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Gardening News: ‘Putting the Garden to Bed’ workshop Oct. 17

October 10, 2012

Staff Report

OREGON, Ill. — “What you do in your garden this fall can greatly affect your harvest next year,” says University of Illinois Horticulture Educator Candice Miller. To learn more, plan to attend the workshop “Putting the Garden to Bed” from 5 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Extension office in the Farm Bureau building on Pines Road in Oregon, Ill.

Many garden tasks are best completed in the fall. Fall is an excellent time to till compost, manure or other organic materials into your garden to improve the soil. You should also clean up any leftover weeds, as they can harbor diseases and insects. You might also consider starting a compost pile with all the leaves and garden debris you collect. These are just a few of the fall gardening activities that will be beneficial to your garden.

Miller will discuss fall gardening activities such as planting for a winter harvest, proper sanitation, and pest control methods to prepare for next season.

Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator Ellen Phillips will discuss various cover crops that can be planted and techniques for extending the growing season.

This workshop is packed with tips that will set you up for success in next year’s vegetable garden, as well as in the home landscape.

Cost for the program is $5. Pre-registration is required. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, call in advance.

Call the Ogle County Extension Office at (815) 732-2191 by Oct. 15 to register or register online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/. You may also post any gardening questions you may have on the University of Illinois Extension Horticulture-Northwest Illinois Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/northwestillinoishorticulture.

From the Oct. 10-16, 2012, issue

One Comment

  1. John sutton

    October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Almost any spot in the garden is suitable for this purpose, but we are apt to prefer the spots where we can let nature take its course, and such spots can be found in every garden.

    For example under trees and shrubs or if you have a large garden, unplanted open space. Rock gardens, too are extremely suitable for a number of bulbous plants. But wherever you are going to create your own piece of nature, it should be a spot which you aviod as much as possible with rake, hoe or lawn mower. If nettles or Bishop’s weed are a nuisance, it is best to remove the young plants, root and all.

    How to plant. You will get the most beautiful display by planting a rather large surface of variety. Too many small groups tend to create an untidy effect. The planting hole should be as deep as indicated on the label of the pack of bulbs.

    If you are planting small bulbs ( snowdrops, crocuses, etc ) just scatter them in the planting hole and cover with soil. Larger bulbs such as narcissi should be planted one by one with their noses pointed upwards.

    As far as snowdrops and crocuses are concerned, these will also create a very pleasing effect in the lawn just like narcissi. Plant these bulbs in small clumps for the prettiest display. Just lift a piece of turf with a spade scatter the bulbs narcissi somewhat deeper than the smaller bulbs and replace the turf.

    Leave the bulbs undisturbed, do not lift them and do not remove the spent flowers. Nature does its work far better than we do. In spring and summer the leaves and stems will die down and the bulbs will be dormant which means that in those spots we should not use a trowel to plant annuals. If you did, you could injure the bulbs.

    Do not mow the lawn before the leaves of the bulbs have died down just mow around the clump.

    If you follow the above advice you will enjoy your naturalized bulbs for many years to come. They will multiply in a natural way and will in the long run form a dence carpet full of flowers

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