December 19, 2007
This time last week we were still without power.
Unfortunately there are still many people in
parts of Oklahoma and Kansas
without power and some may be without
until after Christmas. It is hard to believe. Many have been
without power for over 10 days. While listening to the radio
today I heard an interesting piece on NPR.
Because of the clean-up of damaged trees there is enough
mulch and wood chips in the state of Oklahoma to last them over
a century. That is a staggering statistic. The damage was
substantial and it will take years to replace the number of
trees taken down by the storm. We need to keep all of those
still affected by the storm in our thoughts. They have a
long road of clean-up and re-planting ahead of them.
After a few warm
days the snow we received is slowly melting away. Slow melting
snow is a wonderful way to give all planted things a good drink.
Have you seen how green some of the lawns are? I saw a few
people (we are not included in this category) actually raking
leaves today. Always something to do -
whether it is shoveling or raking. The sunny 40's have been
great for my demeanor. I have been able to get outside to do
some things without dressing like Nanook. Sam Parker (the family
beagle) is enjoying the benefits of the warmer weather as well.
The warmer it is the longer the walk and he always seems to be
up for that.
Happy Holidays and
thanks for reading!
Preventing Snow Mold...
Two early winter storms this season caught many of
us a bit off guard. We still had a fair amount of unraked leaves
on the ground and bet that you did too. Don't leave them there!
First on your weekend "to do" list - rake up those leaves.
It's just not healthy for the turf to have wet leaves smothering
it all winter. Additional snows that may have greater longevity
(on top of those unraked leaves) can lead to snow mold - a
possibility and it is best avoided.
If you are using guy wires around newly planted trees make
sure hose sections (or other protection) are still covering the
supporting wires or ropes. Without sufficient protection the
recent windy weather could cause a young tree's bark to be
stripped away by bare wire or rope.
Two Out Of Three
Wise Men Recommend...
The holiday season is full of traditions involving the plants
we grow. Wreaths, mistletoe, Christmas trees, the list goes on.
How about frankincense and myrrh? What is that stuff anyway?
Well, they are both resins - dried tree sap - that come from
trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora
(myrrh). The way that people collect the sap is similar to the
way people collect rubber tree sap or pine tree sap. Cutting the
tree's bark causes the sap to ooze out of the cut. The sap used
to create both of these famous resins comes slowly and is allowed
to dry on the tree. Both in the time of the three wise men and
today, frankincense and myrrh are most commonly used to create
Pacing Your Paperwhites...
As the holidays near, you can adjust the bloom time of your
forced paperwhites. If they are coming along too quickly, place
them in a cool room (50-60º F) and
water less frequently. If you need to speed them up a bit, place
them in the warmest room in the house. With a little luck
they'll be blooming right on time!
Here are some quick tips for keeping those
holiday poinsettias looking good through the season:
for at least half the day.
away from drafts, registers & radiators.
temperatures in 50’s or low 60’s, days at 70°
Soil should dry only slightly between
thorough waterings. Discard the drainage.
holes in decorative foil wraps to prevent soggy soil
Mulching your perennials is very important in wintertime. If
possible mulch the root zones of your azaleas and rhododendrons
with oak leaves, shredded oak bark or pine needles. Each will
add a little bid of acidity to the delight of these acid-loving
and other gas-powered equipment need winterizing before being put
away for the season. Here are some basics:
be changed and moving parts lubricated.
should either be drained or have a gas stabilizing additive
mixed into the fuel.
steps will help ensure a longer lasting machine as well as a
better chance of a successful "cold-start" next spring.
"Most people, early
in November, take last looks at their gardens, and are then
prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure that a
garden doesn't like to be ignored like this. It doesn't like to
be covered in dust sheets, as though it were an old room which
you had shut up during the winter. Especially since a garden
knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen
heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance."