Putting the Garden to Bed
In most parts of the country the gardening season is winding down and preparations are under way to put the garden to bed. That's a somewhat misleading phrase because, for instance, in my Chicago garden many plants (the witch hazels, creeping sedums, aster rosettes, and a few precocious snowdrops) are active in winter. Also, it is not yet time to pull the blanket of mulch over the garden. That comes next month when the ground begins to freeze. Much like with a toddler resisting bedtime, putting the garden to bed does... >>more
Get the Scoop on Your Soil
Why won't my orange tree produce fruit? Why won't my hydrangea flower? Why do my tomatoes develop blossom end rot? Why is my corn weak and spindly? Why are the leaves on my witch hazel yellowing in midsummer? Why do the leaves on my apple tree look scorched? Is it safe to eat from my veggie garden? The answers to these and many other gardening dilemmas are rooted in... >>more
Forcing Bulbs for Winter Blooms
The gardening season is ending, and bleak, dreary winter is on the way. But take heart; by forcing bulbs you can enjoy a dose of spring many weeks before it officially arrives. Your windowsill can be a miniature garden of vivid colors and intoxicating perfumes even when the weather outside is... >>more
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November Q and A
Question: I live in Rochester, New York, and my son gave me a great little rose bush that's in a container. How do I winterize... >>more
November Gardening Tips
- Check garden centers for clearance specials on plants and bulbs and get them in the ground. Some bulbs, such as tulips, will perform well even if planted late. Inspect to make sure they are healthy, and celebrate your bargains.
- For the compost-conscious gardener, put aside a pile of leaves to use as dry material next year. Dry (or brown) material can be difficult to find during the growing season, so stash some now during the time of plenty.
- Help a neighbor put their garden to bed. The elderly and infirm might need physical assistance. Schools and churches can always use helping hands. This is a chance to share and receive gardening knowledge, as well as expand your gardening community.