Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Button up Your Overcoat

After you have cleaned up your gardens, spread an inch of compost or a layer of fresh organic mulch (like chopped up leaves) over them. The compost will work its way into the soil, revitalizing it for the spring growing season by adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Most plants that die in the winter do so not from the cold but from having their roots exposed as the soil freezes and thaws. One to two inches of compost or mulch can help keep them covered until the soil freezes and then keep those plants safely frozen until spring arrives.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Pruning Rule of Thumb

Do not cut back plants that are still green and growing until the leaves begin to change color - they are still putting food in the roots for winter. And no pruning trees and shrubs until after they have gone dormant for the winter. Any cuts now might encourage growth which will not have time to harden off and will die during the freezing temperatures. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

New England’s Drought is Less Severe, but Persists

Near-normal rainfall in September and early October has tempered the severity of 2022’s drought, but groundwater remains low across most of the region, leaving large areas still in ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ drought. What does a gardener do? If your town allows hand or hose watering, focus on hydrating your more recent additions. For trees, focus on those planted in the past five years; for shrubs, two years; and for perennials this year. All lack a deep, well-established root system. Keep watering until the ground freezes. You’ll have done everything you can for your garden.


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The End of Container Season

Our summer containers are gone, our fall containers won’t be looking so good after a hard frost. Empty them out and clean them for next year. Reusing old potting mix may seem the frugal thing to do, but it not built to last for years and may harbor diseases or insect eggs. Toss it and clean the container by brushing out the remaining soil and then washing it in a 10% bleach solution (a cup of bleach to a half gallon of water). Allow it to dry and then store it in a garden shed, garage or basement and you are ready to plant it again in the spring.