~ September 24 2008 ~
Farewell To A Friend...
I am pleased to see the rain today. I have been keeping an eye on the extended forecast hoping
for Mother Nature's assistance. It's nice to not need the irrigation system for now.
Make sure you are being savvy when it comes to watering. Driving the kids to school today I saw
many irrigation systems on (during the downpour). Why would anyone be watering when it is raining? It is our duty as
gardeners and caretakers of the earth to be responsible with our resources. Savvy watering is not
only good for your gardens but good for the environment.
I am attending a life celebration today. A close friend of the family passed away unexpectedly.
Tom was an incredible man and I am sad that he has left us all to soon. I will rejoice however in
the fact that he was a man who gave his time to many. He was involved in Sertoma,
The Rotary Club and many other organizations that reach out to people in need.
He was an incredible husband, father and grandfather. A true hero to his
children and grandchildren. We will celebrate his time on earth today and
remember him for what he was and what he taught so many people - give of
yourself and you will be granted a life full of love. My sadness lingers but as
I was working in the yard yesterday I couldn't resist my memories of Tom and how
he always made me laugh. It's funny but that is what he would have wanted. He
was a quick witted man who made anyone around him feel welcome and comfortable. For all of us that have been touched by him,
Tom will live in our
One problem with fall is that it makes us forgetful. Even Savvygardeners
sometimes cut back on watering too much this time of year. Your perennials,
trees, shrubs, and lawn need that moisture - not like they did in mid-summer
but about an inch a week or so. Watering now and through November helps
ensure your plants have a healthy root structure going into our often harsh winters.
Plants That Came In From The Cold...
Once chilly overnight temperatures
become the norm you will need to bring your
winter houseplants back inside. When you do, make
sure to check them for pests. Simply rinsing
the plants' leaves, and soaking the pots in water for 15 to 20
minutes will drown most soil-dwelling pests. Also, clean the
windows where plants will be placed. It can dramatically
increase available sunlight and make for a much healthier plant!
Tidy Up Around Fruit Trees...
No one likes worms and other pests in their fruit trees. A
simple clean up now can dramatically reduce the number of pests
that return next year. Just pick up and destroy any fallen
fruit, branches, and leaves. Worms and other pests feed on this
fruit and debris, overwinter in the soil, and emerge in the
spring to lay eggs and start the cycle all over again.
Garlic Lovers Get Ready!...
Garlic needs to be in the ground at least one month before
the soil freezes so now through mid-October is the ideal time for
planting. Start by planting the small cloves that are divisions
of the large bulb. The larger the clove, the larger the size of
the mature bulb at harvest. Do not divide the bulb until
immediately before planting. Although some people have had good
luck planting the garlic from the grocery store, seedstock from a
nursery or via mail-order is recommended.
Garlic needs a full-sun site with loose soil rich in organic matter.
Adding compost to the bed is usually a good idea. Plant the
cloves (with their pointy sides up) three to five inches apart at
a depth of two to three inches. Add a light layer of mulch.
Allow 18 to 30 inches between rows or plant five inches apart in
all directions if you're using raised beds. Next spring the
garlic will push through the soil and mulch. We'll wait until
then to complete the directions through harvest.
Chilly Change In The Air...
This time of year it's not unusual for overnight temperatures to
dip into the 40's. Brrr! There's no frost on the horizon yet
but keep in mind that our first frost is due in
mid-October. Remember that Mother Nature has her own agenda and
doesn't have much time for statistics and averages. Surprise
early frosts can be a problem if you're not prepared.
For those of you new to Savvygardener.com we hope you will enjoy our
timely frost alerts. We send these e-mail alerts to all
subscribers when we believe an untimely frost is likely.
Hopefully we are still several weeks from our first frosty
scare. Cross your fingers!
The Gardener's Workout...
Have you ever noticed how fit Savvygardeners look? It's
because gardening is such great exercise! Need proof?
Well, Dr. Mark Kantor at the University of Maryland College of
Agriculture & Natural Resources has published an article that
defines the amount of calories burned doing various
activities. It turns out that gardening (see below) can
really burn the calories.
burned during each 10 minutes
of various gardening activities
|Mowing grass (power)
|Mowing grass (manual)
Oh Say Can You Seed?
It's not too late to overseed your lawn -
but it's getting close. You should be able to successfully
overseed for the next week to 10 days. After that your success
will depend on how quickly winter arrives. Two quick tips to
increase your success:
your new turf well watered through the rest of fall.
Read our very popular
Overseeding A Lawn.
The great thing about seeding and overseeding is the low cost and high
return. Relatively speaking, grass seed is cheap. If your seeding is successful you
wind up with a priceless lawn next spring. If it's not 100%
successful you haven't lost much.
"Almost everyone who grows things enjoys gardening books
no matter how old-fashioned, for over and above the specific
information they contain, they provide glimpses into a way
of life that is not only gone forever but already in danger
of being forgotten."
~ Thalassa Cruso