So Much to be Thankful for...
Although 2020 has been a remarkable year in many ways, and not all of them good, we are coming up on my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving. While COVID has kept many of us from seeing family and friends as much as we want, it has also made us appreciate the opportunities we get to spend with them, taught us how to "Zoom", and it has also provided many folks the chance to try gardening or increase the amount of gardening that they were doing. Seed suppliers have sold out of seeds for the first time ever and one of the top social media topics is gardening.
This gardening season has been especially busy, I believe, in part from COVID. While I am trying to finish as much as I can for clients before the ground freezes, I am already beginning to plan for next year. Even though it is dark an hour earlier since Daylight Savings ended, there is so much to be thankful for in November and every day. I wish you all a very safe, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving!
Winter Garden Series
Mark your calendars for Saturdays beginning mid-January and continuing through February.
I am working on a venue (possibly with a demonstration kitchen) and, although I know everyone likes to hear me (wink, wink), I would like to have some guest speakers if COVID allows. I am thinking four to six sessions focusing on vegetable gardening/edibles with beginner and more advanced topics.
Please help me help you! I would appreciate your input on how I can help you all next year. Please complete a brief survey by clicking below:
"If fall is for planting, winter is for designing."
Are you thinking of making any changes to your landscape? Don't wait until spring to begin planning, start over the winter. You won't have to wait during the busy spring rush and you will have the first choice of plants when the weather warms in spring!
As long as there isn't snow on the ground and the features of your landscape can be seen, the design process can begin. Design costs start around $250.00 and vary by size and complexity. Please call if you have any questions.
If you're trying to find that perfect gift for the gardener (or non-gardener) on your list, Carriage House Landscape Design also has gift certificates available in any denomination. Gift certificates are great for birthdays, housewarmings, and anniversaries, too!
Click here to visit our website
Thanksgiving Poem for Gardeners
Let us give thanks for generous friends with hearts and smiles as bright as their blossoms.
Let us give thanks for feisty friends as tart as apples.
Let us give thanks for continuous friends who,
like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us that we've had them.
Let us give thanks for crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible.
Let us give thanks for handsome friends, who are as generous as eggplants
and as elegant as a row of corn,
and for friends who are as plain as potatoes,
and as good for you.
Let us give thanks for funny friends, who are as silly as brussel sprouts
and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes
and for serious friends,
as complex as cauliflower and as intricate as onions.
Let us give thanks for friends as unpretentious as cabbages,
as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley
as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini
and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to see you through the winter.
Let us give thanks for friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time
and young friends, coming on as fast as radishes.
Let us give thanks for friends who wind around us like tendrils
and hold us, despite our blights, wilts, and witherings.
Let us give thanks for those friends now gone,
like gardens past that have been harvested,
and who have fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter.
Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.
Let us give thanks indeed.
November In Your Garden
Edibles: Fruits & Vegetables
- Fall tilling the vegetable garden exposes many insect pests to winter cold, reducing their numbers in next year's garden.
- Any unused, finished compost is best tilled under to improve garden soils.
- To prevent insects or diseases from overwintering in the garden, remove and compost all plant debris.
- Keep mulches pulled back several inches from the base of fruit trees to prevent bark injury from hungry mice and other rodents.
- Begin peak fall color in maples, hickories and oaks.
- Produce winter spinach by placing cloches over late sowings. Place sheets of glass at the ends of the tunnel.
- Sow lettuce seeds under cloches or in cold frames by the end of this week, in shallow drills about 6 inches apart. About the middle of December, transplant the young plants into cold frames or cloches, setting them 12 inches apart each way.
- Plant rhubarb from now until November.
- Monitor fruit plantings for mouse activity and take steps for their control if present.
- Plant red and white currant bushes from now until early spring, setting them 5 feet apart.
- Fallen, spoiled or mummified fruits should be cleaned up from the garden and destroyed by burying.
- Overcrowded or unproductive rhubarb plants can be divided now.
- Plant gooseberry bushes from now and until early spring, whenever the soil is workable. Space the bushes 5 feet apart.
- Cut globe artichokes down to soil-level and cover the roots with straw to protect them from severe frost.
- Plant bare-rooted fruit trees from now and until late spring, whenever the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.
- Getting a live Christmas tree? There is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree and some concerns about the Spotted Lanternfly have arisen. Although it is unlikely that Spotted Lanternfly eggs will be on Christmas trees, if they were to hatch indoors the nymphs pose no threat to humans or animals, and will die quickly.
- Continue to scout for and destroy any Spotted Lanternfly egg masses that you find.
- Now is a good time to collect soil samples to test for pH and nutritional levels.
- Roll up and store garden hoses on a warm, sunny day. It's hard to get a cold hose to coil into a tight loop.
- To prevent injury to turf grasses, keep leaves raked up off of the lawn.
- Continue mowing lawn grasses as long as they keep growing.
- When lawn cutting is over for this year, thoroughly clean the mower. Scrape off soil and old grass-cuttings, wash the mower and wipe dry. Cover all metal parts with a thin layer of oil or grease, then place the mower in a dry, well-aerated shed. Have electrical parts checked by an electrician. Add gas stabilizer to any gasoline remaining in the tank.
- Winterize lawn mowers before storage.
- Clean house gutters of leaves and fallen debris before cold wet weather sets in.
- Set up bird feeders. Birds appreciate a source of unfrozen drinking water during the winter.
- Be sure to shut off and drain any outdoor water pipes or irrigation systems that may freeze during cold weather.
- Continue watering evergreens until the ground freezes. Soils must not be dry when winter arrives.
- Now is the ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. Before digging the hole, prepare the site by loosening the soil well beyond the drip line of each plant. Plant trees and shrubs at the depth they grew in the nursery and not deeper. Remove all wires, ropes and non-biodegradable materials from roots before back filling. Apply a 2-3 inch mulch layer, but stay several inches away from the trunk. Keep the soil moist, not wet, to the depth of the roots.
- Remove the spent flowers and foliage of perennials after they are damaged by frost.
- Transplant deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves.
- Plant tulips now.
- Trees may be fertilized now. This is best done following soil test guidelines.
- Plant tulips now.
- Now is a good time to observe and choose nursery stock based on fall foliage interest.
- Newly planted broad-leaf evergreens such as azaleas, boxwood and hollies benefit from a burlap screen for winter wind protection. Set screen stakes in place before the ground freezes.
Pests and Problems
- Continue to inspect indoor plants closely for insect pests such as aphids, spider mites, scale, whitefly, mealybugs, and thrips. Treat if necessary.
- Fertilize cool-season lawns to promote good root growth and reduce problems next year. Also fertilizing trees and shrubs in late fall can enhance recovery of plants stressed by drought this past summer.
- Check trees and shrubs in your yard for "volcano" mulching - mulch piled high around the base or trunk of the plant. If found, pull back the mulch from the trunk and create a "donut" instead - little or no mulch against the base or trunk of the plant. A heavy layer of mulch around the base can lead to girdling roots as well as foster insect, disease, and rodent problems.
- Hold off applying your winter mulch to roses until after a hard frost (below 24 degrees F.).
- Remove and dispose of the foliage of plants such as roses, peonies, iris, daylilies, apples, horsechestnut, which are subject to annual fungal leaf diseases.
- Water evergreens well in dry weather to reduce or prevent winter browning of foliage resulting from drying winds.
- Water mums well going into winter. Spent flower heads may be removed to tidy the plants, but do not cut stems back to the ground until new growth begins in March. The dead tops help protect the plants during winter.
- Warm weather followed by sudden freezing temperatures can result in damage to plants. There is little one can do to prevent these natural occurrences but it may explain why a plant had dieback or dead areas going into winter or next spring or early summer.
- If a soil test indicates your soil pH needs to be raised or lowered, now is a good time to apply either lime or sulfur as required to correct the condition. Do not apply lime or sulfur without first testing the soil's pH.
- After leaves have fallen, galls on twigs and stems may be very evident. There are few, if any, really effective controls available.
Need help diagnosing plant problems, deciding treatments, or identifying plants? Call me - I'll be happy to help! Lori (484) 483-3495