Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Garden in October (Part II)

GUEST POST by Jennifer Iseli

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

• Once the vines die back, and before a hard freeze, harvest winter squash. You can cure winter squash for storage by placing in a cool, sheltered shady spot for about 1 month.

• Remove green tomatoes from the plants. You can ripen them in a brown paper bag!

• Enjoy harvesting your fall crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks and beets.

• Clean and put away empty ceramic containers or decorative items. A mild bleach solution should take care of any remaining diseases, etc.

• Clean and refill bird feeders. Also, keep bird baths washed and refilled – Bird migrations will be at their peak now. If you are in an area with frequent freezes, you may want to consider a de-icer or turn the birdbath over to avoid cracking.

• To minimize diseases and insects, after the first frost falls, rake up the leaves of roses and dispose of them (do not compost) Add fresh mulch to winterize.

• Start a winter herb garden – pot up a few plants of parsley, sage, thyme or chives and place them in a sunny window.

• Before herbaceous perennials are knocked down from the first frost, place markers by the pant so that they can be dug up and divided. BE CAREFUL… if plants have a hollow stem; do not cut them back until early spring. If water falls into these hollow stems and then freezes, it can kill the plant.

• Place Christmas cactus in an area that receives at least 13 hours of darkness a day.

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