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IN one of our other threads, Legit made a great suggestion. She thought we needed to get a list of all the things (things we would normally forget) we need to remember. Things like when we want to start our winter sowing, when we should start our IBLF (Indoor before last frost) sowing, the best time to take shrub cuttings, so forth and ecetera.
Legit's idea was to have our discussion in one thread and have one person volunteer to make up the "official" list thread and maintain it to reflect any new goodies that need to be added. That way when our "discussion" gets off topic (which *always* happens :-D) we are't interferring with the "good stuff".
So, whaddya say?
Got things *you* would like to see on a TO-DO reminder list?
Dare I say this...
Let's send a link to this thread to Legit in a D-Mail and sort of volunteer her to make up and maintain the "official" list thread. She seems like a good sport.
I must admit I stumbled upon this thread. I know I could use a check list because I am always forgetting something. Come to think of it, we've had pretty high winds here recently. Gusts in the 50mph range two days ago and again tonight. Wish I would have remembered to get all of my iris cut down before the high winds came. Nothing is uprooted which surprises me but some of my tall pitcher plants took a beating before I got out there in my bathrobe and slippers and herded them all together in corners and up against walls.
This seems like a great idea! My brain is like a sieve these days with me taking care of 4 kids, a new kitten, a garden and running our business.
I know I'd like to see "to do" items such as:
~ when to prune certain plants (ie, clematis, butterfly bush)
~maybe a reminder of when to add fertilizer (ie, Did you feed your plants today?)
~a weekly reminder to check compost bins (keep damp like sponge, give it a turn with a fork, etc...)
~bulb issues (ie, time to lift, divide, plant)
~time to wrap certain plants in burlap or time to mulch others
~a reminder for keeping tools clean ( I always forget to wash stuff, me bad)
I know there's more things that I'd like to see on a list but I forget just now what they are, lol.
I'll add more when I remember exactly what I wanted "to do".
OKay you guys, I 'm here!!! I should be long off to bed, I'll be a sleepyhead tomorrow, but what the heck!!! Looks like I'm not the only one burnin the midnight oil!!! EEEK I hope to hit the sack long before that!! Tell you what, I'll sort of start the month format, and see if I can get some help from Terry with the "sticky"!!
Talk about wind, holy cow, I ran my tiller from about 8:30 to about 1:30 today, edging my beds, ( that's where DH is allowed to drive with the lawn tractor wheel!!!), and I thought I was going to blow away, I had to come in to get a BEANIE for my head!!!
I have a huge ball of Morning Glory vines in my kitchen right now, because I took them down and planned to collect the ripe seeds later, but I thought if I didn't bring them in, I'd find them in Timbuctu!!!
I guess my DH really puts up with alot, all he said was, don't you think there's bugs in there?? I said, Oh, well, we have bugs in the house now anyway, ( still got Box Elder Bugs, if I was one of them, I'd want to be inside too!!)
OK Guys, does anyone winter sow in December, or do we just clean seeds for winter sowing and trade like the devil to get what we want??? Maybe mailorder some seeds??? I don't sow till after the Holidays are over, I'm still outside as long as there is not too much snow to keep me from moving things around!!!! LOL Ideas, here, and I'll post them. G'nite for now!! Legit
I plan to winter sow in the last week of December. Heck I may do some on xmas as a present to myself, lol. Prior to sowing, I'm going to get really organized (this is the plan anyway,lol) and make my lists, prepare the pots & mark them.
Legit...for me it all depends on how desperate I am to get my hands dirty! Last year I did mine from the beginning of January through to the first of March. And I'll probably be doing the same thing this year. I don't think it matters much as long we get the seeds outside that *need* to have the cold temps early enough. The rest of them tend to fall into the "As soon as the ground can be worked" catagory.
And Erynne has the right idea about using any 'spare' time to get those containers prepped, labeled and the list of "what and when" ready to get started.
I just love the WS season. I feel like, no matter what, I WIN!! :-D
Is this the kind of thing we're looking for (from marthastewart.com)?
Schedule the work over several weekends so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Start with a clean up: Cut down and remove the past season’s annuals and vegetables, and add them to the compost pile. Cut back faded or dead foliage on perennials after the first hard frost, and compost. Never compost diseased or pest-infested plants.
Rake up and compost fallen leaves on the lawn, and pull weeds before mowing for the last time.
Before the ground freezes, water evergreens (especially broad-leaved ones) deeply, and spray them with antidesiccants if they are planted in exposed, windy areas.
Cover containers that will remain outdoors to prevent them from filling with water, freezing, and cracking. Clean terra-cotta pots and concrete containers, and store them in the garage or potting shed to protect them from the elements.
After the ground freezes, mulch perennials, evergreens, and newly planted trees; if necessary, protect them with burlap screens to minimize heaving, desiccation, scalding from intense sun, and other winter damage.
Once the garden has been put to bed, bring in garden hoses, turn off taps, and take some time to tune-up tools before storing them for the season.
Quoting:To create an indispensable reference guide to your garden, staple seed packets to index cards and organize them in a recipe box. Staple only one edge of a packet, so you can flip it over to see instructions for growing. On the lined side, note when the seeds were sown, when they sprouted, and any other dates you might need for future seasons.
Oo Ooo OOOO...Jody! I Win!! I already *do* that last one. Started by organizing my seeds in a drawer style Index card box I bought at the office supply store. It worked extremely well. (I didn't think I was capable of an original idea. hehehe)
LOL...I doubt seriously that 'Martha' would want to get anywhere *near* me...much less think *I* had a good idea. Rotflol
Seriously, stapling the seed packets to the index card is good way to organize them. I did it last year for two reasons. I wanted to organize alphabetically until I could get all the info into my database, then after that was completed I sorted the seeds into groups for Winter Sowing and IBLF (Indoors Before Last Frost) ...I broke the IBLF into groups according to how many weeks before last frost they needed to be sown.
That system made it really easy to keep track of what needed to be done next.
This year, I'm planning to use the system again...but, thankfully, I won't have anywhere near the number of packets I had last season.
Get all holiday decorations up and wait for Santa,,,LOL
1. start going through seed catalogs and start planning what you want to plant in spring
2. start getting containers and seeds ready for Winter-sowing seeds. (Make Sure you have your handy dandy notebook attached to you for reference to containers and numbers)
Same here,,,I just watch my seed packets,,,most are 6-8 weeks before last frost,,,in my zone, last frost Usually isn't until the end of May,,,so indoor seed starting will be different months for each zone.
That will be a hard one to put on calander,,,unless everyone wants to post in with their last frost times and then we could work from there?
That's a good question...seed starting times *is* going to vary a couple weeks depending on the zones. So it isn't going be easy setting IBLF up on a calendar. UNLESS we put a an '*' for zone planting dates.
Do we want to be listing specific planting dates for specific varieties? ...or do we want to just make a notation in the calender such as:
March 15 - (Zn-4) Start 8 weeks IBLF seeds
April 1 - (Zn-4) Start 6 weeks IBLF seeds
I keep my seeds arranged in my storage containers by the number of weeks IBLF I'm supposed to start them. When it gets close to starting time, I write the dates on the packets and put them in larger envelopes so I know which ones need to be done next and how much time I have to get things ready.
I use the Tom Clothier Germination tables to find IBLF starting times as well as the special instructions (depth to plant, germ time, etc.) Here's a link to that web site: http://tomclothier.hort.net/
I used Tom's downloadable database as the skeleton for my own MS Access custom database. The T.C. site has been a tremendous source for the basic information for starting seeds.
Legit...I'll have to look up my notes on when I started my tomatoes IBLF last year...but I *do* know that I'll be starting my green peppers about a month earlier than last year...they were scrawny little things at planting time.
Are listing plants by name or type? Some seeds take a little longer to get to maturity than others.
Legit, my plan every year is to use steel wool/wire brush to get any rust (DH and DS like to leave tools out), get everything sharpened, and handles sanded and sealed. I'm really going to try to do it this year!
Jody...my dreams are that my DH will *do* that for me! LOL
Seriously, I'd love to have all those things done so my tools aren't so hard to use next spring. But so far it's just 'visions'. And Sugar Plums have about the same chance in my house...NONE! :-D
For anyone who wants to root cuttings of some of their easier-to-root conifers, take cuttings of Thuja and Chamaecyparis cultivars during the last week of the year (I usually do this on the 31st of December).
I used to take these cuttings during the last week of February or first part of March, but since I started taking these cuttings during the last week of the year I have a much higher percentage that root.
Most deciduous plants will probably root better if you take summer cuttings rather than dormant cuttings. I took dormant cuttings of my Dawn Redwood (a deciduous conifer) last winter and only one cutting rooted out of about a dozen - which isn't very good. When I take cuttings of the Dawn Redwood during the summer I get at least 90% to root. I have taken cuttings of many deciduous shrubs during the summer will fairly good results.
I'll see if I have any propagation sites saved in my favorites.
Here is a brief summary of how I take and start dormant conifer cuttings. I grow plants under fluorescent lights, so that is where I start my cuttings, too. Without fluorescent lights, success will be somewhat limited.
Take cuttings 3" to 6" long (depending on the cultivar), from the shaded side of the plant, if possible, using a sharp by-pass pruners. Cuttings taken from the shaded (North) side of the plant root better for some reason and anvil pruners just crush the stem, which doesn't really help the rooting of these plants.
I use a 50/50 mix of peat moss and perilite and I find that this mixture gives me the best results. I use plastic 9 oz Solo® low ball cups as my containers. I like the Solo® cups because they are clear and I can see when the cuttings have produced roots, without disturbing the cuttings.
Remove any foliage from the bottom 1 ˝" or 2" of the stem and dip the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone. Tap off any excess hormone and then poke a hole in the medium with a pencil or other tool and stick the cutting in the hole. Firm the medium around the cutting and repeat with the other cuttings. I put several cuttings per cup You don't want to push the cutting into the medium because that will just scrape the rooting hormone off of the cutting so it won't be there to help the plant to produce roots. After several cuttings have been put into the cup (approx. 6) I water the medium and then, holding the cuttings in place, tip the cup on its side to let any excess water run out of the cup.
I put a small amount of water into the bottom of an appropriately sized ziploc bag and then put the cuttings and cup in the bag. I blow some air into the bag to inflate the bag and to provide some CO2 to the cuttings. Don't put any drainage holes in the bottom of the cup since the cup will be standing in a small amount of water, in the bottom of the bag. This extra water helps keep the humidity up inside the bag and keeps the rooting medium in the cup from drying out too fast. Condensation will form on the inside of the bag and if there is no extra water in the bottom of the bag, all of that moisture will come from the medium in the cup. Even with the extra water in the bag, you will still need to monitor the moisture content of the rooting medium in the cup.
I place a label with the name of the plant and the date the cuttings were taken, in the cup, and then put the bag and cuttings under the fluorescent lights so the top of the bag/cuttings is 2" to 4" from the fluorescent tubes. I have the lights on a timer and the lights are on for approx. 12 hours a day. If you are trying to root cuttings in your windows, the time required to produce roots will be greatly increased due to the short days of winter. Under lights, it takes 8 to 12 weeks to produce roots.
After I see that the cuttings have rooted I open the bag slightly to allow fresh air into the bag and to harden the cuttings off and get them used to the lower humidity conditions outside of the ziploc bag. I sometimes hold the cuttings in the bag until I can put them outside, due to space limitations in the house. Or I might set up extra lights for the extra pots of cuttings that have been transplanted. Once the bag has been opened, carefully monitor the moisture content of the rooting medium so the cuttings don't dry out and die (this has happened to me and I lost many cuttings due to the "Sahara" arriving).
Be sure to take many more cuttings than you think you will need. Not all of the cuttings will root, so if you want to produce 12 plants I would take at least 18 or 24 cuttings, just to be on the safe side. If you have really good luck, you will just have more plants, which isn't bad at all. (:o)
I hope this helps.
(edited to add the remaining details)
Yes, thank you! I was just getting ready to take my passiflora cuttings out of the water I had them in, and put them in rooting powder, then in soil. These tips were VERY timely, especially the making the hole first. I used the other end of my wooden spoon. Perfect! :-)
erynne...that drop-down menu is terrific! It lists a lot of things I never would have thought to add to our To-Do list. Specifically in January, it mentioned checking the stored tubers of Cannas, dahlias, etc...and THAT is something I desperately need to be reminded of.
Thanks Julie and Jody. I'm so glad that the list is helpful to you! I kinda ran into it by accident today and immediately thought of our to-do list. I know they mention the zone 5-6 thing but alot of the info is rather generic and could apply to lower zones for sure.
It even mentioned somewhere on that site not to over clean your yard in autumn because bees over-winter in leaf litter. Apparently there was a marked decrease in bees this year. How sad for the little pollinators huh? Thank gosh that I'm a little lazy right now because there's ample leaf litter in my yard,lol.
erynne...I went back and printed off each month's list, which is nice to have. My problem with "printing things" is that I tend to lose them in the 'piles' of stuff I *tend* to collect. LOL So having our list here on the forum is one WONDERFUL idea! (Thanks again, Legit!)
(You can delete all the "Edited on" notes in the posts as you go along. The system will put in another one when you send the updated post after editing. Otherwise, we'll have a foot-long series of "Edited" messages.)
I really had to LOL @ your comment about not trading seeds too close to Christmas. :-D You mean because you'll have to clear the table off before mealtime, right? LOL
THANKS for doing this for us...I already know it's going to come in handy for me.
Hey, guys, thanks, I know I have some catching up to do again, but I'm babysitting most of this weekend, and with a 2 yr old, not much puter time for me! Thanks, Julie, I guess I didn't think that far!!!
Yes, and it's helped me already, I actually have all my seeds organized, ALREADY, and usually I have to hide them for Christmas!! Legit
Over the winter I work on my indoor gardening area.
I have a cat free room in the basement where my tender tropicals and my other cat-tasty plants live. This year I am adding two two-tube four foot fluorescent lights to the space to improve growing conditions.
I also repot my house plants in February, before the real spring growth kicks in, and I fertilize in March when the days have really lengthened.
I like to get outside ASAP. Around here, the ground usually unfreezes in March. At that time I go out and clean up the yard. I remove leaves and litter from around my foundation, and then I begin planning new plantings. I also cut back the end of season heads on the fountain and zebra grass.
I do a spring inspection of my tools, and check out my lawn mower. If it needs a tune-up, I get it in now before the spring rush.
I do my first weed and feed of the lawn in April, and then I like to dig new beds if I didn't dig them in the fall before the ground froze. I turn any existing beds, and work in any augmentation I might have missed the previous fall. Depending on the warmth of the month, from early to mid April I remove mulch from my tender perennials. I usually mow the first time in April.
In May I like to rush the growing season a bit (average date of last frost here is May 17th, my dad's birthday.) I start planting perennials, and I usually get annuals in a week or so before my dad's birthday. I'll also plant my musa sikkimensis back outside in its bed.
If I want any veggies I'll get them in now.
June is the month where I weed, feed, weed, feed, weed, feed, and weed. I'll trim my lilacs and my forsithia after they have bloomed.
In July I water, feed, water, feed, water, feed, and water some more.
August is a repeat of July.
In September the garden has started to look a bit long in the tooth. The past several years haven't seen a killing frost for us until mid October, so the things that don't look too bad I leave in place, the things that are just spent I either trim back, or remove (annuals.)
At the end of September I stop watering my little trachycarpus fortuneii, to put it in drought mode for overwintering. I'll also prune my crabapple trees (removing growth that may have gone awry over the summer. This is probably a no-no, but they never seem to suffer a spring deficit of blossoms see attached picture.)
In October, I like to dig new beds. I'll mix in leaves, mulched paper, etc. and let it all just sit and ferment over the winter. I'll plant bulbs and trim non-flowering trees. I'll trim my roses, and dig the remaining annuals. I'll work peat moss or manure into any of the empty beds that need it, and I'll dig and prepare my musa sikkimensis for storage a few days before the first killing frost. When the first killing frost turns my musa basjoo to mush I behead it, treat the stump with a copper-based fungicide, and mulch the roots with leaves, bark mulch, etc. about a foot deep. I sit a wire tomato cage around my trachy. After I have done my last mowing, I'll do a fall weed and feed of my lawn in late October.
In November or December I wrap the wire cage around my trachy with a frost proof cloth, and I take the cloth off when the temperature rises above thirty two degrees Fahrenheit, which is 60 to 70% of the days during winter.
Note, these are plans, they're not necessarily what really happens as life moves along. :)
I finished the details for rooting cuttings.
It varies, depending on variety of plant, as to when you would take deciduous cuttings. Some plants root better with soft-wood cuttings, some better with semi-hardwood and others, with hardwood cuttings.
If you are really interested in propagation, check Amazon.com for the book: "The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture" by Michael A. Dirr and Charles W. Heuser Jr. The ISBN # for the book is: 0-942375-00-9. This book runs about 35.00 and is worth every penny. This book explains the best time to take cuttings for approx. 1100 plants as well as any special requirements for starting the seed of these same plants. If you put the ISBN # into the search function of Amazon.com (with the dashes) you will find several used copies of this book available.
this is a good idea. yeah, like i need another list...LOL.
seriously, this should be of especial help to us newbies-to-cold-weather-gardening. since i really learned my gardening in northern california, i still tend to think like that, even after 6 years here. *sigh*
here's one for ya--
tonight i reminded my neighbor betty that we need to decide a date and time and run up the fliers for our annual 'garden party' in january--to sign up/allocate plots for the community garden come spring. this is really an excuse to meet any new neighbors and spend a whole evening eating desserts and obssessing about garden stuff. we all bring seeds, catalogs, our new and weird ideas...it's fun.
i plan to bring handouts and lots of books on composting--am hoping to get them educated and converted this year. i'm getting tired doing all the compost work out there...
plus i have my own gardens to think about...need more ferns from upcreek moved to the pondbank...any advice about how early i'll be able to start that?
also--what about shifting some wild rhodies? when can i do that here?
going outside now with a flashlight and my tall snowboots to think about future placements... LOLOLOLOL.
Quoting:Cut the tops of ornamental grasses back to the ground in Zones 5 and 6. (In Zones 2 through 4, postpone the job until early April.) To skip tedious raking, tie the tops of each plant together with twine before you cut, then by hand remove the bundled grasses.
I dmailed Legit and offered to help with updating the "To-Do" thread. She had Terry unlock the thread; now everyone can post there. If we do it that way, it will no longer be in month order. I would like to keep it in month order, and am willing to update the thread. What do you all want to do?
If you have the time to organize the thoughts, why don't you do that, and send me a D-mail for each month in the format you would like to see it. I can cut and paste them into the correct months on my posts. Think that will work??
I've been extremely busy, but I can find the time to cut and paste!! Legit
Link to new Month-by-Month Journal: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/646186/.Please don't post in the thread, if you have things to add post them in this thread and I will transfer them. This way everything will stay in month-by-month order.
Hi Jasmerr, when you are able to make changes, let us know when to prune trees and blooming shrubs. Several people have posted in here the times when they like to prune certain plants. Those are probably relevant to a "to do" calendar.
EXCELLENT IDEA AND FANTASTIC JOB, by the way. :)))
One thing I always do before winter is to make sure my maps of plants are updated. That way if the markers are moved I will know what is what in the spring. Also if I am redoing any beds I will have maps to go by during the winter - like my shade bed here.
That's one thing I have to do. Have 2 beds that I have pics of for reference,,,but will have to rely on the markers this next Spring for the other 2. I can pretty much go down the list and get it pretty close to where they all are, in which beds and where in each bed.
Thanks for the map,,,we'll know right where to go for what we want,,,LOL
Well, we had our killing frost so, the leaves went on the beds. Normally I like to wait a bit longer but Bill's patience wore out. I'm glad it lasted as long as it did. Usually there isn't a leaf in our yard, he's out there all the time mulching. He knows that I didn't loose anything last year (well, H. 'Little Caesar',,,he came up and then he ran away) and I'm pretty sure it was the leaves as mulch. Kept the soil warmer. Anyway, usually it's a major thing every Spring and Fall as to when the leaves go on and when they come off,,,he always jumps the gun. He's getting better though.