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Upper Midwest Gardening: Inside they come

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philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 16, 2011
7:54 AM

Post #8850824

I just read the weather forecast for this coming week, and it is going to be cold. Brrrrr. So today, I have to finish cutting my grass, plant the bulbs I picked up at Jungs with my "jungs dollars" and bring in my pots - mostly daylilies with one herb pot. They will overwinter in my garage, which faces south and is insulated (but not heated) It will be interesting to see how the herbs do, basil & parsley. The daylilies are a half dozen evergreens which I bought for a particular bed, which didn't get done this year. (so what else is new?)

Oh, and I need some rocks to finish laying on top of all of those wonderful Iris a fellow DGer sent me.

I do have my Hot Papaya coneflower reblooming, although the colors are not as "hot" (hmmm, I wonder why not!) And one daylily - Pandora's Treasure reblooming, but it is having difficulty opening. Glad that one is in a pot, I am thrilled it is reblooming for me, and hopefully sticking it into the garage will help it open fully.

Then after my Maple trees lose their leaves, I will mulch everything.

I am sadly saying goodbye to a wonderful late summer/ early autumn - wasn't that weather over the last few weeks just AWESOME? It was even nicer that I was on vacation during that time at the family cottage in western PA - where I planted some of those heirloom daylilies I bought off DGers in the market place, and some of my extra - tall bearded Iris. I have no clue why we never transplanted any iris up there over the years, my father had a special hybridized one from his father growing at our house. Next June, I will find out if anything survived the late plantings up there.

Guess my furnace will be turned on this week, bummer, isn't it? I guess now I will have to work on my inside house projects... ~Jan
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 16, 2011
11:47 AM

Post #8851163

Brought in a most of my tender stuff yesterday based on this next week's weather forecast. Still have empty pots to store as well. I'm interested to see how your basil does in an unheated garage, assuming it goes fully dormant. I've tried to overwinter basil in my cool GH. It will put out new leaves but many turn brown and fall off with not enough to harvest in any quantity.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 16, 2011
12:07 PM

Post #8851185

We were to be down to 31* Wednesday night and now we will be 35*. I'm glad, but puzzled as we ARE due for a hard freeze now. Laughing. I see Thursday is our new freeze date.

I have rain lily and glads to bring in. No hurry on either. I think the rain lily will go to the garage till Indian Summer comes around. I usually tuck it under the closet by now since I don't have a basement. I lost my dahlias and a couple other tender bulbs over the years, so don't have a lot to contend with.

Jan, that was me, frantically getting things done while we had a heat wave. I can't wait till next spring to see what I actually did, LOL! The weather WAS awesome! I got so many plants moved around and bulbs dug and replanted.

Do the rocks on the iris keep them from heaving since they are newly planted?

CindyM, I'm going to try and overwinter mint again. It dried up on me last year. Too much water I think. Already this small sprig looks sickly. Maybe mint isn't meant to be a houseplant.

I have a very piled up side of the garage I need to tidy up.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 16, 2011
3:58 PM

Post #8851490

:) - I had to tidy up my corner of the garage yesterday to bring in potted plants (lemon grass, salvia) that won't winter over outdoors here. I thought mint was pretty hardy. I do have some in the ground that's basically ignored for the past 10+ years and it grows in a very dry spot and is totally neglected. I did start spearmint seeds this past winter and have grown it in a pot. I am going to leave it outdoors in a sheltered spot and see what happens.
We haven't seen a frost yet here - I think the lake is keeping us a little warmer. That, and I'm under lots of oaks so that does create a micro climate until all of the leaves fall.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 16, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8851607

Here is my hot papaya coneflower blooming today

Thumbnail by philljm
Click the image for an enlarged view.

philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 16, 2011
5:34 PM

Post #8851610

This is my Pandora's Treasure - I put it in the garage this afternoon out of the wind, and that helped it open further. The bloom is now fully open at 7:30 tonight, I just didn't take a photo ~Jan

Thumbnail by philljm
Click the image for an enlarged view.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 17, 2011
4:47 AM

Post #8852106

Cindy, I have a pot of spearmint buried in the garden too. These sprigs were some I had in a vase and they rooted. So, what to do, but pot them up and bring them in!

Last year it was mint and chocolate mint that didn't make it :o(

Jan, that is still very pretty for being a bit ''dulled.'' It looks yummy!

Very very pretty daylily!

I looked at the weather and NOW we will get down to 29* Wednesday night AND Thursday night. It changes daily. How can a person keep up?
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 17, 2011
6:43 AM

Post #8852276

One year I had a big pot of 4 different kinds of mint. Can't remember what they all were but I don't think some liked being in a pot (maybe Corsican mint?). I did keep them in mostly shade but over the summer a couple of them gave up. I planted them in the ground at the end of the season but my location choice (sunny, dry clay) has kept them from doing well but I didn't want them running rampant among other perennials. Interesting that they root readily in water. Will have to remember that.
Looking like Thurs night will be out coldest at 33.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 17, 2011
9:17 AM

Post #8852500

My neighbor has a largish patch and I was going to ask her for some when they brought a couple of tubs over to my free pile. Her's don't look like they ran rampant, but I am well aware that it can. Especially in a wet place. I'd rather water it than have to dig it out of everything. As it was, just for the winter I layered the newspaper in the pot in hopes it doesn't escape thru the drain holes, LOL!
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 17, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8853093

Well Pandora's Treasure was STILL open this morning when I went to work at 6:30 am. 11 hours later, and it is now just beginning to 'die'. Amazing.

My sister grows spearmint between her patio and her deck. It gets about 18-24 inches tall. She loves it there because the dog always brushes against it, and it smells so good then. - both the dog, and the air!

She has offered me cuttings several times, and I am afraid of it. Hers is contained by the patio and deck, I don't have any barriers like that ~Jan
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 18, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8853952

My first patch of mint was next to our dog run. I planted all things fragrant in that area. Unfortunately the mint traveled a bit to under the eaves over the years where it didn't get enough water so there's only a few stems left. I think pots are the way to go with mint.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 18, 2011
12:38 PM

Post #8854207

There are farms between where I live and Milwaukee that grow mint comerically. 20-80 acres of mint. More than once on the way home form the state fair on a summer's night, have I driven by them at harvest time. Such a heavy aroma! To add to the picture - while listening to polka music. There used to be 3 radio staions around here that only played polka music 24/7.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 18, 2011
5:27 PM

Post #8854591

Gas, I lived on a farm in Poynette for 4 years, I know exactly the area you are talking about. And you are correct about the Polka music! ~Jan
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 18, 2011
8:28 PM

Post #8854822

Wasn't it WIBU?

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
5:27 AM

Post #8855158

Jan, keeping it in a pot is a good idea. I don't think you even have to touch mint. It just smells when you get close. I like that! The bees should be thrilled with it in the summer.

I'll bet where I set the pot, it dropped an million and a half seeds, LOL! I hope it only spreads by runners, but we'll see next spring. I may have minty peas!

Grinning over the polka music! We went to a polka fest once and I still hear the music! I'd love to smell the minty air tho!
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
6:04 AM

Post #8855193

Only in Wisconsin. I am not originally from WI so I still react to what most call everyday life here. I am a photographer who does small town events and festivals. A few years ago I got up early to take the scenic drive to a polka festival on a Sunday morning. Got to the site at a bit earlier than I planned, 8:15 AM. Didn't realize that the gates did not open until 9 AM. They let me in thinking I was working there I guess. Checked out the grounds - not much happening. Time to kill. At about 8:45 I went to the food tent and asked when they started serving beer. Wasn't really asking for one, just curious about the time and that they would indeed have beer even though it was Sunday. "Oh, just a minute." She came back with a large glass of beer, told me it was free and apologozed for the wait. Only in Wisconsin.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 19, 2011
6:48 AM

Post #8855249

DH is Polish and can only get his polka fix on Sunday radio in this area.
Rainy and windy and chilly here today. Will have to finally break down and put the herbs under lights. Sigh.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
12:15 PM

Post #8855756

Gasrocks, first, awesome that you are a photographer, and second, that you do events!

Love the early morning beer!

Cindy, I used to stay with a friend at her Grandparents and we woke up to morning radio polka :o)

Awww, it's windy and gloomy here too. Rain would be perfect.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
12:39 PM

Post #8855789

For perspective's sake: I also have done events in other states where they do not have events in the morning, nor on Sundays nor have beer.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8855791

Laughing, does the beer help, hinder, or just taste good?
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
12:46 PM

Post #8855798

Actually I have stopped drinking beer about 3 years ago now. But, boy, on a hot summer day it can hit the spot.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
1:04 PM

Post #8855824

I quit in 1996 when I quit smoking. It was a good thing to do.

But I remember it going down ice cold on a hot day!
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
1:25 PM

Post #8855875

Glad to hear you stopped 2 habits a while ago. Now, if only more of us were so smart...
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
2:40 PM

Post #8856007

Naaah, I am not very intelligent! Love my beer (although I don't really drink it often) The other big drink around here is brandy, in every shape & form and mix. Lotta brandy drinkers down here.

And yes, it was WIBU. They also have the farm reports and broadcast our county fair animal auctions. Very active at the fair and throughout the community.

So perhaps I should pot some mint next year, AFTER I find out if your self seeded stuff grew!

Dontya just LOVE small town festivals? Our town begins with the Toilet Bowl parade & game on New Years Day, and then frequently throughout the year there are other reasons to 'celebrate' ~Jan
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 19, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8856339

Wisconsn is #1 on the brandy consumption list. I think Belgium (the country) is #2. Having not been brought up here, I never acquired a taste for it but I know what you mean. Which reminds me - having small local bars and kids running around inside bars in another thing more or less WI.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 20, 2011
5:57 AM

Post #8856821

Philljm, I got into the wine before quitting, but never tried brandy. Oh but it does sound good...

Laughing, I'll keep everyone posted on how the mint goes!

Our little town did Nichols Day for a couple years and then no one wanted to do all the work. Now we just started with a second year of October Fest. They do more with the kids, but also had people bring their vintage cars. There WAS a beer tent too :o)

The first year they had it, I had a lot of flowers to move, but could hear everything over the speakers since I'm only three blocks from uptown. This year we had the Grandkids. I started peach cobbler in the morning and with interuptions, was still working on it when DH came back for dinner. (He took his old car up.) So, he took the boys, I finally got the cobbler made and out of the oven and they all came back home, LOL!

All I wanted was that warm feeling in the belly. Now I get that eating jalapenos.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 20, 2011
2:58 PM

Post #8857377

Hahahahaha - That true!

I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, OH, and when I was growing up, Grandpa would pick us up from school, drive to the corner bar, buy as all little bottles of soda, and he would sit and nurse a beer... of course, Grandpa started his MORNINGS with beer. He only drank 3-4 a day, but nursed them all day long, very slowly.

But beer and cards, HUGE here. Even after my monthly American Legion meetings, the guys would all get together and play Sheepshead and drink beers. As the token female, they have asked me to join them, but by that time at night, my brain no longer functions. Sometimes I have the beer, but don't join their card games.

We are supposed to get a good frost tonight. Glad I have everything that needs to come into my garage, inside. The winds of November certainly came early this season. ~Jan

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 21, 2011
4:22 AM

Post #8857858

Jan, if you're as old as me, those bottles of pop were real treats!

I never was much for playing cards, but Grandddad, the Uncles and older cousins liked to play. That brings back good memories of family get togethers!

No frost here. It was supposed to.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 21, 2011
6:16 AM

Post #8857979

28 this morning here.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 21, 2011
7:01 AM

Post #8858025

Mid to upper 30's here depending on how close you are to the Lake. I think it's supposed to be colder tonight. TWC is showing upper 20's overnight next week. Sigh. Guess I can't avoid it forever.
Had a bunch of Caladiums drying on the patio (until it rained for two days) and will have to remember to bring those in soon. Also have a big potted florist Hydrangea outdoors yet that I bring in every winter since I don't think it's hardy to zone 5. I might let it get nipped a bit with the frost next week before I bring it in. Otherwise it'll keep growing all winter and will be blooming by Feb or Mar.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 22, 2011
7:17 AM

Post #8859046

Planting some peonies today, then my gardening is done for the year except for tossing leaves on all the flower gardens for mulch after the maples litter my yard in the next couple of weeks. We had frost yesterday, but I didn't pay attention to if we had some last night. Pandora's Treasure daylily bloomed again yesterday, it is in my garage waiting for a new bed I was supposed to make this year, but will have to wait until next year. ~Jan

Thumbnail by philljm
Click the image for an enlarged view.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 23, 2011
5:50 AM

Post #8859930

Well, the weather has settled and we're low 40's and just 70*. Perfect for the last minute chores. I dug two rhubarb yesterday and moved them a few feet over to their FOREVER home. They weren't so wide, as deep. I couldn't get them out of the hole, but finally managed to roll them up out and into their new hole, LOL! I covered one a little and ended up high on the other. I still have two more in case they die. That was more work than I expected, but I'm glad I did it now!

I also finished trimming the iris and burned all the leaves. I cut sdown more flower stalks and expect to finish today. Possible rain tonight. I so hope it's true!

We all have different chores, LOL!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 24, 2011
10:03 AM

Post #8861573

Little time for transplanting anything this fall. Taking cuttings of annuals (dragon wing begonia, 4 different coleus, polka dot plant that I treat as an outdoor annual) as well as a terribly scrawny, woody culinary sage. And focusing on building a proper compost pile. My brother built me a huge 3-sided fencing bin and I'm trying to get a good mix of shredded fall leaves, kitchen scraps and other stuff to get it cooking before it shuts down for winter. DH even drilled some holes in some white PVC piping to stand upright in the midst of the piles for improved air flow which is a real issue in my piles of lots of oak leaves. Even donating the last of my hoarded coffee grounds and egg shells to the compost bin. Beautiful day today but I know it's supposed to colder and rainier. Also putting up the insulation in my little hobby GH. This time of year came way too fast.
duck_toller
Middleton, WI
(Zone 4b)

October 24, 2011
4:28 PM

Post #8862069

So cool. I should have been cutting back and getting ready for winter, but instead we went to Milwaukee and bought a truck. I feel a mulch haul coming on!

It's only a little Ranger, but its my first truck. No more spreading tarps every time I garden shop and then cleaning vehicle carpet. I'm so excited.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 25, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8862767

Cindy, you must have wonderful, full length windows, or at least nice sills to over-winter plant cuttings. I long for old windows!

My compost pile is a three sided job made of concrete blocks. It's piled way higher than the sides and the backside is bulging a bit this year, LOL!

Your pile sounds perfect! Mine usually ''makes'' by next spring. I threw a feed grain bag of manure in the middle. I used to add all the weeds, but found the seeds didn't heat kill so now I'm more careful of what weeds and roots are going in. And Oak leaves! heaven! they aren't supposed to pack when used for mulch. There is nothing worse than a wet slimy pack of leaves :o(

Duck, getting away isn't a bad thing and your new little truck sounds awesome!!

I stayed in yesterday in spite of it being a beautiful day. I froze the green tomatoes in recipe portions and roasted all the rest. I also made Green Tomato Bread and it was good!

I did get outside to hang a load of clothes :o)
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 25, 2011
7:16 AM

Post #8862887

Duck - Congrats on the new truck! Will definitely come in handy for garden projects!
No full-length windows here. Unfortunately, my only south facing windows are in the kitchen and laundry room. DH gave me a little hobby GH for Christmas several years ago and we attached it to the south side of our garage. I do heat it in the winter to between 55 and 60 for overwintering stuff and propagation and sometimes, just to get "outside" in the winter.
As for my compost pile, I've been inspired by listening to podcasts of Mike McGrath (youbetyourgarden.org) to build better compost instead of just letting nature take its course with piles of wet, soggy, matted oak leaves. I've been weaning my garden off of chemical fertilizers and weed killers so having a lot of compost next spring would be a real benefit. My compost doesn't heat up much either so I do get some weed seed sprouts as well.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 26, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8864133

I have never composted, but that is a future project for me. The question I have is, do you get critters in there looking for the scraps? That is my biggest worry, from squirrels to raccoons, skunks, the neighbors cats, and my dogs.

The last bud on my daylily opened slowly over 2 days. I cut it and took it to work yesterday so it could be enjoyed. So my flower season is over :( My maples are now getting color, and will be dropping their leaves. Of course, I am traveling for work next week, I imagine that is when I will be engulfed by the leaves, when I am not around to keep up with them. If it dries up enough today, perhaps I will get outside later to get some raking done - I am off today because the Sears guy is coming to make sure my snowblower is ready for winter.

I am also finishing up baking the oatmeal raisin cookies I started on Sunday and didn't have time to finish baking, then I am taking them over to my friends dairy farm. I am going to use them to bribe their sons on giving me an extra deer when they are deer hunting. I so do love venison! I also need some rocks to finish placing on top of my late transplanted iris, and every farmer I know has a rock pile. The big joke in my family is that I am always picking up rocks during my travels - but I have them placed around a big maple tree in the yard, and I would hate to use those rocks. I am just now finishing filling up the space.~Jan
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

October 26, 2011
7:29 AM

Post #8864299

I don't have much of a critter issue with the compost pile. I only put in fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells. The deer might be attracted to the apple and fruit peelings but they can't get into my space due to fencing. Squirrels don't bother it at all. Raccoons - well, if my neighbor would stop feeding them every night (white bread and cereal - how healthy is that for feeding to wildlife?), I'd probably not see many at all although it seems that they're attracted to banana peels. In 20+ years, I've never seen a skunk on my property. Any stray cat is much more interested in stalking at the bird feeder. Don't have pets so not sure how dogs would react but I'm not sure that they would bother it much since there's no animal protein in the pile. With enough brown material in the compost pile, it doesn't seem like the critters are that interested in digging into the pile.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 31, 2011
5:54 AM

Post #8870129

Cindy,
My south is mostly in my bedroom and no room there for plants. The living room has short windows and no room either :o(

Just to get outside. I hear that!!

Jan,
I don't throw anything but the peelings, coffee grounds and such out, and tho I live on the edge of town, I never notice anything eaten. Yes, I take note just to know that, LOL! We have raccoons, skunks and possums all the time, with the very once or twice, groundhog sighting.

That would be awesome to get deer meat!! I'm hoping SIL gets his deer this year.

We were over in the next town at the park, for a family reunion. On a junk pile I spied three rocks. Yep, they are around my apple tree for the winter, LOL!

Whew, we had the Grandkids over the weekend and I didn't even have time to walk the yard. I know I have late mums blooming so I need to enjoy them before the hard freeze.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 1, 2011
3:06 PM

Post #8872285

Granddaughters and Halloween festivities here for the past few days. Aching to go out and cut some mums for indoors. The cut flowers can last for 10 days or more. Luckily they took the freezing night time temps out of the forecast for this week. Good thing as I still have a few annuals to "rescue" before they turn to mush.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2011
3:35 AM

Post #8874256

Cindy,
Yesterday I went out and cut a huge iris stalk. I'm hoping it opens in the house. It was one given to me by a DGer and I think it's yellow. I'm not sure it bloomed this spring. I'll have to go thru my pictures to see, LOL! It has four buds. I'm so excited! I also took some Blanket Flower, Goblin, I think, but I never thought about cutting Mums. I did see a few red ones survived and the white are larger than they've ever been, but only have long petals on one side.

I'm amazed at the flowers I have left that took the freezing temps!
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

November 3, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8874471

When I was in Delaware on business this week, many of the huge corporate places were digging up their frozen flowers, and replanting with pretty, fresh, new pansies.

I have seen yellow Iris reblooming around the area. Never knew Iris rebloomed, until one I planted at my sisters earlier this year did. Love it!

Now it's leave raking time, wet leaves. Got back last night, and my maple trees are now shedding ~Jan
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 3, 2011
7:49 AM

Post #8874531

I have heard of reblooming iris but it still surprises me to hear them blooming well into the fall.
While I only have 3 varieties of mums, they are the plants that produce the most cut flowers for me. The top performers are 'Hillside Sheffield Pink' from an e-gardening friend years ago and a plain white generic mum rescued from a shady dry corner of the house when we moved here 20+ years ago. I even like the fragrance of them.
Still no freezing temps here but I plan on spending some time salvaging some outdoor annuals today. Haven't had to rake yet since DH has been using the lawnmower to shred up leaves for the compost pile.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

November 5, 2011
3:33 PM

Post #8877931

So much for bringing those evergreen daylilies into my garage to protect them from the winter. As of today they are all back outside, my "pot ghetto" (actually kitty litter bins) has been vanquished to an area behind the house.

It seems that one of my daylilies has developed rust. I came home from my business trip, and there it was. Overwintering in my nice insulted garage won't kill it. Being outside, will. If I lose the daylilies due to the weather, oh well. I would prefer to kill the rust.

So the pot ghetto, is now in the back of my house. Away from all the rest of the flowers
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 6, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8879176

Can you bury your pots (kitty litter trays) in leaves for the winter? Just heard a Mike McGrath podcast about overwintering outdoors if you can't bury pots in the ground. 6" of shredded leaves, lay chicken wire over the top to hold them in place, and then more shredded leaves. Also shouldn't be along a south-facing wall that might warm up enough to wake up the lilies.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 8, 2011
8:45 AM

Post #8881473

I was so happy that one iris bud opened! It was pale yellow with a bit of white. I was too busy to take a picture and am not sure any more will open :o(

Jan,
I raked the last of the leaves last night. DH had done the rest. Just in time for the rain too!

Cindy,
I have Schreiner's Immortality that reblooms a bit earlier, and Lilliputs that are still reblooming right now. Baby Blessed, and they are all yellow.

I like the mum fragrance too. It's different.

Jan,
I think your daylilies will make it despite being in pots. The rust is a shame! I bought spray for rust on the hollyhocks and never tried it yet. I'm thinking it's a copper spray. Oh well. Next year!

Cindy,
That sounds like good advice. I don't even try to over winter in pots unless I dig them into the garden. I have mint, columbines, a clove current start, a rambler rose start and monkshood buried.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 8, 2011
9:23 AM

Post #8881516

Ducking in and out of the rain to bring in empty pots before it freezes tomorrow night. Spent several hours cleaning up leaves yesterday before the rains started but of course the rain knocked even more leaves to the ground. Sigh. Still have some oak maple leaves to fall yet. I haven't had a chance to set up my "cold" frame yet either. At least the potted perennials will have a chance to go dormant before they go in. I use the frame more for some minimal protection for potted plants until I can get some of them planted in the spring.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 8, 2011
9:26 AM

Post #8881521

A cold frame is one thing I never had my DH build, but it would be nice. Naturally I have flowers in the best places one could go and I need all the garden room I have left.

I hope you have room for everything in your's.

Our rain quit. I sure hope we're going to get more.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 8, 2011
12:20 PM

Post #8881709

My "cold frame" is more for holding plants in the winter. It's a taller version of a conventional one but I don't actually plant in the ground inside of it. It's just a 2 x 4 slanted frame with heavy mil plastic wrapped inside and out (creates an air pocket). It has a hinged lid that I can open up if we get a warm sunny winter day. I stuff it full of pots (perennials or shrubs only) and stuff leaves around the pots to make it cozy (I hope). And I generally never have enough room. :)
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

November 9, 2011
3:03 PM

Post #8883392

The pots are on a west facing wall right up next to the house. Good comment about the south wall though, hadn't thought of that. It's actually near my hostas, so it is pretty shady there.

I am probably going to get a bale of straw to put in front of them. Once it gets freezing cold for a bit, and I have a chance to cut off & dispose of the rust-y leaves, I will cover them with maple leaves.

My maples (3 - 45 year old trees) still have LOTS of leaves on them, in fact the one in the front yard near the street, has only lost about 10% of it's leaves. So I still have a lot of raking to do. I am also holding off until next weekend to clean my gutters, they are full of leaves right now, but if I clean them now, I will only have to repeat it in another week.

I did leave my parsley & and pepper plants in the garage. I think the parsley will be fine, not sure about the peppers - it's an experiment. ~Jan
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 9, 2011
3:55 PM

Post #8883516

Same here with the gutters although the rain yesterday and the wind today really brought down a lot of leaves (after I cleaned up the yard on Monday). My maple (gets yellow leaves in the fall later than the other "red" maples) still had half it's leaves this past weekend but now it's almost completely bare. I pay my nephew to get up on the roof to blow out gutters and the downspouts (DH doesn't like heights).
Was doing a last minute plant roundup today with the temps dropping so fast. Don't have the cold frame ready yet but at least all of my pots are huddled on the patio, up against the house and sheltered from the wind. Also had to empty the rain barrels and leave the taps open just in case it does get cold enough to freeze.
Let me know how your pepper experiment goes. I used to bring mine in to the warmth but found out that it also brought out tons of aphids on them. Gosh knows I could be doing something wrong with them.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

November 14, 2011
4:19 AM

Post #8889413

Knock on wood, but so far aphids are not a problem. The parsley is VERY happy in the garage. The sunny weather this weekend and the east facing garage meant that I had the door open for the plants during the day.

The snow the other day meant that most of that final maple dropped it's leaves. it was a brilliant yellow this year. One of my neighbors commented that she was out taking photos of it in the snow the other day.

So I spent both Saturday and Sunday raking.

And raking.

And raking...

Leaf pickup ends on Thursday. I will do a last raking of the front yard to get all those leaves that blew back into my yard, then I am done for the year. Everything else will just have to blow away on it's own. ~Jan

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 14, 2011
5:06 AM

Post #8889466

Cindy,
I think the cold frame is a wonderful thing. I get tired of burying pots in the garden, LOL!

Jan,
There seems to be a lot of leaves hanging on all over. My Dad says they dried out before they could let go.

I think the parsley will be fine too. Peppers? Let us know next spring :o)

Cindy,
I'm a firm believer in sending a willing, younger, more agile person up the laddder these days :o)

Spray aphids with powdered milk mixed up. It's sticky and when it dries, they can't move.

Jan,
The yellow leaves sound beautiful!

Raking and raking and raking... nuff said :o)

It's been warm(er) and very windy here, but the wind is blowing leaves into and across my yard. I can only hope they got past the apsaragus fronds, grapevines and compost bin to reach the neighbor's, er, and blow past the neighbor's and into the country :o)
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 14, 2011
1:31 PM

Post #8890144

I think I have one more leaf pickup day before they quit in early Dec. I just had a pickup Friday and while we've been bagging shredded leaves with the lawnmower for the compost pile, the wind last week blew lots of neighbors leaves up against our fence. After checking the schedule on line, I rushed out to gather sheets full of leaves and hauled them out to the street for pickup since I didn't know when DH would get the lawnmower out again. Can't have the wet leaves sitting on the lawn for too long as we put down grass seed a couple of months ago. The new grass also means I can't rake (much) so am getting myself reacquainted with the leaf blower (so noisy).
Got the cold frame re-covered (plastic sheeting) and filled up this past weekend. We did have a light frost - our first - last week but it's still too warm to close up the cold frame. I do want the plants to go dormant before I do that. I have one huge pot in there with a hosta and "hak" grass as well as about 15 other potted perennials. The huge pot sits on our patio during the growing season and the others are what I dug up this past fall to make room for some veggies. They're destined for DD's future new space (in a rental now in MI after moving from TN and 12 acres).

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 15, 2011
6:00 AM

Post #8891008

Cindy,
One year I just made a pile of leaves in the garden and stomped them down best I could so they didn't blow out. Next spring a cat found dead baby bunnies. The mother must have been killed. It was so sad to see those tiny bunnies. Sniff.

DD has a change in the weather coming after moving. Is she in the country or town now?
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 15, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8891318

Sad about the rabbits. We don't see them here since it's mostly wooded although we did have a nest once on the side of the house when we first moved here.
DD will have an adjustment but then she grew up here. She's been down in TN for 10 years. She's living in a rented duplex in Holland, MI so she is definitely enjoying a change in all of the environments. From rural TN to liberal arts MI is very enjoyable for her but then she does have her degree in fine arts. She was semi-homesteading in TN so having local pizza delivery has been a treat. She still does what she can in her temporary digs - making bread, fermented products, canning, blogging and home-schooling my granddaughter.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 17, 2011
12:17 PM

Post #8894364

Cindy,
Your Daughter is awesome!!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 17, 2011
3:40 PM

Post #8894651

She's definitely into "real food" - got interested while learning to cook in ways that reduced her husband's really elevated cholesterol. The home-schooling came about because of the realities of a rural school system steeped in religion rather than science. She inspired me to host a couple of home canning dates which included my son who grows veggies, cooks and cans. If I had a role model, it would be her.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

November 18, 2011
9:47 AM

Post #8895561

She's making lemonade with some of life's lemons, LOL!

I love science and yes, it should be taught. Religion has it's place.

I hope she finds a way to bring her husbands cholesterol down. Even mine has crept into the ''over the low'' limit. I eat good foods, but I also don't watch it like I should now that I'm middle age :o) My DH needs to cut out the sugar!

She is absolutely a role model! How proud everyone must be!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

November 18, 2011
11:31 AM

Post #8895696

SIL's cholesterol was in the 600 range and is now down to normal. He's not overweight, just genetics I think.
I've been gradually reducing sugar (mainly in breakfast cereals and coffee) but I'm still a sucker for ice cream year round. Since I like "icy" ice cream without gums, HFCS and seaweed, I make my own from organic dairy products. DH and I have cut a lot of carbs as well which helps keep off the pounds.

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

December 2, 2011
12:37 PM

Post #8913871

Cindy,
To drop that much is awesome! I think it's genetics too. It runs in families, as does the low chol. readings.

Homemade ice cream. Can't beat it!

Speaking of organics. I found an old butter that is delicious. It's called Challange and is not new. When you smell buttered toast it takes you back to the days of childhood. No more greasy butter for me!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

December 2, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8914084

Is Challenge a brand of butter or is it a type of spread?
Just finished off some homemade Guatemalan chocolate chunk ice cream to die for. It does keep me up at night though. :)

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

December 3, 2011
4:35 AM

Post #8914584

It's a brand of butter. The lable looks like Land O' Lakes. I had the lable too, to show DD and just threw it away. It's as cheap as the other butters and sure tastes like the butter we used to use.

Grinning, I'm almost done with store bought raspberry and DH just bought vanilla with chocolate fudge ''sauce'' running thru it.

http://www.challengedairy.com/

CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

December 3, 2011
6:34 AM

Post #8914678

I checked out the Challenge brand - looks like it's only available at Walmart around here. As a kid, the only time I remember having real butter is at my grandmother's house. I basically grew up with margarine, probably because it was cheaper, and have eaten that most of my adult life. I remember liking the butter immensely but can't quite remember what it tasted like. I've switched back to butter in the past year but have reduced my consumption of such things for cooking in favor of more plant-based oils.
I think I'm going to try making peppermint ice cream for the holidays. Don't know why but I always associate that with Christmas.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2011
8:06 AM

Post #8915842

yummmmmm

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2011
4:53 AM

Post #8916915

Cindy,
My Mom liked the real butter. I liked margarine. I'm still not a huge butter fan, but this butter is good!

I use margarine in cooking, but now they've reduced the fat so I have to do half that, and half butter, if I want baked items to turn out. What are they thinking?

I use Brummel and Brown for all my buttered breads, vegies, etc.

I like the mint ice cream, so peppermint sounds really good!
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 6, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8918357

I live in Wisconsin, it's butter, for everything. I have a couple of recipes I have to use margarine in, and have to remember to put it on my shopping list...~Jan
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 6, 2011
6:02 AM

Post #8918407

When I first moved to Wisconsin (1962) there were rules against colored Oleo. People would drive to another state to get some yellow Oleo. Always struck me as odd.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

December 7, 2011
9:47 AM

Post #8920043

Ah - oleo. I remember that growing up. With baking season coming up, I'll use butter for a lot of the cookies, etc but normally, 1/4 pound can last us 2 weeks. We don't eat a lot of bread (although we'd really love to) - maybe a slice or two per week. I make bran muffins for DH to take to work and usually use mostly unsweetened applesauce with maybe a tablespoon of grape seed oil to replace a lot of fat. The butter in cooking is more for a little flavor but mostly I use plant oils for sauteing and browning.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 19, 2011
10:29 PM

Post #8936566

Was the same way when we moved to WI in 1966. Grams and Gramps drove to Ill.once a month and would come back with enough for three households for a month. It was my job to squeeze and mix...
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

December 20, 2011
6:58 AM

Post #8936793

Most of the year I use organic butter, justifying the cost because we don't use much. But for Christmas baking, I bought non-organic butter to save a little money. Looking at the label of a national brand, I was surprised to see that it contains flavoring. Gosh, who would have thought...

billyporter

billyporter
Nichols, IA
(Zone 5a)

December 25, 2011
12:02 PM

Post #8942404

Smiling over the yellow color memories. I'm a bit young for that, but remember Mom talking about it.
philljm
Hustisford, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2011
6:00 AM

Post #8946349

Ahhh, these memories! Natural butter is actually a pale yellowish color. Cream - depending on the cows it comes from and the amount of butterfat is white to pale yellow (at least in my experience)

I think peoples taste, is what has the yellow coloring being added. Food is also a visual experience.

Is the organic butter paler than regular butter Cindy? ~Jan
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

December 29, 2011
2:20 PM

Post #8946861

I agree, human beings have no biases at all. Yellow tastes better, ha. When I was a kid and lived in England, we would note the Jaguars that passed us as we were driving. Us in our Austin A40, and my dad being a very conservative driver, me, a car (Lotus) racing fan. We were certain that the white ones where the fastest.

This message was edited Dec 29, 2011 4:23 PM
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

December 29, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8946895

I think the organic is just a little paler actually. DD makes her own butter from unpasteurized milk (she "owns" a share in a cow - the only legal way to get it) and her's is more yellow. But the cows are pasture-raised for the most part (supplemental feed in the winter) so that might make a difference as well.

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