Petals from the Past

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Monthly Garden Gossip,

November, 2018

Welcome to our garden! We're proud of our hard work and want to share the reward with you.
So here is what's going on in the garden this month.....Central Alabama

Prepare for Frost

It's that time of year again to check out your freeze cloth and make sure it is in good condition. If it needs replacing now would be the time to do it. It is a good idea to be ready for frosty weather.

We use this cloth to cover our citrus trees and any other frost tender plants. I use it in my vegetable garden to cover my lettuces. Citrus trees should be covered when the temperature is going to be 28 degrees or below. However if there is fruit on the tree it should be covered when temperatures reach 32 since the fruit will freeze at that temperature.

If this is the first year that your citrus trees are planted in the ground, make sure that you have a frame around them to support your winter cloth. Anywhere that the cloth touches the plant it will damage the leaves. Dr. Powell makes a frame from PVC pipe and rebar. You can too, just like at our nursery. The excess cloth should be weighted down with cinderblocks or rocks. It can also be rolled in landscape timbers or metal pipe. You don't want it to blow off exposing your trees to the cold and wind. If you have an electrical source nearby you could also place a light inside the frame which would give off additional heat.

This fabric is breathable and can be left on the trees for several days during a cold spell. It should be removed when the temperatures are above freezing to give your tree a chance to get direct sun.

Frame for cover cloth

PVC frame for Cover Cloth

frame with cover cloth

Frame with cover cloth

This cloth can be purchased at the nursery. It comes in 15 and 30 foot widths. We have some 15 x 15 foot lengths already cut. The cost is $25.00. However, we will custom cut any length you need.

zinnias

 

Fall is a good time to collect seed for summer flowering annuals.  Zinnia and Cosmos are good examples.  Pick the seed pods or seeds and place in  a paper bag to dry.  Close the bag when the seeds have dried and shake.  The seeds will fall out.  Store in a cool dry place.  A glass canning jar works well

Bulbs

Plant bulbs now through December for spring bloom. Many of the daffodils bloom very early starting in February. When planting don't forget the Bulb Booster. It gets them off to a good start.

Paperwhites are lovely to have around during the holiday season. They need no chilling to bloom. They will grow in either soil or rocks and water. Be sure to give them lots of strong light or they will become leggy.

Plant amaryllis now too, for a good show during the holidays. I have planted amaryllis in soil and also rocks and water but I find the soil works the best.

daffodils

Double red poppy

Double Red Poppy

Plant Wildflower Seed

The 2018 wildflower seed is available. The seeds should be sown between October and January since many of the seeds require cold weather to germinate.

The ground should be prepared by lightly tilling or raking so that the seed will make contact with the soil. In order to disperse the seed evenly place your seed in a bucket of 4 parts builders sand to 1 part seed. The sand helps disperse the seed so there won't be clumps of seedlings.

The seeds are sold by the teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the size of the seed.

Don't burn all the fall leaves compost them! I till them straight into my vegetable garden and by spring they are compost. Start cleaning up your perennial border in preparation for winter. Cut back any dead or dying plants.

Growing Garlic

Plant some garlic this year. It is very easy to grow and takes up very little garden space. Garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring. Turban garlic is often recommended for us here in the south. Some of the varieties are Thai Purple, China Dawn and Chinese Purple. However, I have planted garlic that I bought at a farmer's market and it worked well. You should amend your soil with compost before you plant. It is also suggested that you should mulch. Mulching conserves moisture, moderates soil temperature and prevents weeds.

Fall fall crops can still be planted. Lettuces, cabbage, kale and Swiss Chard plants are available at the nursery. Take a look at our vegetable garden. Kale, Giant Red Mustard, cabbage and they look happy now that the weather has cooled off.

Pansies

Pansies are a cool season favorite. They come in so many colors it is hard to choose which one to plant. Pansies will bloom through the winter and put on a big show in spring. They can freeze solid, thaw out and just keep on going.

Remember to use a water soluble fertilizer 15-3-20, 15-3-30, 13-2-13 are some suggested ratios. Avoid slow release fertilizers since they are less effective in the cooler weather. Blood meal is also a good organic fertilizer for pansies.

Join us for Christmas Open House

November 17 from 9-5 and Sunday, Novmber 18, from 1-5 are the dates of this year's Open House. JQ's one man band will be with us again this year making spirits bright with his Christmas songs.

Debbie Boutelier will conduct a Holiday Workshop on Saturday November 17 at 1:00pm. Check out our Event Page for details.

Pat and I will be cooking up a storm for this event. Stop by for some treats as well as the many items that will be on sale.

JQ One Man Band

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