09November 7, 2018

Once we had to turn the clocks back an hour, it was odd to see it dark by 4:45 in the afternoon. What this means for your yard work is that you have to start earlier in the day to get all your chores done. Let me remind you of a few that you need to do.

You should be cutting back your perennials and then adding a layer of mulch around the plants. The additional mulch will help to slow the freezing and thawing of the ground that can kill the roots on your perennials. For years, I have recommended that you use bark mulch as a winter mulch. You can use a lot of other things, but come the spring, you have to remove that mulch material and dispose of it. With bark mulch, you can spread the mulch out in the spring and top it off with whatever color bark mulch you want. If you plan ahead and use bark mulch, you will be saving yourself a lot of work time in the spring.

The other day on the radio, I heard an add from a national chain telling people that it was time to apply grass seed. I don’t know where their ad agency is, but it is very risky to try to seed a new lawn or to overseed a lawn this late in the season. I will admit that I have seen years when people seed a lawn this late and have the lawn catch. But, that is the huge exception to the rule. Save yourself some money and time and do the seeding in the spring.

With the temperatures dropping, it is time to get your shrubs covered for the winter. Any of your shrubs that keep their leaves all winter and any hydrangeas or rosebushes will be damaged by the dry winter winds that we get during the winter months. You can wrap the plants in burlap, you can install the tent like structures that I have told you about in the past or you can spray the plants with an anti-desiccant spray. The spray is called Wilt Pruf and it is a wax that you would mix with water and spray onto the leaves and stems of those plants that can dry out in the winter. The waxy coating will slow down the loss of water to the wind by 30 to 50%. What you need to know is that you have to apply this product at temperatures above 40 degrees and the wax needs to set up in daylight hours. The colder temperatures are coming so this is a chore that you need to do sooner rather than later.

Before you know it, the snow will be coming. If you have someone who plows your driveway, you need to get markers placed on the edges of the driveway. This is particularly important if you have a lawn that abuts the driveway. Without marking stakes, it can be almost impossible for the plower to remember where all the edges are in all the driveways that they do. You should mark where the shrubs are and also where any objects are that might get damaged. I plowed driveways for years and there is nothing more surprising than to hit a granite post at the end or side of a driveway while you are plowing during a blizzard. While the ground is still thawed, get those markers into the soil.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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