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Upper Midwest Gardening: can fall be far behind?

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mnbob
Windom, MN
(Zone 4b)

August 11, 2012
5:28 AM

Post #9237538

48 degrees when I arose this morning...pull out some fleece to join the garden! high today: 77... tomorrow 67...nice respite before the heat returns.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

August 11, 2012
7:02 AM

Post #9237619

I am loving the cooler weather! I'm not a hot summer lover to begin with but it's nice not to sweat for a couple of days every time I venture outdoors.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 11, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9238134

Amen! The last two days have been heavenly. It was wonderful to sleep last night with the windows open. I'm with you, Cindy, about not being a hot weather lover. How I long for Autumn, but 70's with cool nights will do just fine for now!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

August 11, 2012
4:16 PM

Post #9238189

Yep - had the windows open last night also. Last week I was thinking how much I missed spring. I can handle the rest of the summer if it's like these past two days.
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 11, 2012
6:48 PM

Post #9238425

We turned off the air conditioner yesterday for the first time in what feels like forever!
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 11, 2012
8:27 PM

Post #9238518

And it's going to be another great sleeping night tonight with windows open...yay!!
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2012
6:59 AM

Post #9238726

And indeed it was!
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

August 12, 2012
9:13 AM

Post #9238855

Just checked the long term forecast - 30 day and 90 day: Warmer than normal and dry. Yes, this cool spell is a nice break but we do not really need an early frost.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

August 12, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9238858

Yeah - no early frost allowed.
Hoping for a little rain today and tomorrow - can't ever get enough at this point. Cool enough that I finally finished planting foxglove and money plant seedlings from spring. It's been too hot and dry to plant them out any earlier.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 12, 2012
3:51 PM

Post #9239220

I think this cool weather is just a teaser. Just enough of it so that we get used to it, then...BAM!...high temps again. Well, at least we're supposed to have more rain tomorrow.
sherriseden
Des Plaines, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #9239372

Noooooooo! No more high temps! I'm moving to the North Pole . . .
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

August 13, 2012
7:05 AM

Post #9239835

I guess we'll just have to make the most of the lower temps this week and keep reminding ourselves that's it's mid-August - supposed to be hot. Light rain here and hoping for more. Are any other areas in upper midwest suffering high mold counts? It was reported last week in the Chicago area that readings were off the charts. Just curious.
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 17, 2012
4:11 PM

Post #9244981

Don't know about our area with the mold counts, but it was just GORGEOUS today! I'm am so loving these 70's temps. Supposedly down to 48 deg. tonight...YAY!!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

August 17, 2012
4:54 PM

Post #9245023

I'm rather hesitant to do any "real" gardening other than dispense worm tea or trim ugly stuff in case it gets hot and dry again. I want to feed my Astilbes for next year and move some plants around. Sigh... maybe I'll have to wait another month. But am liking the cool weather. Windows were open all day today.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2012
8:45 AM

Post #9270772

41F this morning here. But, long term forecast (30 day and 90 day) are still showing warmer than normal temps. I'm bringing all my Citrus trees today.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 10, 2012
2:32 PM

Post #9271158

At what temps do you normally bring in citrus trees? It's probably been a little warmer here at night than where you are. I'm growing an Improved Meyer Lemon for the first time this year and have it in a pot outdoors. I know (at least from reading) that it can take temps cooler than what we've had so far.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2012
4:22 PM

Post #9271274

Your IML might be able to take mid 30's or lower but why risk it? Keep an eye on the forecast and bring it in before you should. Remember summering outside is not normal, just a luxury. Given you have a nice place indoors for it, how much better will it be, more will it grow inside than outside at 40?
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 11, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9271799

If I may ask a question - when I purchased the IML back in the spring, it was in one of those tall and narrow pots, never grown in the ground. I did put it into a clay pot, size appropriate for its age. It has put on some new leaves, had a great flush of flowers a couple of months ago resulting in a new lemon. I'm assuming the plant spent a lot of energy on growing new roots this year. When would I need to move it up in pot size? I do keep an eye on the temps and it'll be easy to whisk it indoors since it's still small (about 3 1/2 ft including pot).
DH keeps insisting that fall is coming early based on the number of tree leaves fluttering to the ground. I'm of the opinion that those falling leaves are more a result of stress with the summer we've had.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2012
7:23 AM

Post #9271859

Yes, stress - dry weather can make leaves yellow and fall early. OOps, might be a pun - fall. If you are wondering about your plant, take it out of the pot and look it over. Won't hurt it at all. If the roots are starting to circle, getting crowded, time to repot. Can be a large debate here at Dave's about when to repot, do plants really need a larger pot, etc.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 11, 2012
1:21 PM

Post #9272140

I guess the debate about larger pots would involve root-pruning. Which forum is the best for questions on citrus trees?
Went for a 20-mile bike ride today and there is a smell of fall in the air but I think it's due to the stress-induced leaf fall since the trees haven't started turning yet here.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2012
2:11 PM

Post #9272183

When re-potting, I always root prune.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 11, 2012
5:01 PM

Post #9272401

Well the warm temperatures are on they way back here.I was looking for a ticket to Greenland earlier this summer only there is no camping or renting there.lol
I had an orange tree in high school I always heard 50 degrees for those and most house plants,was when to bring them in. Things have changed with the plants since then.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 12, 2012
7:43 AM

Post #9272985

I generally start bringing in the houseplants when nighttime temps start hovering in the 50's. I usually line them up for a good rinsing and drying before bringing them in.
I guess I've automatically thought that repotting meant moving the plants up to the next-sized pot. I may have to reconsider that practice and do some reading up on that.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 12, 2012
6:26 PM

Post #9273475

Please don't "blindly" repot to a larger size pot. Not often necessary. Re-potting can mean a little root pruning, pot cleaning, shaking all the old soil out and then re-potting using the same pot but with a new soil mix.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 15, 2012
5:28 PM

Post #9276201

I think I've been a little afraid of root pruning. I can do it with ease to spider plants and plectranthus and lemon grass but have shied away from it with other plants. I think my blue sky vine needs that as it wilts in the strong sun and the soil returns quickly to dry after watering. I'm guessing I'd want to wait until spring to do any of the root-pruning?

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 15, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #9276222

I WILL RE POT A TROPICAL PEACH HIBISCUS only as far root pruning and few things I have white willow cuttings and pussy willow (salix discolor) to practice from the beginning as far as root pruning
Those are about the easiest thing to get to root in any form, and they are great for practice. As some here are aware of I am not good with potted plants.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 16, 2012
11:20 AM

Post #9276695

juhur - It's great that you are not afraid to try growing in pots! It was a lousy year though with the heat and drought which made pot gardening a challenge. Beyond the drought, I wonder if the high temps didn't also raise the pot soil temps higher, further stressing the plants.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2012
12:12 PM

Post #9276743

As I look at each plant I am bringing inside, I see a lot of poor growth due to lack of water. My fault really.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 16, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9276865

gasrocks - Was looking up the root pruning thing today and I think that as I bring some plants in for the winter, they'll get a root pruning with some new soil so that they're ready to bounce back in the spring. If I wait until spring to do it, it might take a while for the plants to recover and not do well the first half of our short growing season. Have a bale and a half of ProMix and enough leaf compost to sift to mix in so I'm set for this next week.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2012
2:57 PM

Post #9276876

"...short growing season..." is a very relative term. Guess I need to Google where you are in IND but it seems to me you have a longer season than we do here. I remember reading about a place (part of Alaska??) where their growing seaosn was 40 days. Gulp. OK - 34 in the forecast. Everything but the Agaves and Cactus are indoors as of now.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 16, 2012
3:10 PM

Post #9276886

Seems to me a growing season like that would call for a cellar with a greenhouse cage, Yeeeesh!!!.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 16, 2012
8:26 PM

Post #9277288

My 16th T5 light fixture is on the way.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 17, 2012
6:55 AM

Post #9277606

Wow - that's a lot of light fixtures. Several of the big plants will come back into the house, a few into the heated garage where it's cooler than the house and some into the heated GH. Seems like I just took the insulation down in the GH and now getting ready to put it back up in a couple of weeks. Supposed to get chilly tonight - around 50. Hoping for more rain today as we didn't get much a few days ago and things are still pretty dry.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 17, 2012
3:48 PM

Post #9278124

OK, now the forecast for Tues night, tomorrow night is 30.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2012
3:52 PM

Post #9278130

Drizzle here today and brrr that's cold.!! Tues low is forecast for 40 degrees.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 18, 2012
6:35 AM

Post #9278662

30? Ouch! Saw that there are frost/freeze warnings up north. We missed out on the rain last night - only a short, light shower. As usual for this year, everything's dry again. Rain systems just do weird things when they hit Lake Michigan and the IL/IN border. Breezy, sunny and cool this morning so it'll be a fine afternoon to start working on moving pots.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 19, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9280240

28 this morning here.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 19, 2012
2:33 PM

Post #9280328

That's still to cold!!!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 19, 2012
4:30 PM

Post #9280433

gasrocks - guess that temp marks the end of outdoor gardening for you?
48 in the hobby GH last night. Got the nat gas heater fired up today to make sure everything is operating correctly. Saw that we're supposed to see 40 Sunday night. Got some big houseplants root-pruned and repotted yesterday and they got moved indoors. Moved some more stuff into the little GH today but have more to wash down and bring in tomorrow. Guess I might as well get some annual cuttings tomorrow as well. Did have to water the lawn today, mainly for the grass seed we sowed a month ago.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2012
6:21 AM

Post #9280894

Just for the record - I always found this interesting - the end of the growing season is offically over when one has 2 nights in a row of 28. More of a farmer thing than house plant relavant.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 20, 2012
6:50 AM

Post #9280928

I guess you have a point there. Today is all about finding room for two large Boston ferns and some spider plants. The ferns do get big and beautiful outdoors but start their gradual decline indoors when the heat comes on.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9280987

Sounds like your ferns need more humidity. I gave up on ferns years ago.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 20, 2012
11:58 AM

Post #9281245

We do set the furnace humidifier to between 30 and 40% and they do get a weekly misting but must not be enough for them. They do better in the little GH but not much room for them in there.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2012
1:07 PM

Post #9281283

I do not have a humidifier on the furnance - wish I did actually. But, I do keep the humidity indoors at 40-50%, just below what makes the windows sweat.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 20, 2012
1:39 PM

Post #9281322

As near as i can get to anything is dehumidifiers in summer I hate the 70 and 80 % humidity ,oh well maybe someday a greenhouse window or shelf.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2012
1:51 PM

Post #9281328

I buy and sell things on eBay. I even teach a class on that at UW-Madison. Once I sent a lens to Australia. They let me know it arrived and had questions about my packaging. It was sent in a humidifier box. They asked what do you want a humidifer for? They live almost in the tropics. And, I used empty egg cartons for packing. How do you get those? I had used empty 18 eggs cartons. Turns out they can only get 6 in a carton at most.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 20, 2012
2:05 PM

Post #9281337

My eldest parent used to work for a corporation that made paper egg cartons for shipping besides the real egg containers.
I'm a curious sort of person ,forgive if to personal what do you teach? I f it is to inquisitive disregard.
I have a top rated seller rating on e-bay but have not done much there lately, good site though.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 20, 2012
4:09 PM

Post #9281424

I teach mostly photogrpahy courses but also a few about computers, eBay, house plants, trees, solving cryptograms, etc. I'm gas_rocks at eBay.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 20, 2012
5:43 PM

Post #9281503

You will not find anything there from me right now (e-bay) only I am around there all the time. The obsessive browser I am .
Teaching sounds interesting about that,have had a few photo artists in this family.
Cryptograms sound like something we use to do with base numbers referring to a graph of letters that told what a lock or code to a lock was.These days more like passwords have long since taken the place of that,only for personal use if your password is in a public computer system you could always encrypt it I guess that would be kind of handy for that.
As for me I am a computer scrounger, blew one up recently over running the drivers playing graphics, Much like an old youngster I am lol.
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 21, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9282052

How interesting. DD is a photographer (had her own business) and DH is computer geek, getting ready to rebuild his computer (again).
Will have to lug in the heavy pots by tomorrow - blue sky vine, mandevilla, lemon grass, etc. Now we're forecasted to get into the upper 30's for a couple of nights. Hoping to get rain today to wash off the Boston ferns before bringing indoors. They hang under the overhang during the warm months and don't get rained on so they need a bath.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 23, 2012
2:40 PM

Post #9284175

I will bring the Begonia and peach hibiscus in again tonight, and I brought several seedlings in last night as well. Cooler the past couple of nights warmer weather later this week is a could be more blooms for a few weeks.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 24, 2012
4:00 PM

Post #9285283

Monday!!! Busy busy busy, Everything and anything!
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 24, 2012
4:28 PM

Post #9285305

Covered the two remaining tomato plants and cucumbers with a sheet last night and they did fine. There was a light frost on the roof of the house across the street but my big oaks tend to protect me from light frosts. Annuals survived just fine without a covering. Trees are starting to turn here. Seems too soon after our horrible summer.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 25, 2012
8:44 AM

Post #9285949

We've had a couple of 28s and a 26. I'm still getting my routine down pat for watering everything indoors. What bothers me is that there is not a single drop of rian in the forecast for at least the next 10 days. Gonna have to go out and water trees. Update - beautifull day outside. 80 and no wind. Watered all my trees. I feel better now.

This message was edited Sep 25, 2012 4:02 PM
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 26, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9286849

It's dry again here as well. There's rain south of us but all we got were a few sprinkles overnight. I'm still not organized indoors since I had to quickly make room to bring stuff in without giving some of them a bath outside first. Tomorrow is gardening day so hope to get a little more sorted out then.
Getting a few blooms on roses, obedient plants, Coreopsis and zinnias still going strong.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 26, 2012
4:52 PM

Post #9287255

Only the usual mums and sunflowers ,and couple of zinnia still blooming. Raining all day some yesterday and forecast all day rains tomorrow.
Warm so all will stay outside and plays a few more days.Me too!!!

Organized indoors? I remember when,lol
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 27, 2012
7:07 AM

Post #9287781

juhur - looks like your area is catching up on rain. Wish we would have gotten more of that as it passed through here. Will be watering again today. Not that it's going to improve the looks of anything at this stage of the season but hoping to help perennials, shrubs, etc get ready for winter, especially if it's going to be a dry one again.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6b)

September 27, 2012
10:31 AM

Post #9287991

It was raining this morning still and just quit a little after noon time, wow ,it has rained here more in three or four days than it has all summer. Gets in the way of working outdoors but I am not going to complain!!!,nooo way!! I will enjoy it to natures delight.
You sound like me earlier this year, need that rain.Did you see the 78 and 80 degree temps in the forecast for this time next week. Nice week coming according to that!
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2012
10:34 AM

Post #9287992

My opinion: probably the best overall weather of the year right now. Crisp mornings, 60-75 afternoons. Mosq. are not an issue. No need to mow if I so decide. Still looking forward ot some fall color, etc. I will ignore the no rain in the forecast bit.

This message was edited Sep 27, 2012 11:36 AM
CindyMzone5
Hobart, IN

September 28, 2012
7:08 AM

Post #9288720

We did have an 81 in the forecast but that's been lowered. OK with me. Have to dig up my plants surrounding my small patio this next week. Having big oak with lots of dead wood removed in a couple of weeks. Nerve-wracking since a lot of it hangs over the house and can't get heavy equipment to it. That poor climber is going to have his hands full. Hopefully the weather won't turn too cold since I'll need to pop plants back into the ground after the tree comes down.

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