Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Yesterday the weather report claimed that we might just get some snow! Oh, gosh! I'm not ready!!!!
At any rate, I quickly got to some of the neglected chores. I turned off the water going to the outside spigot. That's always a chore because I have to climb up into a bunk bed, remove a ceiling tile and turn off the water while bent over into a ridiculous position! Now, it's done.
Then it was outside to remove the hose from the spigot and drag it like a snake down the hill so it could drain. That is always pretty effective. One end of the hose at the top of the hill, the rest winding downhill and emptying into the ground right at the base of the Mountain Laurel. Now I'll have to go out and roll it back up to put it away for it's winter nap.
Then it was time to collect the pads from the delightful, summer recliner on the deck. They go into a big, black plastic bag. I tie that up and put it into the storage room to await spring and the next warm nap on the deck!
I tried to buy some suet at the local grocery store for the woodpeckers, but they didn't have any! They had a small package with little chunks that would fall right through the suet that will have to wait until I get to the store again and MAYBE they'll have gotten some.
I put out the feeders for the birds last week and I've gotten the usual noisy Bluejays and a few Hairy Woodpeckers, but nothing else. I wonder where the birds are? I'll have to write to the Project Feeder Watch folks at Cornell to see if there's a reason for that. Usually the birds are there the same day I put the feeders up.
Gardener's Supply Company

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It IS beautiful! Yesterday, my husband and I took a long drive through the back roads of New Hampshire. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive. The colors are at their peak and narrow country roads are a delight to travel. The leaves have blown to the sides of the roads, stacked up against those lovely stone walls. Even on those far from the more traveled roads, tourists find their way. They park and walk with dogs and cameras looking for the perfect spot. There are so many perfect spots. It's nice to call this heaven home!
As you plant your bulbs, try tossing a few around the peonies, and digging them in. In the spring the bulbs (whatever they are) will bloom among those deep red sprouts. Then when the bulbs are dying back, the peony will grow and cover the dying leaves of your bulbs. It's a perfect fit. You still have plenty of time to plant bulbs, so if you can, get out in the garden and DO it!
Have you taken the children out to pick apples or gather pumpkins? It's a wonderful thing to do right about now. They will love it! Try using a magic marker to make the jack-o-lantern faces. That way when the pumpkins are done decorating your porch, they can be used for pies, soups and seeds. There is less waste that way too.
Gardener's Supply Company

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I've been taking a course in "Green up your Life" at the ILEAD program at Dartmouth College. I am learning a lot as far as how to make our lives more energy efficient.
Yesterday we discussed Passive Solar Energy. This is when you are able to heat the space where you live without any mechanical assistance. It means you try to encourage sun to stream into your home on a cold day. Not only should it stream in, it should warm up something in that room that will be able to absorb the heat and release it later when the sun settles down for the night. If that sun hits the hard mass of the fireplace or a piece of furniture that gets warm as a result of the sun hitting it, you're golden!
As gardeners we can take note of the fact that by planting deciduous trees outside sunny windows, we keep the house cool in the summer because that leaf cover produces shade. When the leaves fall in the autumn, the sun is allowed to flow into our homes adding to the warmth of our house.
We can also plant evergreens around the north side of the house to shield it from winter wind and snow. These are little things, but they can make a huge difference!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Last night we had a hard freeze. The difference between a hard freeze and "frost" is the condition of the plants afterwards in your garden. After a frost, the plants will often look a bit sad. After a hard freeze, they're done! Do you know what lettuce looks like if it gets frozen? That's what your plants will look like.
My hosta is a dark, wilty green today. No more sheen there. This morning all the shrubs, plants and roofs had a covering of frost. It didn't disappear until about 10 AM. By that time, if it hadn't been snagged by sunup, it was surely done-in a bit later.
In one way, it's kind of sad to know the summer season is really gone. But, it's wonderfully crisp and dry. The sun is warming up as the day progresses. It's time to take the dog for a long, wonderful walk. He/she will love it and it will be good for you both. Apples are crisp and just begging to be bitten into. The pumpkins are awaiting your choice. "Pick me, please!"
Rake the leaves; plant the bulbs; throw some compost on your perennials; clean out the annuals and toss them into the compost; put up the bird feeders; oil and sharpen your tools before hanging them up for the season. It's getting close to the time to hunker down and light the fire.
Dutch Gardens, Inc.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008



You can still plant spring bulbs.

Scatter a slow-release fertilizer (formulated especially for bulbs) on top of the soil after planting the bulbs. Remember to scatter this fertilizer over other beds of bulbs as well.

If you have gladiolus, this is the time to dig the corms up.

This is a wonderful time to fertilize both lawn and garden

Plant cool and warm-season lawns

Move worm bins to basement or garage to maintain at least 40* through the winter months

Divide a clump of chives and bring indoors

If you haven't lifted your dahlias yet, this would be the time!

Bring any plants that are growing in containers inside for the
winter. If they are hardy enough to remain outside all winter, tip the pots on their sides so any accumulated water will drain out. Although they should be able to stand the temperatures, ice can definitely be a problem!

Reduce feeding houseplants(do not feed dormant houseplants)

Give your compost pile a final turning.

Try to keep the fallen leaves raked off the lawn. Put them in
the compost, shredding them first if possible, or mix them really well as they tend to compact.

Be sure that you have removed any foliage from your Iris plants. This foliage, if not discarded, can harbor Iris Borers over the winter. You surely don't want to see them in the spring!

You can plant garlic now for next years harvest. It's the perfect time to order and plant them so they have time to begin growing roots before winter sets in.

Mark any perennials you want to separate so you can find them
next spring.

Clean and oil your tools so they won't rust over the winter.

Plant container and balled-and-burlapped trees, fruit trees, shrubs and vines

Other trees can also be planted now.

Keep watering the shrubs and evergreens.

Plant container roses and prune your hybrid tea roses. Start preparing your roses for winter.

If your roses had signs of black spot or other foliage diseases you should remove the the leaves so it doesn't recur again next year. Once a hard freeze has beaten down your garden, remove the leaves from the affected roses, as well as any mulch that might have remnants of those infected leaves, and throw it into the garbage (NOT the compost-you do not want to spread it throughout the garden next year). Bite the bullet and add new winter mulch.

Cut back your perennials and put the foliage in the compost as long is it's not diseased. If there is green at the base, leave about 4-5 inches of leaves.

Try to leave about 4 inches of stem on the lilies you cut back. In the spring, they appear rather late. By leaving some of the stem, you'll know where they are hiding in the garden!

Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials

Try using evergreen boughs over your shrubs to provide winter
protection. They can be forced into the ground before the ground freezes, draping their branches over the shrubs.

Pull out your annuals and put them in the compost

It's time to store your hoses inside. Remember to drain them first
so they don't freeze and split!

Bring in any annual geraniums! Potted, in a sunny spot they will bloom all winter. Or hang them upside down (with the dirt removed) in a cool spot like the garage, or basement.

Get those bird feeders up!