Friday, September 17, 2010


I decided to bring the Christmas/Easter Cactus in today. I heard on the radio this morning, that we can expect a frost tonight. I call my plant Christmas/Easter Cactus, because both plants reside in the pot. Here is my cactus right after bringing it inside. It absolutely LOVES being outside during the summer, but it doesn't take kindly to frost. If you'd like to learn a little more about this cactus, visit the Christmas Cactus Organization page. It should answer any questions you have.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The nights are getting cooler and I'm wearing my fleece vest outside in the mornings. It appears that the seasons are moving right along. Climate waits for NO ONE!
So, what are one or two things you could be doing right now?
Lay the hose by your broad leaved evergreens (rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurels, etc.) and turn the water on VERY slowly. It should just seep into the ground. Put that hose by each shrub you can reach and let it gently soak into the ground for about 45 minutes per shrub. The more water those roots get in the autumn, the easier it will be for the plant to make it through the winter. You could do this every week until either a hard frost comes, or the ground begins to puddle. No need to drown the shrub either!!!
Next, turn your compost every week until again, it freezes or you just get too tired to do it any more! Be sure it's also gotten a fair share of water, as water is definitely part of the compost equation! During the winter, you can dump your fireplace ashes on the compost. It will be great for the garden in the spring. Of course there IS a limit. The compost shouldn't be ALL ashes, but working some in will be a great addition.
If you can't turn the compost during the winter (I can't... it's frozen) just be sure you put it by the side of the compost so you can add it next summer. It's really great stuff!
That's enough for a start. I'll post my October chores soon and that will include some more autumn jobs.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


This morning, while I was browsing through the internet, I came across a link for children to find out more (LOTS more) about butterflies. It has all kinds of information and pictures. It's a perfect site for kids who are interested in butterflies, to visit. It has coloring pages for little ones, and tons of information for older kids who might like to do a report on Butterflies. It's called Children's Butterfly Site and definitely worth a visit!

Monday, September 06, 2010


Summer may just about be done. I have to admit it, even though I'd prefer not to. It is 50 degrees as I write this. The leaves are tumbling to the ground, and trees are beginning to show some color. I have written a blog on this phenomenon including an article that explains it thoroughly. If you'd like to know the reason the leaves change color in the autumn... visit this link!
I've got to get outside and turn the compost a few more times, actually quite a few more times, until it freezes. As usual, the animals have never visited it. I'm not quite sure why. Most folks have trouble up here in Northern New Hampshire with bears and raccoons, etc. visiting the compost. Maybe it's because I keep it relatively "turned" and covered with fresh soil every time I add anything to it. I also pour any water in my water catching tub over it every time it has rained. Whatever the reason, I'm happy.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010



Seed or over seed new lawns before the leaves begin to fall.

Fertilize your perennials and shrubs... it will help them make
it through the winter.

To keep your bulbs in top-notch condition while giving you lots of flowers, scatter a 5-10-20 fertilizer on top of the ground above them.

Japanese Beetles lay eggs at about this time, so treat your lawn with beneficial nematodes that will control the grubs.

Stop pruning shrubs. This will encourage new growth, which should be avoided. Any new stuff will be nipped by frost which is NOT good for the plant!

If you haven't divided your herbaceous perennials, such as daylilies, irises, hostas and peonies, get it done soon. Remember the soil is still nice and warm even if the temperature drops at night. It allows the roots time to settle in and establish themselves before winter sets in! This is what makes fall such a good time to plant!

Plant some fall mums!

Allowing hips to form on your roses tells the plant to harden off for winter. So, you should probably stop picking the blooms for the table!

Water your peonies and shrubs very heavily. It will have to last
until spring.

This is the time to divide peonies.

Put all your non-diseased plant debris in the compost bin,
adding a bit of soil as well, to help get the chemistry moving!

If you haven't done a soil test... now is the time. Call your
local Extension Office for information.

Dig up your gladiola, dahlia and tuberous begonia corms.

Lily bulbs become dormant this time of year, so it's time to move or divide them right now. The bulbs are "fleshy" so treat them gently. Replant them at the same depth as they were before and remember they like well drained, soft soil. If there are little bulbs present, separate them and plant them at about 3 times their height.

Poinesttias should now be put in their dark corner for at least 16 hours each day in order to set up their bracts to be colorful by Christmas time.

I would suggest that you begin removing blossoms from your tomato plants. This will tell the plant it's time to ripen up the tomatoes left on the vine, and stop putting out more. (Unless you want green tomatoes, that is!)

Watch for migrating Monarch Butterflies that are beginning to head south to spend the winter in Mexico.

Also, look for Broad-Winged Hawks that are migrating about now.

Start preparing your indoor plants to come back inside, being sure they are in before frost. You need to be sure they don't have insects hiding anywhere. You also want to clean off the pots, especially if they were sunken into the soil for their summer sojourn!

Your amaryllis can come inside and go into a dark, cool corner.

Take down your Hummingbird feeders at the end of the month, if you haven't already.

BULBS! PLANT THEM! And by the way, try this website for ALL kinds of information about what, when, and HOW to plant the bulbs in our zone!