The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 25, 1996 · Page 9
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 9

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, October 25, 1996
Page 9
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SALINA JOURNAL HOME/GARDEN FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1996 A9 GARDENING lleanup now saves labor later )hop and plow leaves, lead foliage into soil Putting the garden to bed for vinter seems like a job with no urgency. Much of it can be delayed (until spring. It can be abbreviated to £ cosmetic fall cleanup so neigh- jors won't com- about the [eyesore. If the gar[den is out of sight, [even this cursory [cleanup can be | avoided. But is this pro- jcrastination in I your best interest? I What have you [done to the garden, and to yourself, by putting off cleanup? You've created a lot of unnecessary work and robbed the garden of nutrients and protection. Garden cleanup is a labor-saving task. It eliminates opportunistic weeds that spread by seed, rhizome, stolon or perennial root. Once weed seeds disperse, folk wisdom foretells a seven-year battle with weed seedlings. Merely cutting off the flowering heads of these weeds will discourage their encroachment. It's the same scenario with diseases. If you let infected plant debris remain in the garden over the winter, you'll have a guaranteed supply of stuff to reinfect your vegetable plants. Diseases CHIP MILLER KSU-Saline County Extension Horticulture Agent come in several convenient packages — as fungi, viruses, bacteria, etc. Hot composting (decomposition is fast and creates heat) kills the vast majority of disease organisms, so debris can be composted. What about the soil? Most of what was done to produce a crop of vegetables is negative in the long run. This is the time of year to improve soil condition. Plenty of plant materials are available. Leaves from shade trees, dead annual flowers and spent vegetable plants all need to go somewhere. They can be chopped and plowed deeply into garden soil. Some materials might not be completely decomposed by spring, and, occasionally, this can be a problem. Some materials, such as animal manures, may introduce viable weed seeds into the garden. The solution to these and many other soil problems is composting. Compost bin A compost bin can be as attractive as your house and relatively odorless, if effectively managed. It solves the problem of waste disposal for all your compostable plant residue. And the product can be spread everywhere in the landscape to improve the tilth of the soil. Plowing or rotary tilling in fall gives garden soil some time to break down some of the smaller mulching materials used the previous summer. If left on the surface during the winter, straw and grass clippings would have to be removed and composted in the spring, rather than tilled in just before planting. So, fall tilling saves labor. Take the process one step further and plant a cover crop that adds to soil organic matter content and prevent corrosion, pud- dling or crusting of the soil. Winter wheat is a good choice as a cover crop. It's well-adapted to the climate, easy to grow and readily available. Annual ryegrass is another option, but don't let it go to seed. Mow it, because it could become an economic pest if the seed is spread to farm land. Spring weather may be wet. When you have the time to work in spring, weather conditions may not be suitable. Usually, soil is warmer and barely moist in the fall, and it can be worked easily. Fewer gardening tasks demand time in the fall. If you have other spring planting planned, prepare the soil at this time. Advance preparation will make fruit tree, hedge, rose and other spring planting faster and easier. Before the soil freezes, deep water all of your trees. Don't rely on shallow watering devices such as lawn sprinklers to saturate the root zone. Use a root feeder or just an open-ended hose. In this area, with its limited snow cover, winter dries out the landscape. After a few hard frosts, mulch perennials. Clean tools and equipment. Rake and compost leaves. Continue to mow the lawn until it becomes dormant. Drain and store water hoses. Dream of next year's garden successes. T FLOWERS Preserve hardy mums By CASS PETERSON N.Y. Times News Service :,NQ flower more typifies autumn thairthe chrysanthemum. As soon as the breeze carries the first hint of frost, the mums appear." Their helmets of bloom sprout from eyery pot and window box, repeating^ ground level the vibrant colors'-pf autumn leaves. r And they last about as long. A fefyweeks of glory, then the mums are "as black and crispy as the im- paiiehs and marigolds that were hastily excavated to make way for ,, tulips don't last that long, iv but no gardener would avoid them on the grounds of inadequate staying power. ;The mum is one of the oldest cultivated plants in existence. It was^groyvn in China more than 2,^0!^ye^rs ago, and it still enjoys culjjstatus in Japan, where festival's; celebrate the perfection of the bloopi. JVlums didn't make it to Europe until the late 1780s, but it did- n't^aXe long after that for the piaftts to hop the Atlantic. John Sfejferis of Hoboken, N.J., is credited , with introducing chrysanthemum^ to the United States in 1798. The flower owes its popularity to~U£ season of bloom. It reaches it£j$ak in the fall, when most oth- er>flj6wers are fading, because it op'£ns its blooms in response to longnights. Wliat garden centers sell in the auttunn are called hardy mums, meaning that they will overwinter astperennials. $feny gardeners prefer to treat nitifes as annuals, yanking out the plafrts after a hard freeze has blackened the foliage. It's not a bafl ^practice, considering that th'ey'usually occupy a highly visi- bie:spot in the garden. The plants caij>be , overwintered there as pprennials, but they won't bloom again ujitil the following autumn. In;the meantime, all the gardener -to < look at is gray-green fo- > which isn't particularly ap- A second alternative is to leave the plant in its pot when planting it in the fall. After a hard freeze, lift the pot, cut the plant back and store the pot in a cool garage or basement. Keep it slightly moist but not waterlogged. Move the pot outdoors in early spring, and either take cuttings or separate the plant into divisions when the shoots are about 3 inches long. Chrysanthemums must be pinched back several times to produce compact, bushy plants with many flowers. Make the first pinch when the shoots are about 6 inches tall, nipping the top inch or so down to a pair of sturdy leaves. This causes the shoot to branch out. A few weeks later, pinch a second time. You can pinch as often as you like until about the end of July. At that point, allow it to set flower buds. When the buds begin to show color, it's time to move the plants into the flower garden. NO TRICKS Just Great Savings on Ladies' Clothing Anything Off That's Black! Save on anything in the store that's black. Choose from misses, petites and women's sizes. SALE ENDS SATURDAY * No other discounts apply. . }BjJt there are alternatives to bfry|jig new plants each year. One is $6 overwinter the plants and tap cuttings from spring growth, wt^ph root readily in damp vermi- cul|j;e. After the cuttings are tak- eJ5t£the plant can be dug out and discarded, It is usually not worth trying io save the plant itself, be- cau$e chrysanthemums tend to dlejout in the center, and it is hard t<) pjnch them into a bushy, com- form after the first year. •• jjfl CHOICE LAWN WINTERIZER / rWljJATE FERTILIZER" *\ ;AEELiTO ALL COOL SEASON .GRASSES IN SEPf & NOV, ;v Farmer's Coop Water 1 * Itue Value be this small! Aid Service S. Santa Fe, Salina Vernon Jewelers your Official Rolex Jeweler, wants to remind you to turn back your timepiece one hour on Sunday, October 27.. Daylight santng ends at 2:00 A.M. Lady Oyster Perpetual Oyster Perpetual Air-King ROLEX 123 N. Santa Fe Downtown Salina Your °ffi cial Role * I'™ 1 " 913-825-0531 With Approved Credit Because of any inconvenience in getting to Dels, we are offering HUGE SAVINGS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS! ALL Including CD Players Surround Receivers ON TVs up to 32"! VCR's CAR CD PLAYER Starting at Layaway Available 'Where Service is Still Part of Every Sale" 1859 S. 9th Salina Electronics Center HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9:00-7:00 Sat. 9:00-6:00 Sunday 1:00-5:00 Free Local Delivery 827-3357 Outside Salina 1-800-400-DELS CLEARANCE X> SAVINGS ALL SHRUBS & TREES NOW THROUGH SUNDAY WHILE THEY LAST! Plus UP To 70% Off White Cedar Lawn Furniture • Wrought Iron Furniture • • Bird Baths & Statuary • • All Perennials • • Windsocks • ANNUAL FALL OPEN HOUSE Saturday, 8-6 Serving Cider & Cookies All Day Treats for all the Children in Costume FREE PUMPKIN for each family entering the "Name the Earthcare Kitties" CONTEST $25 Gift Certificate for each winning name **•"-' •"' if i-,l ' Come meet the new Earthcare kitties recently adopted from Animal Clinic, 523 S. Broadway. • __ ^- Tune in to KSAL1150AM Saturday 8:10 - 8:30a.m. for the Earthcare-FertHome Garden Show IMHMMI^^BMB^ Eorthc Earthcare 470 S. Ohio Next to Waters True Value 8.8:30 Today 8 • 6 Saturday 10 • 6 Sunday GARDEN

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