20 November 24, 2010

There always seems to be unfinished gardening projects at this time of the year. Let me give you a few more to add to the list.

Any liquid garden chemical should not be allowed to freeze. Many of you will have liquid insect killer or liquid weed killer out in the shed or in the garage. If these products freeze, they will not work come next spring. Aerosol sprays should not be allowed to freeze either. Take some time soon and pack up all these liquids and put them someplace where they will not freeze.

Once all of the leaves have been raked up, you want to give the lawn a final mowing before the snow flies. If your lawn goes into the winter months with long blades of grass, the grass tends to mat down. This makes for a perfect breeding ground for fungus diseases come late winter. Cut the grass back to ¾ of an inch and you will lessen the chance of having fungus diseases ruin your lawn come late winter and early spring.

Garden tools get a workout during the growing season. Dirt or pitch that sits on these tools over the winter can make these tools rust. Shovels and steel garden rakes should have all of the dirt removes from the steel portions of the tool. Once the dirt is removed, apply a coating of oil or silicon spray to help to protect those steel surfaces.

Pruners and other hand tools tend to get a layer of pitch on the cutting surfaces. This will make them rust. Pitch can be removed with rubbing alcohol. These tools should also be sharpened so that they will be ready for spring. If you don’t know how to sharpen these tools, we will be offering this service after we get by the holiday rush.

Hoses and sprinklers should be drained of water and put away in an area where temperatures do not freeze. Even a little water left in a sprinkler or hose nozzle can freeze if left in an unheated area. This freezing can cause cracks that will make these tools worthless come the spring.

Lawn mowers and other power tools need to be maintained too. If any of your garden tractors or lawn mowers is left in unheated areas, it is best to remove the battery and store it for the winter in a heated area. Old grass clippings should be removed to prevent rusting. Metal parts should then be treated with a silicon spray. If you can use the gas elsewhere this winter, drain the gas from your mower. Otherwise, run the mower until it runs out of gas. Gas left in the mower over the winter can cause problems with starting the mower in the spring. If this is something you don’t want to do, schedule your mower with a repair shop and let them get the mower set up now for spring.

Well, I am sure there are other garden things you will need to finish up before winter. These are just a few that people tend to forget.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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