What do I do now?
- It is a common misconception that moles and voles hibernate during the winter, when in fact, they simply dig deeper tunnels to escape the cold and they continue eating ferociously throughout the winter. Deeper burrows and occasional snow cover, combined with our own tendency to go outside less often in cold weather, makes their signature tunnels, hills, and holes much...
- Winter need not be the end of gardening, even if you live where snow flies. In fact, once the ground is good and frozen, or your plants are fully dormant for the winter, it is time for pruning! Woody plants that flower on new growth are good candidates for winter pruning. If your plants flower on old growth, you do not want to prune until immediately after they fininsh flowering because you will cut off the flower buds. That means, no pruning of forsythia, some hydrangeas, azaleas and other spring-blooming plants. If you feel the need to get out your pruning shears and head out into the garden, work on your roses. Rose Pruning Basics There are some pretty basic rose pruning techniques that will serve you well, no matter which type of rose you are working with--Hybrid Tea, Floribunda or Modern Shrub Rose. (You have to be careful with climbers in terms of winter pruning. Some climbing roses flower on old growth.) Continue reading →
- It's time for the seed catalogs to start arriving! I look forward to opening my mailbox in January, which makes me different than about 99% of the population, I know. I look forward to the glossy pictures and gardening dreams that arrive with my seed catalogs. (My credit card bills are ever-present. They aren't any worse when the holidays are over. I keep paying, they keep sending me bills!) But, financial realities aside, if I could grow whatever I wanted this summer (and I can, with I Must Garden's repellents--nobody but me will eat the plants), here are some of my favorite new varieties from the breeders. Continue reading →
- If the ground where you live is not completely frozen solid, you can still plant your spring bulbs. Bulbs need a chance to set roots before the ground freezes so that they can get a running start in the spring. One of the most aggravating thing about planting bulbs is going outside a day or two (sometimes an hour or two) later to find that the squirrels or chipmunks (or other garden-destroying rodent), has dug up all of your bulbs, taken a bite out of them and left them for dead. There are some things you can do to squirrel-proof your bulbs for the winter so that you can enjoy a lovely spring bulb garden. Continue reading →
- Winter is almost upon us, and with it, less tender vegetation for deer to eat. In northern climes, leftover grain from harvests will soon be covered with snow. What does that mean for avid gardeners? All but your most prickly, foul tasting (at least, for deer), trees and shrubs become targets for hungry pests. If you are unlucky, like William...