Friday, October 20, 2006

Bulb Planting in Small Spaces

The weekend is here and I need to finish planting the rest of my spring blooming bulbs that I didn’t get to last weekend. If your space is limited, here is an easy way to get more blooms in less space – it’s called layering. Since various bulbs are planted at different depths, this is how it works.

First, dig a hole about 11” deep. Place tulips in the hole, cover with some dirt. On top of the dirt, place some daffodils which are about planted about 9” deep. Fill with more dirt and put crocus at about 4” deep.
Come spring, you will have lots of blooms in not much space – so think spring now! You have several more weeks to get those spring blooming bulbs planted, but don’t wait – who knows what the weather will bring.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be on during 5 Eyewitness News Weekend Morning between 8 and 9 a.m. showing some techniques and ideas for pumpkin carving.

Make your weekend a good one.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bringing the Fall Indoors

Last night I got around to bringing a little fall indoors. Usually I have this done earlier in the month….so I guess I’m just a bit behind this year. I strongly feel that the key to bringing the outdoors in and creating great looking indoor displays is keeping it simple and using just a few items to create impact. This is true not just during the fall, but any time of year.

Here are four examples of what I did. All of these combined took about 15 minutes to complete.

In my dining room, I took a large white platter with some grapes on it – any oversized platter will do and anchored it with one large decorative squash. A pile of small gourds were placed on the platter and two of two different small squash. Some bittersweet was tucked in to finish the look. Note how the gourds and each squash are grouped together – this is what creates the impact - far more then just placing everything randomly.

On the buffet in the dining room is an amber compote filled with mini pumpkins.
A small squash anchors the display at the foot of the compote. Most people think of putting fall items only in wicker. They look great in glass or ceramics too.
On the kitchen table, I grabbed a handful of oak and linden leaves from my yard and sprinkled a few down the middle of the table. Three brown bowls were placed on top of the leaves with three identically sized pumpkins – one in each bowl. All the stems of the pumpkins face the same direction. Very simple and the repetition creates the impact.

On my kitchen counter I took a tall vase, dropped in a couple of the mini pumpkins and then some larger stems of bittersweet were added. The bittersweet starts inside the vase and extends out. The vase was then filled with mini pumpkins all the way to the top. You could do this in any size vase or large glass bowl.

Wow….it took me longer to type this then it did to actually do the projects.

Enjoy your day and bring a little fall indoors - it’s a great way to forget about the snow that’s in the forecast.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Clean Up Time

…and all good things must come to an end. That’s what you can say about this gardening season after two nights of very cold weather.

This weekend it is time to clean up – removing the now dead annuals and getting the leaves raked up and into the compost.

I like to think of this time of year as not just the end of the 2006 garden season but the beginning of the 2007 gardening season. Nothing kicks off spring like beautiful tulips, daffodils and crocus. Now is the time to get those planted. The most important thing to keep in mind and most often done wrong is not planting the bulbs deep enough.

Review these caresheets for planning your spring bulbs:
Success with Tulips
Success with Daffodils
Spring Bulbs Spacing and Depth

Also, create clusters of one color of bulb for impact when they bloom in the spring.

I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

Make your weekend a good one – warmer weather is on its way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Frost in the Forecast?

Just a few days ago I said there was not a killing frost in the forecast… oops.

If you have not brought in any plants that you want to keep indoors over the winter, it is time. The extended cold period in the forecast will damage or kill those plants.

Also, any tomatoes in your garden that may be turning orange should be brought indoors and put somewhere warm to ripen – don’t refrigerate. Even larger green tomatoes can ripen indoors - pick the tomatoes, wrap in newspaper or put in a paper bag. The ethylene that the tomatoes naturally produce will help them ripen. Again, don’t refrigerate them. They can be kept in a cooler location, but not in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your day.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Another Perfect Day...

Another perfect day and once again, it barely feels like fall.

I finally found some time to do some quick fall decorating last night in my front yard. Usually I do the planters near the front door, but they look just too good to pull out and since a killing frost is not in the forecast, I just nestled some pumpkins in amongst the green and white foliages.

Further down the sidewalk and closer to the street I took two planters-one is sitting on the steps; the other is just to the side of the steps on the ground.

I drove a 4 foot stake through the hole in the pot that is sitting on the ground and then packed the pot full of leaves. Once that was done, I slide three pumpkins down on the stake – this part was very easy to do.

The pot that is sitting on the sidewalk was also filled with leaves –a large pumpkin was placed on the leaves as if it were growing in the pot.

Two garden mums in wicker baskets complete my quick and easy fall look. In fifteen minutes I had this all done and it gave my neighbors something new to look at in my front yard. Enjoy what looks to be a beautiful weekend.

Monday, October 2, 2006

In the Weeks Ahead...

It looks like October out there with the leaves turning yellow, orange and red but the temperatures have been anything but fall like. Don’t take me wrong, I love it – it’s just a little confusing.

Here is a rundown of what I will be doing in my yard in the weeks ahead and a few gentle reminders of some things that should be done.

Plant spring blooming bulbs – this includes tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths - just to name a few. A little effort now yields big rewards when these bulbs are blooming. Nothing says “Welcome Spring" like a bed of tulips.

Fertilize the lawn. This is probably the most important fertilization of the year. If you were only going to fertilize once a year, this is the one that you would want to do. Fertilizing now will send your lawn into the winter with a healthy strong root system and the energy reserves so it takes off in the spring.

Rake the leaves off the lawn. I get asked all the time if it is important to get the leaves off the lawn. The short answer is yes, it is. Leaves mat down on the lawn which can lead to fungus problems come spring. So get out there and rake them up

Watering trees, shrubs and evergreens. It is very important that all plants go into the winter months hydrated. The heat and dry spell of this summer could take its toll on plants if they don’t get enough water. I watered again this weekend and will continue to do so as needed until the ground freezes.

Grass seeding – we are now past the latest time of the year to put down grass seed. If you are still thinking about doing it this year, you have run out of time and excuses. Get out now and get it done – there is still a chance that it will germinate and grow, especially if warmer temperatures stick around.

Make your day a good one.