Halloween is not quite here, Christmas is everywhere and we are still prepping for winter. Like cleaning the flower beds, mulching to protect and putting cones on the roses. Don’t forget to get all the bulbs planted like tulips, allium, garlic, etc. Also the evergreens will always need moisture even through the winter if we don’t receive any snow. That being said the deciduous trees and shrubs will need to be watered in very well before the ground freezes. The evergreens could be sprayed with a product call Wilt Pruf that guards against moisture loss. Excessive moisture loss from plants causes severe wilting, shock or plant failure in the winter when drying winds and frozen ground deprive plants of their natural moisture intake. Wilt Pruf forms a protective coating which holds moisture in, reducing water loss during stress. One application a year sprayed in the late fall when the temperature is above freezing so that the spray will not freeze on the foliage is great for cedars and junipers.
It is also a great time to prepare and amend all garden beds, vegetable raised gardens and rose beds. The weather is still warm and workable ground is not frozen, so you can add compost, steer manure and just top up with peat moss and top soil. The nutrients of your different soils will work into your soil for spring planting. Mulching around the roses, perennials and shrubbery is a great idea to protect them from nasty, old Mr. Winter.
Cute, little deer problem? Don’t forget to spray with Plantskydd repellant in the fall. Spray on all trees, shrubs and evergreens. This will help keep the deer, rabbits and voles away for most of the winter. The Plantskydd is 100 per cent organic with no harm to animals. Sometimes it is better to paint it on the trees as the ready-to-use spray bottle clogs up unless you shake it like a mad man.
You can also use your patio pots for fall mums, pansies, grasses, dogwood twigs and ornaments. Then again for winter beauty with fresh green, berries, sticks ribbons and bows.
Last but not least — don’t forget the birds. Clean the bird houses and feeders, refill with fresh seeds and berries. If you have spruce, sumac, Virginia creepers, crabapples in your yard all of these plants attract the birds. Birds love the fruit and seeds. The spruce will offer nesting places and shelter. The birds will eat the cones and most berries. Birds bring life to your gardens even on the dreariest days.
One more thing most people like to have is a tropical plant in the house, just for something green and calming and cleaning the air. You can also continue to grow herbs inside and eat healthy all through the winter. We have little grow gardens, grow domes and grow tables with lights. Keep growing and keep green. Joyce Swaren is the owner and head horticulturalist at Blondie's Gift and Garden.