Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011

Plant cool season crops. As I type this it doesn't seem all that cool nevertheless it is time to plant lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, radishes and other vegetables that like to mature during cooler weather. As you know we have 2012 Lake Valley Seed, their organic line and Pagano seeds to help you get started. We will have plants soon. Pansies and Violas are also cool season plants that you cam put in when your marigolds, vinca and other warm season annuals begin to fade or just when you need a change. They will last through a normal  winter. Last year some made it and some didn't in my minus 8 yard. Keep checking back or for you subscribers, I'll let you know as soon as theses plants land. Improve your pots with Uni-Gro Potting Soil and your beds with Back to Earth Compost.

Apply a winterizer fertilizer. This should be done after the first frost so it will probably be a late October chore, but since we close September 30th you will need to get this fertilizer soon. You will want to use Gro-Power 3-12-12. This fertilizer is low in nitrogen but high in phosphorus and potash. Nitrogen promotes green growth which can be damaged by freezing temperatures. Phosphorus increases winter hardiness and stimulates healthy root growth. Since this is the time of year that plants naturally do the majority of their root growth, using this fertilizer will get them off to a good start next spring. Potash or potassium produces strong, hardy stems and trunks, promotes disease resistance and also increases winter hardiness. The Gro-Power 3-12 12 contains 7% humic acid which encourages beneficial microorganisms in your soil. It also includes sulphur to help bring the alkalinity of our soil down and several micronutrients that act as catalysts for the primary chemicals. Use this fertilizer at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of lawn or bed area and 2 tablespoons per foot of height or width for trees and shrubs. One cup will fertilize an 8 foot tree. Lightly work the fertilizer into the soil around the root area and water thoroughly.

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Chaenomeles japonica 'Super Red'. 'Super Red' Flowering Quince is a deciduous shrub that is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. The 2 inch, bright red flowers appear on leafless, thorny branches. The budded branches which have an oriental feeling can be cut and brought indoors to bloom. The new leaves are tinged red and mature to a shiny green. Since this shrub blooms on new wood it is important to prune it to a pleasing shape during bud and bloom season or after flowering. As a moderate grower it can reach 6-8 feet tall and wide and is cold hardy to 20 degrees below zero. This shrub attracts birds with good lower branching, its flowers and the greenish-yellow quince-like fruit it produces. Plant it as a hedge, as a barrier in front of a window or a specimen.
Chaenomeles japonica 'Super Red'

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