The Dirt – Salsa Time!

All good things must come to an end.
 
With the threat of freezing temperatures, I knew it was now or never for the unharvested peppers and tomatoes in my veggie garden. Before it got cold, I spent an afternoon picking things clean before it was too late. 

As you can see, there was a lot!

My tomatoes and peppers struggled to produce all season, but during this last stretch they more than made up for it. Now the spare bedroom has a folding table full of green tomatoes slowing ripening, and the freezer is full of sliced peppers just waiting to be turned into fajitas.
 
However, in just a short day, my garden went from abundant to bare. The first frost of the season always leaves its mark.
 
After last week’s dip into the 20s, my summer pots were done as well. Containers on the front porch and back patio are now in the process of being cleaned-up and prepared for winter porch pots. Beds of cannas and elephant ears have been dug, and the tubers for the same are curing out in the garage in preparation for winter storage.
 
The gardening season is far from over, but last week, it definitely turned a corner. I still have projects on my list, and I’ll be chipping away at those over the new few weeks. Hopefully you do, too.
 
If there’s something we can help you with, come see us!
 
Cameron Rees, General Manager

Protect Those Guys!

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

That’s a famous saying, and there are many lessons to be taken from those few simple words. When it comes to trees in our landscapes, the message is simple and very literal… big things grow from little things.

And here’s another bit of wisdom, sometimes those little things need some protection.

Protecting young trees from threats brought by animals and winter weather is smart. In only minutes, deer, rabbits or rodents can put an end to your tree’s future and all your hard work and efforts.

Deer can destroy trees while marking territory or rubbing the velvet off their antlers. Rabbits and rodents – looking for an easy meal –  can gnaw on vital bark tissue, leaving trees with fatal wounds. Winter temperatures and bright sunshine can result in sunscald, a bark killing issue that leaves young trees with a life-threatening damage.

All these injuries can end the life of your tree, but fortunately, they can easily be prevented.

It you live in an area where there is any amount of deer activity, cages are the answer. Use 6’ tall welded-wire fencing to build 3-4’ diameter protective cages around your young trees. Anchor them in place with a few steel fence posts and you should be good for years to come.

Rabbit and rodent feeding can be prevented with protective trunk guards. These are typically plastic, about 2-3” in diameter and about 3-4’ tall. Put them on at this time of year and leave them on throughout the winter. Remove them next spring, but hold on to them. You’ll want to put them back on around the same time next fall.

Those same trunk guards are the solution for preventing sunscald, too. Make sure you get them on around this time of year and leave them on until next spring.

Preventive measures are easy, but coming back from damage is not. In most cases, damage from deer, rabbits, rodents or winter sunscald are the beginning of the end. It may take some time for the final death to occur, but more often than not, that’s the outcome. And then you’re back starting the planting and establishment process all over again.

Take a few minutes and do the smart thing and protect those young trees. You’ll be glad you did. We have supplies if you need them, and answers to any questions you might have.

-Cameron Rees

Is It Still Okay?

Is it still okay to plant? We get that question all the time, especially this time of year, and the answer is yes. Absolutely, yes!

Fall is the ideal time to plant. That includes now and in the upcoming weeks. Don’t let recent freezes scare you. Planting has more to do soil conditions than anything else, and for the rest of the fall season, soil conditions will be just right for planting.

If you’ve got a project you need to get done, or a tree you’d like to plant… go for it! 

Winter Porch Pot Classes Coming Soon!

Can you believe it’s already the middle of October? I can’t. I’m still wondering where summer went!

November will be here before you know it, and with November brings the Winter Porch Pot Workshop! Registration is open so call or email today. The dates are Friday, November 18, Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20 with multiple time slots each day.

The workshop will teach you (if you need taught) how to construct your very own Winter Porch Pot with fresh greens and decorative picks. Everything you need is included!

Give us a call at 785-230-4703 or email me at mistyb@skinnergardenstore.com.

Misty Brown, Lath House Manager

Fertilize Everything!

It’s like if Oprah was in charge… “You get some fertilizer! You get some fertilizer and you get some fertilizer! You all get some fertilizer!” You know what I mean.

This is the time of the year to fertilize…everything.

Your lawn, your trees, your landscape, your veggie garden and anything else you might have growing outside will do better next year with a little extra care yet this fall.

Here’s how it goes…

  • Lawns – Apply Fertilome Winterizer now. It’s the last step in our 3-Step Lawn Program and helps your lawn finish the fall season strong as well as providing better green­-up next spring. If you’ve done any seeding this fall, wait until you’ve had a chance to cut the new grass a couple times before you apply.
  • Trees – Use Fertilome Tree and Shrub Food now as well. This late fall application is a key to helping your trees mature more quickly. If you really want to max out growth, apply again next spring around late April/early May.
  • Landscape beds – If your plantings are mostly shrubs and evergreens, use the Fertilome Tree and Shrub Food. If things are mostly perennials, use Fertilome Gardener’s Special. If it’s a blend of both, use either one, adjusting your application depending on the type of plants you’re applying it to.
  • Vegetable Gardens – If you are just getting your garlic planted, give it a good feeding with Fertilome Gardener’s Special. Use the same right now on your asparagus and rhubarb plantings. For all the bare areas of your garden, now is a great time to add compost and manure. Manure also makes a good topdressing for those asparagus patches and rhubarb plantings.

We have plenty of all of these products on hand and can answer any questions might have!

Spring Flowers Come From Fall Bulbs

Fall bulb planting time is upon us!

The best part of spring is seeing your tulips, daffodils and hyacinth poking through the ground and blooming when everything else is still asleep or just waking up. But, that only happens if you get those bulbs planted in the fall…and that’s right now!

There’s a large selection waiting for you. Come in and see us!