Fall Plans: Over wintering plants and enjoying fall

Fall is always busy and this season is no exception. I have the perennial gardens going in and more lay out to do for the gardening business. Its also cider pressing time which I have to admit is one of my favorite fall adventures. Top this off with the shrub clipping I am starting and fall clean up and I know why the days go so fast.

This week I am also getting the green house ready for winter use and one small greenhouse set up for my new clippings and plants that I am going to over winter. I plan on saving geraniums, begonias, potato vines, and mums. The one greenhouse I set up costs me about 50 dollars in materials. I also heat it using solar water heating, making use of mini climates and if the temperatures are really low one light bulb.

And since part of the greenhouse will be kept warm for the shrub cuttings I will start Rose of Sharon shrubs from seed. I did this one year and had remarkable success with these seedlings. I have the seeds a cold treatment in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, set up my soil and pots and then I used a heating pad to stimulate the seeds to start growing. The seeds germinated in less than a week and I had over a 90 percent germination rate.

One tip that has always helped me is to use willow water for any cuttings I start and when you water in a greenhouse in the winter you need to watch for soil problems. I have almost ended all soil diseases by these two simple steps.

  • Always bottom water or water from a tray placed below the plants. This keeps the soil drier and you have less of a chance to get soil mold or damp off.
  • Water once in a while using chamomile tea. Chamomile tea has natural disinfectant properties and will stop most soil born diseases.

It promises to be another beautiful fall day in NW PA so its time to get to work. Enjoy your yard and gardens!

Tags: apple cider pressing, fall projects, perennial garden layout, over wintering plants, greenhouses

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