Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall Chores

Friday, October 17, 2014

The gardens that have entertained us all summer are quickly drawing to a close. Here in Vermont there is perhaps another day left and then freezing temperatures and possible snow where we live will end all hints of color. Although this has been a great summer, it's time to clean things up. 

When you have gardened professionally all summer, you truly are getting tired come mid-October. But regardless of the size of your gardens, to clean them up now now pays dividends come spring. As soon as a couple hard killing frosts come, we try to get as much old foliage out of the garden as possible. We have been cutting off daylilies for a couple weeks now and pulling the old leaves and scapes away from the plants. This eliminates many of the places where insects hide and fungus holds over and matures for a spring/early summer invasion.

One perennial plant we leave alone until spring is hosta. Hosta can carry a virus and like all viruses there is much still to learn about this one. It is spread via the sap of the plant so anything which wounds the plants and can inadvertently transfer sap from one plant to the next in the process can cause trouble. Although the virus doesn't kill the plant it can spread through an entire hosta garden. Learn more about this virus at the Hosta Library. Come spring this year's vegetation is flatter than a pancake and new vegetation has yet to break ground and that's the correct time to safely clean up around the plants.

As you're cleaning things up, remember that it's not too late to plant fall bulbs for spring color. It doesn't take too long to add a few hundred daffodils, tulips, crocus, snowdrops which will add late April-early May color while you wait for your perennials to return. 

I have to get to this farm supply store this morning first thing but I should be back to the flower farm by early afternoon. Hope your fall gardening chores are going well and that you have enjoyed a great summer in your gardens! Vermont has offered a wonderful summer!! #gardenchat; #agchat; #vermont; #perennials;

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
On Facebook as George Africa and also as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens (Like us!)
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Always here to help you grow your green thumb!

Frosty Vermont

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Gardeners have been asking me when the gardening season comes to an end in Vermont. Mark from Florida said he has never been to Vermont and he wondered how his daylilies would fare if he lived here. Here is the over view I just provided. As mentioned, the geography of our little state provides lots of variation in weather and when the first frost comes in the fall and the weather finally warms in spring.

"Weather is Vermont varies a great deal over the 125 mile length of the state because of the geography. Where I garden, a typical spring finds 3-4 frosts (24-28 degrees) from late April until about the 28th of May although we have experienced a killing frost as late as the first week of June when daylilies and hostas were beginning to look nice. In fall we always have a killing frost the end of September and then warm weather returns until mid October. We are on course for that now and Sunday morning will provide snow in the upper elevations, frozen plants everywhere.

Killington, Vermont which is central and western Vermont was on the national news last night with our fall foliage featured. This was the best year in my lifetime. For guaranteed  color, always come the end of September --say 28th on through the first week of October. October always brings big rain storms inc. wind and beautiful foliage can be gone in hours."

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener