Gardening Commentary

The colder weather is finally here. November temperatures have been above normal but now it appears we are back to our normal temperatures for this time of the year. It is still quite dry and we want to make sure there is adequate moisture in the soil for recent plantings of trees, shrubs and perennials and even some of our older evergreen trees. Hopefully really cold temperatures will wait until our plants become acclimated to the cold weather that is coming and avoid any serious freeze damage. I want to emphasize, when our plants go into the winter months on the dry side this can be a huge problem for plants that have been added to the landscape in the last 18 months. Trees and shrubs planted this year, and in particular those that are evergreen, that is keeping their foliage whether leaves or needles, are most vulnerable to damage. One of the last tools that should be put away this fall is your water hose. Yes, plants need adequate moisture at the root zone in the winter. Remember, the humidity outside is lower in the winter, and when the winds blow moisture is lost from exposed bark and the leaves and needles of evergreens. On the next mild day it would be a good idea to give any plants, added to the landscape this year, one more good soaking. Another thing to consider is applying an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt Pruf® or Stop Wilt® that coats the plant surfaces with a clear membrane to reduce evaporation. A 2” layer of mulch for moisture preservation is also helpful. If you have planted any young shade trees, particularly those with thin bark, be sure to protect the trunks from Sun Scald and eventual bark splitting. Use tree guards from November until March to shield the sun.

These details can make the difference of protecting the investment made in our landscapes. We don’t want to have our plants damaged or killed even though most nurseries guarantee them. Replacements are no fun and the effort of replanting and having to reestablish the plants and losing a valuable year of growth sets us back. If you have not fertilized your lawn this fall NOW is the time. Plant roots are active, absorbing nutrients, whenever the soil is not frozen. The plants in our yards will start off next spring much better when they have food available over the winter months.

Think about adding some indoor plants to your home or office this winter. Plants improve our environment in a couple of ways. First by improving the quality of the air we breathe. And secondly, they improve our psyche by having living plants around us. There is no better time to do this than at holiday time with a beautiful, locally grown poinsettia or other blooming plants that will be with us through the winter. They are easy to care for and they improve where we are with their beauty.

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32 years of growing

Meadow View Growers

www.meadowview.com

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