This week's gardening tips from the Savvygardener.

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October 3, 2007

 

Piddle On!
Let's see... what have I been doing since last week? The never ending task of picking up acorns continues and now that the leaves are starting to fall I am busy trying to keep them off our newly seeded lawn. Tim Jorns, better known as T.J., with Ryan Lawn & Tree was out yesterday to verticut (photos) and put some seed down in the back-yard. It is hard to talk about T.J. in any other sense than friend. I remember T.J. calling on me when we were at our old house. That was 12 years ago and once again T.J. is taking care of our lawn. I have been through several other professionals at Ryan Lawn & Tree and I would highly recommend each and every one I've dealt with. I really don't want to take care of the lawn. I like to mow and trim but I would rather have a professional take care of the fertilizer, weed control and seeding schedule. One less thing for me to remember (or forget) depending on the day. For those of you who use Ryan Lawn & Tree you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who are curious, give them a call (913) 381-1505 or visit their website.

It is hard to beat this weather. The rain was a nice addition and the cool mornings and warm afternoons are delightful. This is the time of year where piddling outside is an all day affair. It doesn't matter what I'm doing as long as it is outside. There could be stacks and stacks of laundry (which there are) and it would not make a difference. Piddling is what I do and it makes me happy. Once winter arrives (sadness) the piddling will stop, so for now each day is a piddling day. Piddle on!

~ Shelly  

TLC For Tender Turf...
Whether you've overseeded like we just did or have put grass seed down to establish a new lawn you need to keep it wet. This is especially true as the new young blades shoot forth from the soil
.  This is when the grass is most vulnerable.  If it dries out, it dies.  No need to soak it.  Just keep it moist with a couple of sweeps from the hose spray nozzle several times a day.

Storing Summer Bulbs...
It's time to start thinking about storing bulbs that will not survive Kansas City winters. The bulbs of gladiolus, caladium, dahlia, tuberous begonia, calla lily, and cannas need to be dug and stored so they can be planted next year.

All of these plants should be dug after frost has browned the foliage. Allow them to dry for about a week in a shady, well-ventilated site, such as a garage or tool shed. Remove excess soil and pack them in peat moss, vermiculite or perlite. Make sure the bulbs don't touch, so that if one decays the rot doesn't spread to its neighbors. Dusting them with fungicide before storage will help prevent them from rotting as well.

Caladium should be stored between 50 and 60 F. The rest of the bulbs mentioned should be stored near 40 F.

Source

Squash Harvest & Storage...
Make sure you harvest pumpkins and winter squash before they get hit by frost.  Immediately after harvest, the fruit should undergo a ripening or curing process to harden the shell. A curing period of about two weeks at 75
to 85 F with good circulation is desirable. Storage should then be at 50 to 70 F with humidity between 50 and 70 percent. Also, leaving a couple inches of stem will not only provide a "handle" for jack-o-lanterns but will improve storage.

Tomato Rescue...
If you are rescuing green tomatoes from a frost and plan to allow them to finish ripening indoors, be sure to select fruits that have changed color from the darker green of immature tomatoes to the lighter color of the mature green stage. If picked before this color break, the tomato will rot instead of ripen. You will be on the safe side if you wait for a hint of red to appear.

Source

Evergreen Pruning...
Light pruning of both needle and broadleaf evergreens is recommended in late fall to encourage a strong framework to help the plant overcome any snow damage. Simply remove any weak or crowded branches with a pair of clean sharp pruners.

Look Who's Sleeping In The Garden Bed...
Many disease-causing viruses overwinter in the roots of perennial weeds.  Tomato mosaic virus overwinters in the roots of ground cherry, horsenettle, jimson weed, nightshade, and bittersweet; cucumber mosaic virus lives in the roots of milkweed, catnip, and pokeweed; bean mosaic overwinters in white sweet clover roots; and many cabbage diseases spread from wild members of the cole family.  A good fall cleanup is essential.  Don't wait!

Source

Time For Lime?
If the results of a soil test suggest that your lawn or garden needs an application of lime now is the time to do it.  Never had a soil test before?  Shame on you!  Resolve to get one done this month.  We've posted easy to follow instructions on the Savvygardener.com website. 

Finally...
"When I was a boy, I thought scent was contained in dew drops on flowers and if I got up very early in the morning, I could collect it and make perfume."

~ Oscar De La Renta

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