Gardening Tips

Preventing Deer, Rabbit & Rodent damage

Deer, rabbits, and rodents will begin to feed on foliage, twigs, and bark as their normal food sources become unattainable in the winter months. The foraging of these animals poses a great threat to the health and life of your trees, shrubs, and plants. Some simple solutions like trunk wrapping  keep your landscape safe from these critters and their appetites: • Plastic Tree Guards – Putting plastic tree guards around the bottom of your trees (especially young or newly planted trees) will keep rabbits and mice from feasting on them. If you live in areas which accumulate snow, the guards should be well above the snow line. Otherwise, your efforts will be in vain. • Chicken Wire Barriers – This is the best solution for rabbits. Erecting chicken wire fences/cages around your trees, shrubs, and plants will keep them out of harm’s way. • Deer and Pest Repellent Spray – Applying a repellant spray to the trunks, branches, and stems of your trees is a great option, especially if you have numerous trees on your property. Repellant sprays are easy to come by at nurseries and home supply stores that have a gardening department. • Trunk Wrapping for Deer Prevention – Deer love to rub their antlers on tree trunks. That said, if you live in an area where deer graze, it is a prudent idea to wrap your most vulnerable tree trunks. Take a look at the following video for a smart and inexpensive way to wrap your tree trunks. From Wisconsin Pollinators...

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Fall Mulching

Soil temperatures below 10°F can cause severe damage and kill the roots of most trees. While it may seem counter intuitive, moist soil is able to hold more heat than dry soil. In order to maximize root growth in the fall and minimize winter root injury, a 3- 6 inch layer of wood chips or organic mulch should be used around your trees, plants, and shrubs. From Wisconsin Pollinators...

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Fall Watering

Evergreens, newly planted trees and woody plants need to be watered frequently during the fall (especially during a dry fall season). During a deep freeze (when the ground freezes) roots can no longer absorb moisture from the soil and become dependent on what they’ve stored in the fall. The primary cause of winter damage to evergreens is from dehydration. Evergreens don’t lose their foliage in the winter and will continue to transpire. If they haven’t stored sufficient water, they may suffer burning or browning of the foliage. From Wisconsin Pollinators...

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Overwintering Annuals

Before they are frozen, some annuals can be brought indoors for the winter. Begonias, browalias, coleus, geraniums, and gerberas may be worth keeping over. If you have a place indoors with enough light, they can flower all winter and you can set them back in the garden in spring. To do this, lift whole plants, knock the soil from the roots and pot them in an artificial mix, or take cuttings. Geraniums can be lifted and stored upside down in brown paper bags until spring....

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Evergreens

Plant evergreens during August and September, giving them plenty of time to establish roots well before our upcoming winter....

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Pruning

Prune spring-flowering shrubs as soon as they are done blooming by early June so the plants have enough time to set flower buds for next spring....

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Hardening off

If you started seeds indoors or in a greenhouse, make sure to harden them off appropriately.  Place them in a shady location protected from wind and gradually move them into more direct sunlight over the course of a week or tow.  Cover or move the plants indoors if there is a danger of frost....

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Gladiolus

Plant gladiolus corms every two weeks starting mid-May through June.  This will expend the bloom time throughout the summer.  Plant full-size, healthy corms 4 inches deep and 9 inches apart and stake accordingly....

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Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

  • Cut off the bottom 1/2" of the stem at an angle so more of the stem can pull up water.  If possible, cut the stem under water.
  • In order to help keep cut flowers fresh for a longer period of time, add 1 Tblsp. of lemon juice and 1 Tblsp. of sugar to a container 2/3 filled with cool or tepid water.
  • Peonies last longer if the stems are split at the bottom with a sharp knife before they are placed in water.
  • Remove below the water foliage.  Any plant leaves and flowers you leave in the vase water will rot quickly, which will spread bacteria that will kill your flowers before their time.
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