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Gardener's Corner

Join us for tips, helps, questions and answers about the gardening world. Monitored by a Certified Master Gardener but wisdom is shared by ALL.

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Latest Activity: Jan 14

Gardener's Corner

GREETINGS MEMBERS, GUESTS AND VISITORS.
Chief Walks In Shadows is a Florida State Master Gardener.
He will post information that he feels will benefit everyone as a whole. But basically this will be a question and answer group.
IF A GROUP MEMBER KNOWS THE ANSWER TO ANY QUESTION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ANSWER.
Chief Walks will answer all questions asked to him directly. He has over 40 years of experience. And a sizable personal research library.

We are here to meet ALL of your gardening questions and/or related subjects.

 

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The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. If you see a hardiness zone in a catalog or plant description, chances are it refers to the USDA map. To find your USDA Hardiness Zone or use the map below. 

 

 

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Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:57am


  • September's cooler weather and moist soils offer ideal conditions for fall planting. See Transplanting Trees and Shrubs [PDF]
  • Late summer into early autumn is the best time to divide perennials that bloom in spring and summer.
  • Plant trees and shrubs, allowing enough time for roots to develop before ground freezes. Mulching Trees and Shrubs [PDF]
  • Prepare for first frost. Dig tender perennials such as cannas, begonias, gladiolus. Discard tops and store bulbs, corms, and rhizomes in dry peat moss or vermiculite.
  • Bring house plants back indoors before night temperatures drop below 55F.
  • Deadhead perennials, and discard dead and diseased foliage to reduce infection next year.
  • Begin planting spring flowering bulbs in mid-to-late September.
  • Fertilize Trees and Shrubs after mid-September. [PDF]
  • Apply broadleaf weed killers to lawn.
  • Restock bird feeders and put out fresh water to help birds migrating south. See Trees & Shrubs that Attract Birds [PDF]

 

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:56am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:55am

Mid to late summer is an ideal time to plant seeds for a second gardening season that can be as productive as your major early spring plantings.

For a delicious and very nutritious cornucopia of fall meals, late summer is the time to plant juicy lettuces, the cool -season aromatic herbs - dill, garlic chives, chervil, cilantro, arugula, and parsley; hearty greens like chard or kale; baby pak choi, and other Oriental greens; carrots, beets, leeks, peas, green onion, spinach, radishes, fennel and all the brassica family members.

Late planted crops have less competition from weeds and pests and grow beautifully with less garden work. In mild-winter areas of the country, you'll have great harvests in time for Thanksgiving and many crops will hold perfectly through the low light winter months without bolting to seed or becoming bitter tasting as they would in the heat of early summer.

It may seem odd to be starting new seeds when a lot of your summer produce like squash and tomatoes are still cranking, but it's well worth the effort. For reliable harvests in cooler weather, seedlings must have good initial growth and well-established root systems. The goal is to have fully grown, ready to pick plants that basically store themselves in the garden throughout the fall, so you can pick them as you need them over a long sustained harvest season.

Carrot and Potato Soup with Lemon Thyme
California Stuffed Swiss Chard
Green Tomato Apple Pie

Start seeds in containers or in a garden area with dappled sun or light shade -- wherever seeds can germinate comfortably out of the hot sun but still get plenty of light after seedlings are well-established. Plant in well-prepared moist soil and in the evening so they will have the advantage of cooler night temperatures to settle in and minimize shock. If daytime temperatures are still in the high 80's, shelter your newly transplanted seedlings with row covers or a shade cloths for a few days so they can adjust heat and sun.

Once the seedlings have acclimated, don't forget to supply adequate moisture to these young crops and fertilize them regularly in the early growing stages. In USDA zones 8, 9, and 10, some fall -planted crops may overwinter as small plants and wait for spring temperatures to rise and daytime hours to get longer before heading or leafing up.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:54am

Many vegetables are well adapted to planting in the summer for fall harvest. Planting a fall garden will extend the gardening season so you can continue to harvest fresh produce after earlier crops have finished. The fall harvest can be extended even further by providing protection from early frosts or by planting in cold frames or hotbeds.

Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor and quality when they mature during cool weather. In North Carolina, the spring temperatures often heat up quickly. Vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, tend to bolt or develop bitter flavor when they mature during hot summer weather.

Growing a productive fall vegetable garden requires thoughtful planning and good cultural practices. July and August are the main planting times for the fall garden. Table 1 provides recommended planting dates. Vegetables that have a 60 to 80 day maturity cycle should be planted around August 1 in the piedmont. Planting of quick maturing vegetables, such as turnips and leafy greens, can be delayed until September. Keep in mind that the planting dates can be as much as 7 to 10 days earlier in western North Carolina and 7 to 10 days later in the eastern North Carolina. Be sure to adjust the planting dates for your specific location. For a more accurate planting schedule, consult Figure 1 to determine the average date of the first killing frost in the fall. Count backwards from the frost date, using the number of days to maturity to determine the best time to plant in your area.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:54am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:53am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:53am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:52am
Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:52am

Some confuse white flies with aphids but both can be controlled the same way.

Ladybugs LOVE aphids and are considered beneficial insects. Same for lacewings and the praying mantis. You might consider adding these to your garden. They can be purchased online.
Or get some kind of bright yellow card stock (Or use white stock and color it in with a yellow highlighter). Find some way to attach it to something solid within your garden. Cover the card on both sides with Petroleum Jelly. Apparently the white flies and aphids are attracted to the yellow and the petroleum jelly won't let them go once they land.

People making their own compost has nothing to do with white flies nor aphids. I make my own compost also. White flies and aphids cannot infest compost and be spread through it.

Comment by Chief Walks on April 26, 2013 at 10:51am

Square Foot Gardening is the concept of square foot gardening. Over the years, it has revolutionized the way people think about planting their gardens.
The idea is simple: Instead of planting a big vegetable garden with long narrow beds separated by walking paths, divide your garden into 4 ft. x 4 ft. planting blocks. These blocks were then further divided into a grid of 1 ft. square planting blocks. Each block was planted and managed as a garden unto itself.One square might contain a pepper plant, the next some spinach and the next a cucumber plant.
Plants are happier, healthier and more productive when they’re allocated their own “room”. Gardeners are also happier and more successful when they’re tending a garden that’s not too big to manage.

 
 
 


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