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Thursday, November 4, 2010
If you are getting static reception for today’s garden chatter, you may have your station tuned to Thanksgiving recipes already. Reed, get your hands off that dial. Before we start talking turkey, which is coming all too soon, you can’t forget about the November garden chores. Here are a few to keep in mind while preparing for the football games and upcoming feast.
1) Make sure the plant beds are clean. This includes cutting this past season’s growth on your perennials. We often leave some flower and seed heads like the Autumn Joy Sedum and the ornamental grasses for decorative winter interest. Otherwise, everything else gets the winter haircut – short, back and sides.
2) Stockpile your winter mulch. If you ran out of mulch, you may want to get another delivery from your local nursery before they wrap it up for the season. If you can’t get a bulk delivery, you can always purchase the bagged mulch. Note: cover the mulch to keep it dry. You do not want the mulch to get wet and freeze as it makes it unusable for chore 3 & 4 (See below).
3) As soon as the ground freezes, you want to mound certain rose varieties like tea and multi-flora. There are a lot of good tips on mounding roses. This UVM link is an easy read http://www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/fallroses.html and this below internet photo shows a simple mounding illustration.
4) Any bulbs, peonies and recently planted perennials should also get a layer of protective mulch for the winter. Again, wait until the ground freezes so you don’t create little hotels for the critters.
5) This is also a good time to clean up all your garden tools and start winterizing your equipment. Run all your lawn and garden power tools until the tanks are empty or condition the remaining fuel with fuel conditioner. Your local power tool dealer is your best resource for tips and recommendations for winterizing your handy garden gadgets. Hold off on the leaf blower. The last few days of November are a good time to give the last hoorah to the fallen leaves.
Inundated with the list? It’s not as cumbersome as it may sound and your reward at the end of November is my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving. For all my Massachusetts’ readers, here is a quick link for fresh turkey farms and winter farmers markets. And remember to root for your local All-Stars – the farmers! http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/holiday-page.htm
The inspirational quote for the day is by B. Cybrill. “When the bold branches bid farewell to rainbow leaves – welcome wool sweaters.” Get out your old wooly jumper. It’s the final stretch for garden chores. Word of caution: a true gardener always has a list!
Top photo of Ben, the infamous Border Collie taken by Greg Bilowz
P.S. The neighborhood skunk visited late yesterday but Ben gets it now. This ain't no cat to chase!
© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)