Forcing Bulbs For Winter Color

xmas color I have posted information about forcing bulbs in the past. This is just a reminder that time is running out if you want Christmas flowers.

When ordering or buying bulbs locally check to insure the bulbs have been pre-chilled, other wise they will grow producing foliage but will fail to bloom.

Amaryllis will flower about six weeks after planting, so pot now for Christmas blooms. Plant into pots just larger than the bulb, with 1/2 to 2/3s of the bulb above the soil surface.
After watering thoroughly, allow the soil to become dry. Water more frequently after the flower stalk appears, but never water when the soil is already moist.

Garlic order and plant garlic now and into winter before the ground freezes. The bulbs need cold in order to separate into cloves. Yes I do know Garlic is not a flowering pot plant but it is still time to plant next years Garlic in you garden.

Narcissus Paperwhites and Soleil d’Or can be grown without soil. Plant them in pebble filled containers with the base of the bulbs in contact with water at the bottom of the container. These bulbs don’t need chilling, but will benefit from a cool temperature (50 degrees F.) until the top shoot is a couple of inches long. At that point, you can move the plant into a warm, bright sunny area.

Crocus and Hyacinths can be forced, one bulb per jar or vase, in water alone without any soil. There are special forcing jars and vases for crocus and hyacinths.

Daffodil, Crocus, Hyacinths, Narcissus and Tulip bulbs plant bulbs in a good quality potting soil so the tops are not covered with more than 1/4 – 1/2 inch of soil. Put pots in a cool sunny place about 50 degrees F. works well, until the top shoot is about 2 inches long. Keep the soil slightly damp, not wet. Constantly wet soil may cause your bulbs to rot.
Note For a better effect plant Tulip bulbs with the flat side facing the out side of your pot.

Tulips, Narcissus (Daffodils), Hyacinths And More
Tulips, Daffodils And Hyacinths – Fall Planting
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service
University of Missouri fact sheet
Iowa State University Horticulture Guide

October Gardening Tips University of Nebraska

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Fall Leaf Color – Double Your Pleasure

After you enjoy the Fall Colors and leafs fall to the ground. It’s time to double up on the benefits of fall leafs.

Leaves are valuable to the gardener? It’s simple. Incorporate them into your garden soil.
Leaves Add nutrients, including phosphorous and potassium.
Increase the soil’s microbial life.
Leafs boost your soils water holding capacity and improve your soils structure.

Add them to vegetable garden. You can incorporate whole or chopped leaves into any cleared out vegetable, berry and shrub beds. They will mostly decompose over the winter, then in spring you can mix in whatever is left. If you want to see leftover leaves in your beds, shred them first.
DIY leaf shredder. Use a 55 gallon(large) garbage can. Fill it three quarters of the way with leaves. Put the string trimmer in, turn it on and move it through the layers of leaves. Caution Be sure to wear eye and ear protection.

Make leaf mold. Leaf mold is simply wet leaves that have decomposed into a rich, black, soil like substance that makes a perfect mulch for plants. Pile the leaves in a spot where they’re out of the way and won’t blow away, cover with wire if necessary. Or make large 3-4 feet high pile(s) of leaves. Wet the leaves as you go so they’ll rot. Turn the pile a few times during the winter will speed up the decomposition of your leaf pile. Add leaves to your compost pile now, they’ll break down over winter.

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Plant Wildflowers Now For Spring Flowers

Spring is a popular time of year to plant wildflowers, however, fall is increasingly becoming the planting season of choice.
The flowers bloom a few weeks earlier the following spring (or summer) once the temperature is just right. All you need to get started is a bare patch of dirt and some wildflower seeds.

Wildflowers can handle tough growing conditions, such as poor soil and adverse weather. With a little preparation you can bring these flowers into your garden and enjoy a vivid show of spring color.
Wildflowers grow in nature without help, they will benefit from a little assistance to get started in your garden.

In in the wild, seeds of wildflowers fall to the ground in autumn and come up the following spring when rain and warm temperatures arrive. The same timeline can also work for planting wildflower seeds in the home garden.

Zones 1 to 6 – This region there is a time table in which seeds should be sown. This occures after temperatures dip below freezing 32 degrees Fahrenheit and before the ground freezes.

Zones 7 to 11 – In these zones, wildflower seeds can be sown about anytime between September and December.

Wildflowers that grow in your area will be the easiest to grow, they are adapted to the soil and climate conditions where you live.
Check with your local cooperative extension office or Master Gardener program for a list of wildflowers that do well where you live.
Visit for a list of wildflowers that grow well in your region.
In general, wildflowers do best in areas that receive at least six hours of sun. Wildflower gardens do best when provided with supplemental water during long dry periods.

To plant wildflowers, spread seeds by lightly throwing them with your hands over the prepared area. However, to make it easier to evenly spread seeds, mix them with sand (one part seeds to 10 parts sand) so you can see where you have spread them.
Lightly rake the seeds into the soil, roll the area or simply walk over the newly seeded area, to help press them into the soil, where they will receive the sun they need to germinate. It’s important to keep the seeds within the top quarter inch (1/4) inch of soil, or they may not germinate.

Hint Birds may become a problem in your newly seeded area, you can add temporary protection. Cover the area with bird netting suspended on wood stakes about 1 to 2 feet tall.

When flowers turn brown you may be tempted to pull them out, stop don’t do that. They need to dry completely so that they will drop new seeds onto the ground for the following year’s wildflower garden. After your wildflowers have dried and the seeds have had a chance to fall to the ground, you can cut them down with a lawn mower or string trimmer and rake away the old plants. Better yet leave them to act as a ground cover providing protection from harsh weather and birds.

I don’t work for eBay, but, they are a good source for many common wildflower seeds.

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Fall Planting Will Give You Spring, Summer And Fall Color

Hubricht’s bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii, USDA zones 4 to 9), which when massed produces a cloud of bright yellow, then orange, then finally a rusty brown before defoliating. It is about 3 feet tall and wide, prefers full sun and medium to dry soil, and has bright blue flowers in late spring.

Sedum is a great fall color perennial, and the cultivar ‘Autumn Joy’ has reliable golden hues. There are ground cover sedums that get orange and bright red, and since they are a succulent, they’re easy to reproduce. Most sedums like dry to medium soil in full to partial sun, and they are a great nectar source for pollinating insects.

Asclepias incarnata, swamp milkweed, and it likes full sun in damp to medium soil, growing to 3 feet tall and 1 foot to 2 feet wide. Last year it was red, orange, yellow and green all at once. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs only on milkweed.

Liatris ligulistylis a favorite nectar plant for butterflies, puts on one of the most impressive displays for perennials. It likes full sun in medium to moist soils, reaching 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 foot to 2 feet wide, blooming in mid to late summer. Other Liatris species also do well with fall color, ranging from ambers and rusts to pure yellows.

Senna hebecarpa has a long bloom time in summer, well over a month, attracting many bees and pollinating flies with its yellow flowers. As the seed heads develop, they elongate and become super fuzzy, and in winter rattle in their black slips. Great fall color with yellows and oranges glowing in the late afternoon sun. American senna gets about 4 to 5 feet tall and wide and likes medium to moist soil in full sun.

There are many more flowering perennials

Holiday Season Planning

OK… It’s not the Holiday season — yet. But it soon will be. So with that in mind I have listed a few links to older postings that you may find entertaining if not useful.

I don’t intend to sound like the old guy I am, but, holidays are and should be foremost for family and friends.
Your children, grand children and in some cases great grand children will in adult life remember the time, food and fun had being served homemade, handmade holiday treats. What they won’t remember is that large bag of store bought candy / snacks you served.

Take time out of your self made, self important schedule and spend time this holiday season with family and friends.
Not to put to fine a point on this, but, the world as we know it will not change or end if you take time out to spend ‘at home’ with friends and family.
Pioneer Woman Popcorn Balls
Traditional Popcorn Balls
Hint Put a wooden skewer in each popcorn ball.

Candy Apples
Caramel Apples
Easy candied Apples
Old-fashioned style candied apples
Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples
Carving Your Pumpkin – Jack-O-Lantren – Toasted/Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Winter Squash and Pumpkin – Harvesting & Storing
Pumpkins – They Can Do It All
Rumtopf and Romkrukke

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High fat cheese – Secret to a healthy life?

University of Copenhagen found that eating cheese could help to improve health by increasing our levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol which is thought to offer protection against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Researchers conducted a cheese test with 139 adults to discover how full fat cheese can affect our bodies in different ways.

They split the subjects up into three groups. The first group were told to eat 80g of regular high-fat cheese every day, the second group ate 80g of reduced-fat cheese, while the third group didn’t eat cheese and ate 90g of bread and jam each day instead.

The researchers report, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that while none of the groups experienced a change in their levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is thought to be counterproductive to good heart health, those that ate the regular high fat cheese saw an increase in their levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

A small 2015 study found that cheese could be the key to a faster metabolism and reduced obesity. 2012 research suggested Roquefort cheese helped guard against cardiovascular disease, leading to good health and longevity, while in 2009 an Australian study suggested a diet high in dairy products, such as cheese, could help overweight people lose weight.

California New Law – Farting Cows Are Violating Pollution Laws

California Gov. Jerry Brown kept up his assault on farming and business has pushed through a law to reduce cow fart emissions from dairy farms.

Brown’s approval of Senate Bill 1383 goes after short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane, cow farts!

Brown said “these gases don’t linger in the atmosphere, they still make people sick and hasten global warming. We’re protecting people’s lungs and their health.”

Senate Bill 1383 requires dairy farmers have to cut methane emissions to
40 percent below 2013
levels by 2030.

California Air Resources Board can also now regulate bovine flatulence, as long as there are practical ways to reduce the cows’ belching and breaking wind.

Composting also has to go up by 50 percent within four years to curb methane from organic waste.
The state’s head of the National Federation of Independent Business rails against the “arbitrary” limits and says they’re a “direct assault on California’s dairy industry,”

Fall Color = Planting Time For Spring Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool, when evening temperatures average between 40° to 50 deg F. At any rate you should plant bulbs at least six weeks before the ground freezes.

You can plant bulbs just about anywhere in your garden as long as the soil is well drained. Bulbs don’t like wet feet. So, avoid areas where water collects, such as the bottom of hills. Bulbs like sun and in many areas the spring garden can be very sunny, since the leaves on the trees are not out yet. So keep in mind when planting in the fall that you can plant in many places for spring blooms.

Till your soil deeply so it’s loose and workable. If it’s not an established garden bed, chances are the soil benefit from the addition of some organic matter such as compost or peat moss.

Loosen soil in your planting bed to a depth of at least 8 inches, deeper is better. Remove weeds, rocks or other debris. You can mix in compost, other organic matter or slow releasing fertilizer if your soil lacks nutrients.

Planting bulbs, follow the recommendation on the label for planting depth. As a general rule, plant big bulbs about 8″ deep and small bulbs about 5″ deep. Set the bulb in the hole pointy side up or the roots down. It’s easy to spot the pointy end of a tulip, it’s tougher with a crocus. If you can’t figure out the top from the bottom, plant the bulb on its side, in most cases, even if you don’t get it right, the flower bulb will still find its way.

After your bulbs are planted, back fill the hole with soil, lightly compress the soil but do not pack it. Water well to stimulate root growth. There is no need to water continuously unless you live in an area with low winter precipitation.


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FBI Issues Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) Alert

Photo found on FaceBook and found it to good not to pass on.

2016-08-26 21_30_54-Settings

Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is dangerous a chemical that will cause steel corrosion(rust), in large volumes can damage soils, homes and businesses(flooding). When exposed to heat it can cause skin burns. If inhaled it can cause death(drowning).
It is an industrial solvent used in fire retardant materials and can be found in the waste from nuclear power plants.
DHMO contributes to the greenhouse effect. May cause severe burns. Contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape. Accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals. May cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

Grin…. It is simply unbelievable the number of people that have swallowed this long time hoax.

Dihydrogen monoxide hoax involves calling water by the unfamiliar chemical name “dihydrogen monoxide” (DHMO), and listing some of water’s effects in an alarming manner, such as the fact that it accelerates corrosion and can cause severe burns. The hoax often calls for dihydrogen monoxide to be regulated, labeled as hazardous, or banned. It illustrates how the lack of scientific literacy and an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears.
dihydrogen monoxide(DHMO) = H2O = water

The hoax gained renewed popularity in the late 1990s when a 14-year-old student collected anti-DHMO petitions for a science project about gullibility.

Thank You Wikipedia. DHMO hoax

Put on a smile.
Happy Gardening

New Discovery – About Spiders

🙂 China has made a new and startling discovery about it’s Panda population.


Happy Gardening