Peach, Apricot, and Nectarine trees to prevent coryneum blight.
- Spray evergreen plants with Wilt Pruf antidessicant to prevent winter sunburn.
- Buy a potted Christmas Tree and then plant it in your yard.
- Mulch, mulch, and mulch some more.
|Spring bulb displays are less predictable than summer flowers. You do not need to be
limited to planting just one type of bulb in a container. Try planting several different types of
bulbs in a pot. Put the largest bulbs in the bottom of the pot. Put a layer of soil on top of the
bulbs and then put another layer of bulbs. Try not to place bulbs right above the lower bulbs.
You can put several layers of bulbs in a pot using this procedure. The more layers you want,
the larger container must be. Use your imagination and try several different flower combinations.
Suggested Layers for Bulbs:
Bottom layer: Long Stem Tulips and tall Daffodils.
Middle Layer: Short Stem Tulips, Dwarf Daffodils, Hyacinths
Top Layer: Miniature Daffodil, Crocus, Scilla, Chionodoxa, Galathus, Miniature Iris, Anemone,
Be careful about the bulbs that you mix - small crocuses will be swamped by tall daffodils,
so choose miniature or dwarf daffodils, to keep a suitable balance.
Top off the container with potting soil, but leave about an inch of space at the top for watering and perhaps for a decorative mulch. As the window box will look bare for a few months,
plant a few winter pansies to add a touch of interest. Don't worry about the bulbs beneath - they
will find their way through the pansies.
Click here to find more suggestions about planting and forcing bulbs
|November sees the last days of Autumn. Most of the leaves are down, most of the perennials and roses have finished
blooming. The chilly days and nights are here, and often rainy or snowy days abound. Flurries to full-fledged snowstorms often arrive in November. Nature is slowly putting things to rest for a long winter nap.
It's cold, it's wet and it's nasty out, and the last thing on your mind is playing in the mud in your garden.... It's really
hard to get motivated to do much of anything outdoors, but there are a quite a few tasks and chores which you should do on
those days when the weather is warm and favorable!
The wise homeowner takes advantage of the few balmy days that November offers to set up the outdoor Christmas
display for the coming season, thus avoiding the unpleasant task of putting up lights and holiday displays during the blustery
and damp days of December.
The enterprising gardener takes advantage of those same balmy days to finish this season's tasks of winterizing the garden
and taking care of other gardening chores.
Click here to find more suggestions about Gardening in November
|"Don't Leave The Leaves." Make sure that you rake all the leaves from your lawn. Try to remove the leaves within three
to four days after they drop. Some trees drop their leaves all at once, while other trees may drop their leaves slowly all winter.
Sycamore trees, oak trees, beech trees, and willow trees are probably the worst varieties for dropping their leaves. Ginkgos,
on the other hand, drop all their leaves in one day.
Leaves left on the lawn may cause fungus or snow mold problems that are much easier prevented in the fall than cured
in the spring.
Fertilize with Fall & Winter Fertilizer or Dr. Earth Lawn Food sometime between early October and late November.
Mow your lawn short the last time you mow for the year. By cutting the grass a little shorter in the late-fall, you reduce
the chance of it lying down and creating a snow mold problem during the winter. Do not cut your lawn short until the last time you mow it for the year. Mow your lawns 1.5" until the last mowing of the year. Then cut it short.
If your lawn has had a snow mold problem in previous years, apply a lawn fungicide just before it starts to snow, to help
prevent snow mold from becoming a problem.
|Super Natural™ is a true pelletized and homogenous organic all-purpose lawn fertilizer that produces remarkable results, because nutrients are released quickly, yet continue to feed for several months. Ultra-premium scientific formula provides optimum levels of primary essential plant nutrients, including micronutrients and multi-minerals. ProBiotic™ ensures organic nutrients are thoroughly broken down then released in the soil for grass roots to absorb them as they are needed. Promotes a hardy root system and adds life to your lawn. Feeds for several months.
Infused with ProBiotic™ - consisting of "Seven Champion Strains" of beneficial soil microbes and three select strains of endo mycorrhizae - which contributes to drought tolerance, enhanced nutrient availability, and increased plant performance. The Dr. Earth® probiotics are a most complete "broad-spectrum" bio-active package designed to work synergistically with the raw organic nutrients that make up the Super Natural™ formula. This spectacular blend actually digests problematic thatch, builds soil health, promotes disease resistance and assists the growth of lush, super-green healthy lawns.
- Stop fertilizing roses in Mid-August.
- Stop watering roses as much in late-September. Keep them moist, but not too wet.
- Stop cutting off spent flowers in mid-October. Let the blossoms develop Rose Hips.
- After the ground freezes, cover the crown of the rose with leaves, Soil Pep, or soil. If wind is a problem in your area,
or a tomato cage around each bush, to keep the leaves or mulch from blowing away. By covering the
crown six inches, the frost is less likely to cause any serious winter injury. Your roses will grow and bloom beautifully for
- After the rose bush is completely dormant, cut off any tall canes to about three feet tall. Extra long canes break easily
with heavy snow. Do not cut the plants too short, wait until next spring to prune them severly.
- Climbing roses need the same protection as bush roses, but they cannot be cut back to three feet tall. The best way to
protect climbing roses from the extreme cold is to take them off their trellis and bury them with mulch or soil. Since this is
not always practical, and we don't always have extremely cold winters, most people will just bury the crowns six to twelve
inches deep and prune out any winter injured canes in the spring.
- Tree roses need extra protection during the winter. The entire cane, from the ground to the top of the branches, should
be covered with straw, leaves or some other insulation. One way to protect your tree rose is to build a cage around it and fill
the cage with straw. With a little extra care tree roses will grow and bloom for many years.
The Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is truly a spectacular plant that has become a conversation piece for the indoor gardener.
Amaryllis Bulbs originated in the tropical areas of South America but they have been grown and hybridized throughout the
world. The Amaryllis bulb is a perennial bulb, but it must be taken inside during the winter in cold climates. With proper
care the Amaryllis bulb can produce spectacular blossoms for several years.
Amaryllis bulbs vary in size. As a rule, larger bulbs produce more stems and flowers than smaller bulbs. Small bulbs
(26cm - 28cm size) bulbs produce one or two flower stems with three to five flowers on each stem. Medium bulbs (34cm
size) bulbs produce two to four flower stems with four to five flowers on each stem. Large bulbs (40cm size) bulbs produce
three to five flower stems with four to five flowers on each stem. Amaryllis bulbs produce an abundance of flowers and
make a real show!
We have more than fifteen different varieties and colors available each fall. Beginning in October, we try to have some
Amaryllis bulbs available all winter until at least Valentines Day. Stop by and learn more about these wonder winter flowers.
Keep the Color Coming:
by Tamara Galbraith
Attention: Anyone who receives an amaryllis as a gift over the holidays...don't throw that bulb away just because the
flower stalk becomes withered and ugly! With a little coddling, you can enjoy the same beautiful blooms next year.
After the blossoms shrivel, cut the flower stem 1 inch above the base with a sharp knife. Continue to water and feed the
remaining bulb regularly, and provide plenty of light. Amaryllis can be planted outdoors - pot and all - in partial shade and
then into full sunlight during the summer.
For Christmas blooms next year, bring the plants into the garage in late September and place the pots on their sides. Cut
off all water. This gives the plants a couple of months to rest before preparing to bloom again during the holidays.
In November, remove any dead leaves and replace the top couple of inches of potting soil. Resist the urge to pot up, as
amaryllis like being jammed into a small space; there should only be about 1" between the bulb and the pot. Thoroughly
water, place in a sunny window indoors and wait until growth emerges.
Once a flower bud becomes evident, continue watering when soil becomes dry, and make sure the plant is receiving
plenty of sunlight. Water well during blooming, but put the plant in a less bright spot to help the flowers last longer. Then,
when the flowers begin to fade, it's time to start the whole process over again.
Click here to read more about growing and taking care of Amaryllis bulbs.
|Christmas Cactus can add a little more interest and a little more variety to your houseplant collection. They are different
than most other houseplants, and are very easy to take care of. Christmas Cactus produce an abundance of flowers and can
flower for six weeks, and sometimes even longer. Add an Easter Cactus, or a Thanksgiving Cactus to your collection, and
you can almost have one of these beauties blooming throughout the year.
Christmas cactus is a member of the cactus family, but it doesn't have spines. Unlike its thorny relatives, Christmas
Cactus prefers humid, moist conditions with only a moderate amount of sunlight. Christmas Cactus grows naturally in the tropical rain forests; not in the hot, dry deserts. Christmas cactus seems to thrive on neglect. Unlike most other houseplants,
forgetting to water them for a week or two will not hurt them.
The Christmas Cactus belongs to the plant genus
They were previously classified in the plant genus
Zygocactus. Even though the classification has been changed, most people still refer to the Christmas Cactus as a Zygocactus. The true Christmas Cactus is only available in red and pink. Through years of plant breeding, Thanksgiving Cactuses
are now available in several different shades of red, white, pink, purple, yellow, and salmon.
Click here to read more
|Fresh-cut Christmas trees need special care if they are to remain fresh until Christmas Day. I am sure you have had
the experience, just like myself and many other people, that your tree dries out and falls apart just before Christmas. Not
only is this experience a hassle, but it is also a fire hazard!
Fresh-cut Christmas trees should only be kept inside the house for two or three weeks. Many people want to
have their tree decorated from Thanksgiving Day until New Years Day. Unfortunately, fresh-cut Christmas trees just can't always last that long inside a warm house. However, with the proper care, you can extend the life of your tree, enjoy your
tree the entire Christmas season, and decrease the fire hazard of your fresh-cut Christmas tree.
Always keep fire safety in
mind when purchasing and displaying any kind of Christmas trees - artificial and potted Christmas trees included.
|Potted Christmas trees are a great winter holiday idea, because they keep giving and giving year after year. You can enjoy
the memories of Christmases past. You can watch your 'Tree' grow; the one you had when you were a child.
You can enjoy a potted tree inside for Christmas and then plant it outside after Christmas: instead of just throwing your
tree away. Colorado Spruce seems to be the favorite tree for this purpose, however, Austrian Pine and Scotch Pine are just as
nice as a potted Christmas tree. There are also many dwarf varieties of pine and spruce trees that would make a great potted
Christmas tree, and then fit perfectly into a small yard.
Before purchasing one, decide where the tree will be planted after Christmas. Consider the mature size of the tree, and
the weight of the potted tree. A potted Christmas tree can weigh 100 to 200 pounds. Can you take it inside your house?
Click here to read more about helping your Christmas Trees stay fresher - longer.
|Bright and cheery, poinsettia is a traditional decoration at Christmas time. Its "flowers" are actually leaf-like bracts that surround
the tiny, yellow, true flowers in the center. Poinsettias are easy to grow and can add a wide variety of color to your home. Poinsettias are
available with white, pink, red, yellow, speckled, and even multi-colored bracts. More poinsettias are commercially grown in the world than any other houseplant or flower. Two-thirds of all poinsettias grown in the world are sold in the United States. Almost everyone in
the United States buys at least one or two poinsettia plants every year, many people buy even more.
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous plants. The milky sap is usually harmless but in rare cases it may irritate
someone's skin. Fortunately the sap doesn't taste good, because it may irritate the stomach - but it will not poison anyone.
Even though poinsettias are easy to grow they are not "foolproof." Many people have problems with them dropping their leaves
prematurely or losing their bracts. The length of blooming time depends on how well you take care of your plant when you first buy it.
They have specific needs if you want to keep them looking good for Christmas.
Click here to read more tips to keep your poinsettia looking great throughout the Christmas Season.
| It's no secret that most indoor gardeners eventually have to deal with houseplant pests and that winter is frequently the season
when these problems grow out of control. Insects and diseases aren't necessarily the primary cause of most indoor plant problems - poor
plant culture is usually the biggest problem. If a plant seems listless, the cause usually boils down to insufficient lighting, too much or
not enough water, air that is too dry, or a combination of all three of these factors.
Unfortunately, it is often impossible to control all of the environmental factors, and plants do fall victim to pests, especially insect
pests. The secret to controlling insect pests is to know the enemy. The more you know about your invader the better your chances of
conquering it. If you notice a plant that suddenly begins to look ill, take a closer look - chances are an insect is responsible. Infestations
can be very severe and plants that have had more than half of their leaves damaged are probably not worth saving. For this reason, it is important to identify and treat pests as quickly as possible.
Click here for more information about identifying and controlling Houseplant Pests
are popular indoor plants for winter and for the holiday season. Unlike
other bulbs, paperwhites don't require a chilling period, so forcing them is as easy as putting the
bulbs in water and waiting. The fragrant flowers bloom about 3 to 6 weeks after planting, for
almost instant gratification.
|Planting In Soil -
Plant 5 - 6 bulbs in a 6" pot. The pot should be at least 5" to 6" deep. Bulb tips should just
peek through the soil surface. Make sure the bulbs don't touch each other or the sides of
Water the bulbs occasionally but do not keep the soil soggy wet. The plants will need more
water as the leaves begin to grow and the plants will need even more water once the
flowers begin to appear.
Keep pots cool (50° to 55° ) and dark until top growth begins. When shoots are about 2"
tall bring pots into light to develop flower stalks.
Tall plants need support. Bright light and cool temperatures (60° to 70°) will help keep
Bulbs started in mid-November will bloom mid-December.
|Planting in Gravel & Water-
Put a layer of gravel in a decorative bowl. The bowl needs to be at least 5" to 6" deep. Ar range bulbs and fill the bowl with gravel. The gravel may be any size or color. Be sure
to completely cover the bulbs with gravel to prevent the bulbs from tipping.
|A little charcoal mixed with the gravel will help keep the water fresh.
Add enough water to only touch the base of the bulbs. Do not let the bulbs sit in water.
Check the water level often - too little will dry the roots, and too much will invite
Keep cool (50° to 55° ) and dark until top growth begins. When shoots are about 2" tall
bring pots into light to develop flower stalks.
Tall plants need support. Bright light and cool temperatures (60° to 70°) will help keep narcissi
You can start pots of paper whites every couple of weeks, for a continuous display of flowers
throughout the winter.
Discard Paperwhite Bulbs when they are finished blooming. They are not winter hardy outdoors.
They will take two or three years of TLC to bloom again if you do try to keep them.
A problem with paperwhites planted in pots is that they grow quite tall and all of their weight is
at the top. Unless supported, these bulbs tend to topple over. You may need to put a small green bamboo
stake in the center and then tie the leaves with a small decorative ribbon.
However, when paperwhite bulbs are grown in a dilute solution of alcohol, the plants only grow 1/3
to 1/2 their normal height. Their flowers remain normal size and last just as long. Shorter plants, with
normal size flowers, are very attractive.
|To help keep paperwhite plants more compact, please read the information 'Keep Paperwhites Shorter' on our Forcing Paperwhite Handout.
This recipe makes an incredible presentation and is quite tasty as well! Enjoy!
What You'll Need:
- 1 large pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, diced small
- 1 Granny Smith apple [peeled and diced small]
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 lbs. of acorn squash seeded, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 cups chicken broth (optional); substitute a vegetable broth if on vegan diet
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- chopped scallions for garnish
Step by Step:
- Remove pumpkin meat from pumpkin and discard seeds (or save them to roast).
- Put the pumpkin meat in a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter and sauté the onions, apple and oregano with pumpkin pie spice for 7 - 10 minutes.
- Add the acorn squash and the pumpkin meat and sauté for another 5-10 minutes to ensure squash is softened.
- Stir in the stock (vegetable or chicken), along with the pepper and salt.
- Place on low heat for 20 - 25 minutes.
- When the squash begins to fall apart this is done.
- Using an immersion stick blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the pumpkin shell, add the cream and the purée.
- Bake for 30 35 minutes, covering the top of the pumpkin with foil.
- When ready to serve, garnish with scallions and serve the soup right out of the top of the pumpkin.
Hint: for a nice twist, serve with cheddar cheese grated over it.