Thursday, November 3, 2011

Get your garden and landscape ready for the holidays

By Laurie Garretson

Here we are all ready in the first week of November. How does this month seem to get here so fast each year? Believe me, when I was a child, the months really didn't go by as fast as they do now. It took forever for my birthday, which is around Thanksgiving, and Christmas to get here. But anyway, here we are quickly getting into the busy holiday season.
This can also be a busy time of the year for gardeners. Getting lawns, vegetable gardens, house plants and flowerbeds ready for cold weather can keep us busy.
Fall is a great time to grow vegetables. How nice it would be to have your own fresh, homegrown veggies served during the holidays. Now is the time to plant lettuces, spinach, radishes, mustard and other greens. Don't forget about planting some of your favorite herbs. Cilantro, fennel, chives, parsley, dill and many other herbs can all be planted during the fall.
For many, the holidays are the time of year when seldom seen friends and relatives come to visit. This means we really like to spruce up our landscapes. There are many colorful annuals that can be planted to brighten up your flowerbeds, containers and window boxes. One of the most colorful and hardiest cold-weather annuals has to be pansies. Pansies come in many different colors. Ornamental cabbage and kale, dusty miller, snapdragons, marigolds, nasturtiums and Johnny jump ups are just some of the other cool-season plants you could also plant now.
If your lawn looks less than healthy after this past summer now is the time to feed it some of your organic fertilizer. This is also a good time to spread compost on the lawn. Rye grass seed can be broadcast over the lawn area to provide you with a green lawn through the cool season. Having a cool-weather rye grass lawn will also help to discourage weeds from that area. Rye grass dies off as the weather warms up in spring.
This is the time of year to divide and replant or give away your spring blooming perennials. This includes Shasta daisies, daylilies, cannas and iris.
To help with cold protection, and to also feed all types of things that grow in the soil, remember to regularly fertilize with liquid seaweed. Since temperatures are cooling down, it would be best to apply the seaweed on a weekly basis. Used regularly, seaweed actually toughens foliage. Tougher foliage is better able to handle cold temperatures, and it also deters all sucking types of insect pests. Seaweed is good stuff.
Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.


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