~ November 18, 2009 ~
A Few Choice Words...
I have only one word to describe what I think of the last 4 days of weather,
Awful! Cold, rainy, snowy -
I really have nothing good to say about it. Oh sure, the rain has been good and plentiful but after 4
days... enough already! I guess I'd better settle in. It looks like this might be the first of many cold and
dreary days ahead. The good news, there is a tropical vacation looming in my future which will allow me
to be outside enjoying the warmth of the sun. Two words to describe that -
So did any of you get the opportunity to visit my friend Steve Hess's open house,
Snow What Fun? If you
get a chance please stop in and tell Steve and the other artists that you heard about this event from the
Savvygardener newsletter. We want him and the other artists to know that our readers patronize our sponsors.
We need to support our local artists just like we support our local garden centers and nurseries. Spending
money here is Kansas City benefits us all and what's not to like about that?
Power Equipment Protection...
Power equipment, such as lawn mowers, tillers and chippers require
additional winter preparations. As you finish with any of these
machines for the season give them some TLC before putting them away.
Also, avoid storing gasoline over the winter. Old gasoline does not ignite
easily, making the machines using it work harder.
collected grease, dirt and plant material from all equipment.
loose screws and nuts.
cutting edges and wipe them with an oily rag.
- If your
equipment has a four-cycle engine, change the oil by following
instructions listed in your owner's manual.
the oil and air filter line by starting the engine and letting
it run until it stops.
Two-cycle engines, or engines that run with a gas and oil
mixture, also should have the oil-gas mixture removed for the
winter. Run the engine with the choke open to remove fuel from
the spark plug and replace it if it is worn.
other worn or damaged parts as well.
All Coiled Up And No Place To Go...
If you are putting your hoses away for the season take care
of how you store them. Be very careful not to kink the hose.
Any kink becomes a weak point and hoses often crack in these
locations. Do not hang your hoses on nails as this promotes
kinking and weak spot formation. Instead store them on reels,
hose supports or simply coil them loosely on the floor. Before
storing make sure all the water has been drained out. Find a dry
place for it and your hose will be ready to go when spring returns.
The growth of your houseplants will slow as the days get
shorter and light intensity is reduced. This means that they
will need less frequent watering and fertilizing through the
winter. Too much of either in the coming months can cause weak
growth leading to undue stress next spring.
Protect Those Pots...
Cold nights have Savvygardeners worrying about protecting their
gardening valuables (plant and non-plant alike). Often overlooked
items include your outdoor plant pots. Any pots that contain moist
soil are subject to cracking and breaking as we cycle through freezing
and thawing weather. Solution? Just empty all the soil from your pots
and store them in a sheltered area for the winter.
Bundle Up For Winter...
Young thin-barked trees, such as maples and many fruit trees, are
especially susceptible to frost cracking or sunscald. Prevent damage
by wrapping their trunks with commercial tree wrap or painting the
south and southwest-facing sides of the trunk with white latex outdoor
Still Time To Till...
Autumn is an excellent time to add organic materials and till garden soils.
However, even winter can be a good time to take care of this chore as long
as the soil isnít frozen. It is far wiser to till now (if soils are dry) than to
wait until spring when cold, wet conditions can limit your ability to work soils
easily. Working soil when it is wet destroys soil structure and results in hard
clods that are very slow to break down.
There is a limitation to how much organic material such as leaves can be
added in one application. Normally, a layer 5 to 6 inches deep is
the maximum that can be added at one time. Shredding the material
before application will encourage faster and more complete
decomposition due to increased surface area.
Time To Mulch Roses?
It's still too early to mulch your roses. Savvygardeners find it's best to wait
for the ground to be fully frozen as this assures that the roses have been
given a chance to "harden off". You can prepare for later mulching by
collecting and setting aside the soil and mulch that you will use later. Cover
this material with a tarp to keep it dry and once the ground has frozen you will
have a good source of loose mulching material.
"I love snow, and all forms
Of the radiant frost"
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley