09November 16, 2017
My guess is that we found out that it can be very cold in November. Not just cold temperatures, but record cold temperatures. The cold temperatures that we had killed off the rest of your annual flowers and any of your remaining vegetable plants. Now is the time to pull those plants up and dispose of those plants. In some cases you can throw them on the compost pile and turn them into valuable compost for your gardens. If you had a problem with fungus diseases on your flower or vegetable plants, it may not be a good idea to try to compost the diseased plants. Spores are the “eggs “ for next year’s diseases. They form on the leaves and stems of the plants. If your compost pile does not heat up enough to kill the spores, you can wind up with compost that can spread the diseases back into your gardens. It is always a better idea to dispose of the diseased plants rather than trying to composed those plants.
Once you rake up the leaves in your yard, you can add them to the compost pile. Leaves are slower to break down in the compost pile. There are composed accelerating products that you can sprinkle onto the leaves to make the leaves break down faster. We carry the product in our store and you should be able to find it at most garden centers.
Once the leaves are off the lawn, it is time to mow the grass one last time. If you don’t mow the grass, your lawn goes into winter with long blades of grass. Rain and snow can mat down the blades of grass. This creates the perfect environment for a disease called snow mold. The snow mold breeds in the constantly wet environment of the matted down blades of grass. The snow mold can kill the grass. In some cases the grass will grow back, but I have seen extreme cases where the grass is killed and it never comes back. If the grass dies, then you go into the spring with the need to re-seed parts of your lawn. It is so much easier to cut the grass to a height of 1-½ inches in length. This will make the blades short enough to prevent the snow mold from getting a foothold in your lawn.
If you haven’t gotten around to protecting your broadleaf evergreens from the dry winter winds that are coming, you had better get cracking. You can wrap your plants with burlap or you can apply a product called Wilf Pruf to the leaves of your evergreens. The Wilt Pruf puts a waxy coating on the leaves and the waxy coating cuts down the moisture lost to the wind by 30 to 50%. Wilt Pruf must be applied to the evergreens when temperatures are above 40 degrees and the wax needs to dry in daylight hours.
If you look at the calendar, we are about a week away from Thanksgiving. Around Thanksgiving, people begin to decorate their home for the holiday season. If you put evergreen boughs in your planters, it is better to put those boughs in the planters now rather than trying to do so after the soil in the planters freezes. We have gotten our first shipment of boughs in at the store. If the weather co-operates this weekend, it would probably be an item to put onto the to do list.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.