Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Master Gardener "Fall into Spring" Workshop

THURSDAY NIGHT!  10/22/15, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

© Herry Lawford
In this workshop, the Penn State Master Gardeners of Bucks County will teach you what to do this autumn for a more successful spring garden!

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

© Matt Patterson
Neshaminy Manor Center – Health Building Auditorium
1282 Almshouse Road
Doylestown, PA 18901

During this evening of hands-on demonstrations and activities, learn about fall gardening topics such lawn care, seed saving, planting bulbs, perennial care, containers, putting your “beds to bed” for the winter, deer deterrents, pruning, growing Dahlias and growing fall/winter veggies.
Bring your favorite garden tool and the Master Gardeners will show you how to maintain it!

Light refreshments, too.

Cost is $5.00, cash or check payable at the door.
Questions? Call us at 215-345-3283.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Timely Tips for Your Autumn Garden

Photo Courtesy ©Dr. DeNo

·        After the first frost, pull up annuals and vegetables and add to the compost pile.  You can continue to add to the pile all winter.  Reserve leaves to add as browns.

·        Resist cleaning up your perennials for awhile and leave the dried seed heads for the birds.  Mulch around them after the ground has cooled. 

·        Dig and store summer bulbs such as dahlias, cannas, gladiolas and tuberous begonias.  Spring blooming bulbs can still be planted until the ground freezes.

·        Fertilize lawns by the end of November with a 10-6-4 or its equivalent at 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet.  Rake leaves off the lawn to prevent matting and killing the grass.

·        Remove and discard debris from under rose bushes.  Trim the canes back by no more than one-third if they are tall.  Major pruning is done in the spring.

·        Continue to water (if it doesn't rain) newly planted trees, shrubs and evergreens.

·        Check houseplants for insects before bringing them indoors.  Avoid overwatering and reduce the fertilizing schedule.

·        Winterize the lawn mower after the last mowing.  Clean the garden tools and rub a light coating of oil on them before storing for the winter.  Drain and store the hoses.

·        Keep firewood outside until ready to use.  The warmth of the home might "wake up" sleeping insects!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Winterizing Your Garden Tools

Photo Courtesy ©Thomas Hawk

Fall is here – time for winterizing! As you’re giving that last bit of TLC to your plants this season, remember your tools, too. They’re the key to success in every garden bed so spend a little extra time winterizing them as well.

First, be sure you have a dry location to store your tools this winter. File the edges of spades, shovels, axes, hoes and digging forks. Sharpen and oil your pruning tools, especially the pivot points. And let’s not forget the wooden handles - they also benefit from some attention. Run sandpaper over them to remove splinters and then rub with a soft rag dipped in a bit of linseed oil. How about hand trowels and smaller tools? Store them in a bucket of sand soaked in oil to deter rust.

A little winter prep can really pay off. Your tools will be just as ready as you are when spring arrives!

Bucks County Master Gardener Elena Parsons

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Leaf Mold is Garden Gold!

Photo Courtesy © David Goehring

Fall is my favorite season and with it comes one of my favorite activities: raking leaves. I love the fresh air, a bit of exercise and best of all, I end up with leaf mold for my garden. 

Leaf mold is a type of compost created from the fungal breakdown of leaves and it makes a superior soil amendment. It's
used to lighten soil, hold moisture and improve soil structure over time. It can also be used as mulch in garden beds and in containers to help with water retention.

Making leaf mold is an extremely simple procedure: just rake, mow or blow the leaves into a pile and let them sit for two to three years. The pile should be at least three feet wide by three feet deep. For a neater appearance the pile can be surrounded by a bin made of chicken wire or turkey fencing, which offers maximum air circulation. To cut down the "processing" time to a year, the leaves can be shredded, moistened and then covered, and they'll need to be turned once in awhile.

For an even simpler method, large black plastic trash bags can be used.  Just fill the trash bags with  shredded leaves, moisten, close and poke some holes in the bags. Every so often turn or shake the bags.
Leaf mold is easy, eliminates hauling or bagging and it's great for your garden!
- Bucks County Master Gardener Karen Murphy