Inside they come

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Hobart, IN

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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.

Hobart, IN

:) - 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.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

Here is my hot papaya coneflower blooming today

Thumbnail by philljm
Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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
Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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?

Hobart, IN

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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!

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Hobart, IN

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.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

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.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Wasn't it WIBU?

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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!

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

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.

Hobart, IN

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Laughing, does the beer help, hinder, or just taste good?

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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!

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Glad to hear you stopped 2 habits a while ago. Now, if only more of us were so smart........

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

28 this morning here.

Hobart, IN

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.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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
Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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!

Hobart, IN

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.

Middleton, WI(Zone 4b)

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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)

Hobart, IN

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 ( 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.

Hustisford, WI(Zone 5a)

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

Hobart, IN

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.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

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!!

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.

Hobart, IN

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.

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