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This week’s gardening tips: chill tulips bulbs, clean up the veggie …

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Winter gardening tips from Master Gardeners – Springfield News

Q. I brought in my geraniums before the freeze. Can you give some tips to keep them until next spring?  – W.T., Springfield

Answer by Master Gardener Mark Bernskoetter

Prune the geranium back by one-third and water the pot thoroughly. Place the pot in a west or south facing window in your home and you may get some great blooms on them.

If the plants get leggy (long, weak stems), that is because they are not getting enough light. Set up some grow lighting for them or perhaps prune them back again by about one-third.

Treat them like any other houseplant, watering as the soil dries out, and fertilizing very lightly and infrequently. Houseplants do not need as much water and fertilizer in the winter months because they are not as active making food.

Geraniums can also be stored bareroot. Dig the plant up now, and remove the soil from the roots (just knock the soil off). Hang the plans upside down somewhere the temperature remains around 50 degrees. The plant will gradually lose all of its leaves.

Once a month, soak the roots in water for an hour to prevent them from completely drying out, then hang the plant upside down again. In the spring, replant and watch them spring back to life.


 Q. I have two tropical ferns that I brought into the house, now they are losing their needles. – R.T., Nixa

Answer by Master Gardener Mark Bernskoetter

You will lose many of the needles from the fern. As long as you are maintaining some green in the plant, it is shedding down to the number of leaves that can process the diminishing amounts of sunlight we get during the wintertime.

Be sure you have them in a west or south-facing window. Water them only as the soil dries out.

If you choose to store them in a garage, remember that freezing temperatures will likely kill the stored plants. However, temperatures in the 60s will cause them to try to grow, and if they do not have adequate sunlight, they will die.

Set the pots back out next April, after danger of frost is past, and they should be ready to grow.


Q: Can I eat hickory nuts? – D.B., Republic

There are eight species of hickory trees in Missouri. Two of those produce a higher percentage of edible meat: shagbark and shellbark.

The shagbark hickory is identifiable by the “shaggy” bark that peels off in large pieces. The bark of the shellbark tree also comes off the tree in large pieces but it is not as pronounced.

Remove the outer husk and wash the nuts. Allow them to sit out in the sun a few days to dry. A hard hit from a hammer can crack the shell but leave the nut intact.

The pieces of nutmeat will be small and it’s easiest to remove them with a nut pick.

One pound of unshelled nuts will give you about one and a quarter cups of nutmeat. To roast the nuts, spread the shelled pieces in a shallow pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until they turn golden brown.


Readers can pose questions or get more information by calling 417-874-2963 and talking to one of the trained volunteers staffing the Mas­ter Gardener Hotline at the University of Missouri Exten­sion Center in Greene County located inside the Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, MO 65807.

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Gardening tips offered at library

Roy Diblik, co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm, will present a gardening program, “16 Together,” on Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Geneva Public Library.

Diblik will share the secrets of 16 plants that have helped him understand the social life of plants in well-thought-out plant communities that reduce maintenance through design.

With more than 35 years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, he specializes in highly aesthetic, sustainable plant communities for all seasons. Diblik believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed, emotionally outreaching and yet very personal.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Lake Geneva Public Library.

Everyone is welcome to attend this program at no charge. For more information, call (262) 249-5299 or visit the website or Facebook page at

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30 Best Heirloom Vegetable Varieties to Grow Over Winter

Carson City, NV – November 12, 2017 – Now that winter is fast approaching, most gardeners are already putting their vegetable patches to sleep. But for the eager gardener, the cold season is only the start of something magical. With some planning, a winter vegetable garden can produce a bountiful harvest in time for spring.

Winter gardening offers so many possibilities. There’s almost no shortage of delicious, cool-weather crops that can be grown throughout this period. Hardy vegetables that thrive in cold climate are the rightful star of the season. From brassicas to turnips, gardeners will be thrilled to see their backyard come to life despite the snowy months ahead.

Heirloom versions of cool-loving crops are also particularly popular. “Heirlooms are well loved by organic gardeners because of their impressive colors, exceptional flavors and high nutritional value. They are quite fascinating to grow especially during the gloomy winter months,” said an official from Home and Garden America.

For gardeners looking to grow heirlooms, the company recommends these 30 heirloom varieties that are perfect for overwintering:

• Broccoli, Green Sprouting
• Cabbage, Pak Choi
• Carrot, Danvers
• Carrot, Red Cored Chantenay
• Carrot, Royal Chantenay
• Carrot, Scarlet Nantes
• Cauliflower, Snowball
• Collards, Georgia Southern
• Collards, Vates
• Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Vates
• Kale, Dwarf Siberian
• Kale, Red Russian
• Mustard, Florida Broadleaf
• Mustard, Old Fashioned
• Mustard, Southern Giant Curled
• Parsnip, Harris Model
• Parsnip, Hollow Crown
• Pea, Sugar Snap
• Pea, Wando
• Radish, French Breakfast
• Radish, White Icicle
• Rutabaga, American Purple Top
• Salsify, Mammoth Sandwich Island
• Scallion, Evergreen Bunching Nebuka
• Spinach, Bloomsdale Long Standing
• Spinach, Noble Giant
• Thyme, Winter
• Turnip, Purple Top White Globe
• Turnip, Shogoin
• Turnip, White Egg

Home gardeners are advised to choose heirlooms that are well adapted to their zones so they can withstand the tough weather conditions. It’s also wise to plant varieties that grow to maturity in a short time to allow a quicker harvest.

Once the preferred heirloom vegetables have been selected, planting the winter garden can be started right away. Effective winter gardening tips should also be applied. Covering the ground with mulch, protecting the plants with cold frames or even opting to grow food indoors can help the garden thrive.

“What’s really great about overwintering heirloom favorites is that you can expect a glorious harvest come spring. Some of the crops can even be harvested in winter, so you can enjoy the best winter meals as you wait for the change in seasons. Winter gardening truly makes it possible for gardeners to grow food all year round,” the Home and Garden America official further remarked.

With the right heirloom varieties and gardening tips, growing a winter garden becomes not only fun but productive as well. Avid gardeners who long to grow the tastiest heirloom vegetables in their winter garden can learn more at

About Home and Garden America

Home and Garden America is the gardening division of the Charles C Harmon Co LLC. The small family-owned business the best heirloom survival seeds for winter vegetable gardening.

Media Contact
Company Name: Home and Garden America
Contact Person: Chuck Harmon
Phone: 888-582-6650
City: Carson City
State: Nevada
Country: United States

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This week’s gardening tips: herbs to plant now

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This week’s gardening tips: start preparing tropical plants to winter indoors

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our
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The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used,
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November gardening tips

James Sagmiller

Cold winter weather does limit what we can do in the garden in November in our northern Rocky Mountain climate (USDA zones 3, 4 and 5). If ground is still unfrozen, prepare beds for next spring’s early crops. If you still have unfrozen manure or compost it can be spread over vegetable and flower beds and trenched into furrows to receive frost (this will break down over winter and lighten and feed the soil). I have spread manure and compost right over the snow on planting beds and it worked just fine.

Check over which varieties of flowers and vegetables you liked or disliked this year. Make a note of which ones did well. Keep your records up to date if you can. Check stores of fruits and vegetables and discard spoiling ones. Clean all your tools, oil wooden handles and replace cracked ones. Drain gas and oil out of lawnmower for winter.

Finish planting garlic, shallots, and Egyptian walking onions before the ground freezes solid.

Have row covers ready for remaining crops in the field; also have covers ready for cold frames. Carefully store row covers before winter; make sure the fabric is dry before folding and storing.

Early in the month, if not done earlier, harvest and store cabbages. To store them, turn them upside down to dry, take off extra leaves and place them in a trench of sand and cover with a wetproof cover open at both ends to keep them dry. Close the ends of your cover with straw when frosty. Also, to store beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, salsify for winter: dry and cut the leafy tops off. Dig a pit in a dry place if possible. Put down two inches of sand, then the vegetable roots, then more sand, alternating. Cover them with a final layer of sand and straw to protect them.

Admit air to cold frames and the greenhouse on sunny days; pick off any mildewed or moldy leaves. Apply manure or compost to outdoor asparagus and rhubarb beds to 4 inches deep. Weed onions, leeks, spinach, mache, cresses. In frames, when it is cold, cover lettuces, cabbages, etc. Harvest late and frame–grown cabbage, spinach, carrots, peas, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.

If the ground has not frozen solid, finish dividing and replanting perennials before winter freezeup. Transplant seedling perennials and flowers into flats; keep them in a cold frame or cold greenhouse. Mulch primroses, bleeding hearts, and any marginally hardy perennials with pine or fir branches. Cut back established pansies and collect violet seed.

Finish planting bulbs out and plant bulbs to be forced in pots. Weed bulb beds and spread bone meal if not done last month. Put poultry netting over the top of the soil of newly planted tulips, crocus and hyacinths to discourage squirrels and cats who like to dig and scratch into fresh soil. Plant these same bulbs in Vole King wire baskets to protect from voles.

In the greenhouse, plants will be at rest. Keep their foliage dry and do not overwater. Succulent plants such as cacti may need little or no water all winter. If mold appears, dust with sulfur. Moving air inside a greenhouse discourages mold.

If you plan to keep any plants in pots over the winter, plunge them up to their pot rims into a holding bed. The reason for doing this is that plant roots suffer greatly from the wide temperature swings of air during winter. Good substances for this are: fine gravel, bark, sand, sawdust or soil. If you have any bulbs, perennials, roses or shrubs growing in pots outside, be sure to sink them up to the rims to protect them from cold over winter.

Cover cold frames if it is frosty and cold. If you vent the frame, make sure no direct sun hits plants while they are frozen.

Weed fruiting shrubs, add manure to raspberry beds. Finish storing apples, pears, etc. Clean all leaves and mummy fruit around trees to prevent disease and discourage insects. Sow seeds of fruit trees and rootstocks.

Finish planting deciduous shrubs and trees. Mound soil around the base of tender hybrid tea roses to a depth of about 10 to 12 inches. Evergreen boughs may be placed over the soil mound. The soil and boughs will protect the lower portion of tender rose plants over winter.

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Jackie Power’s gardening tips for a bracing November

Website by CobwebMedia

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Six Tips for Fall Gardening | |

As evenings become cooler and crisper and the daylight gets shorter and shorter, it’s a signal that frost is upon us. The change in temperature and season can leave gardeners longing for the warm summer air, instead of prepping for winter.

There’s still plenty of gardening to be done this time of year. Get the most out of your fall harvest and set your garden up for spring success by jumping on these garden tasks now.

Six Tips for Fall Gardening

1. Plant trees.

It’s no secret that the best time to plant a tree or shrub is in the fall. Before you plant, evaluate the landscape to assess the amount of sunlight, ground vegetation, proximity to permanent structures, and hazards, such as overhead wires or underground pipes. Choose a site where the tree will be able to grow to its mature height. Then, dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Place the tree in the hole at the same depth it was growing before and fill half the hole with compost.

Mix in an organic fertilizer with the soil. Backfill the hole, give it a nice drink of water and watch your tree grow.

2. Get bulbs in the ground.

Spring-blooming bulbs can generally be planted any time before the soil begins to freeze. Give bulbs their best shot by planting a few weeks before the ground is frozen to help them establish roots.

3. Improve the soil.

While fall is for planting, it’s also the perfect time for prepping for next season. Healthy soil is the backbone of every successful garden. Test soil now for pH and nutrient levels and amend accordingly.

Dig 4 inches deep with a stainless-steel trowel and either use a DIY soil test or stop in with your soil sample and we will test the pH for you. To adjust the pH level of your soil, use Espoma’s Organic Garden Lime to raise the pH of very acidic soil. Poke holes in the soil’s surface and scatter on the lime. Rake lightly into the top inch of soil. Or, apply a soil acidifier to lower the pH of extremely alkaline soil.

5. Create compost.

All of those colorful leaves that are falling make for perfect additions to your compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile already, start one! The best compost contains about 25 times more carbon-rich materials than nitrogen-rich materials. Think of these as brown and green materials. Brown materials include paper, straw or dried leaves. Green materials include garden and food scraps for rich, fertile compost.

6. Top with mulch.

Add a thick blanket of mulch on garden beds to reduce evaporation and control weeds. Choose organic mulch that will improve the soil as it decomposes. Lay 2 to 3 inches of mulch around established plants. When mulching trees, the mulch should extend away from the plant to just beyond the drip line covering a bit of the roots. Keep 2 to 3 inches away from the stems of woody plants and 6 inches away from buildings to avoid pests.

Make the most of this beautiful fall in the garden.

This monthly column is written by Sandi McDonald of Hillermann Nursery Florist, Washington.

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Women in Philanthropy event shares tips for givers, gardeners

FLORENCE, S.C. – Women in Philanthropy members and guests gathered on Oct. 19 at Forest Lake Greenhouses in Florence to hear “11 Tips for the Giver and the Gardener.”

Just as a gardener might use a trellis or support stakes during early growing stages or a storm, a good giver would know agencies might need more of a helping hand during the beginning of their lifespan or a crisis. In the same way, a gardener needs to rotate crops to avoid depleted soil, givers want to help organizations who care for their volunteers.

“Advice for good gardeners and generous givers turns out to be pretty similar,” said Mary Finklea, Women in Philanthropy president.

Planting expert Lisa King provided other important gardening advice and encouraged the women to dig a hole bigger than the pot to help the roots’ future growth. Hot apple cider was served to celebrate fall’s arrival. Monarch butterflies danced on the marigolds as if on cue.

Women in Philanthropy seeks to help women throughout the Pee Dee make a difference in the lives of others. Anyone can join the organization with a gift of $500 per year. These funds are distributed to nonprofit organizations through a grant process.

“This year we gave $50,000, and we hope to double that next year,” Finklea said. “It’s a huge goal, but with the help of this community, we can do it.”

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