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Mid-South: December, 2014

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Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/2/2014, 9:02 am

Hi all!  Time for the Mid-South report of the month.

Weather - really strange!  Freezing at the beginning of last month.  Yesterday we were wearing shorts & flip-flops with 70 degree weather.  (At least at my house, lol.)

I am in the process of going thru various websites to see what kind of chores us Middies need to do during each month.  Does anyone have a favorite website they use?  Please share!

I found the For Dummies site this morning.  (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/monthbymonth-chores-for-southern-gardeners.html)  According to them, we should be doing & watching for the following:

Wild temperature swings can be deadly to dry plants. Prevent drought damage by watering before plants wilt. For warmer water that’s gentler on the plants, set timers for midday, lay your hose out in the sun, or capture rainwater in dark-colored containers before using the water to irrigate. Watch for caterpillars. Pile the mulch on transplanted annuals. Make excellent, free mulch from leaves chopped up into coin-sized pieces. Rake away fallen leaves, spent flowers, and frosted plants, including weeds. Compost this debris, adding kitchen waste and the first cutting of your overseeded rye lawn. Tidying up now can mean fewer weeds, pests, and diseases next season.

Here are some ideas from HD on edible gardening for right now:

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/category/ediblegardening/

and don't forget the flowers:

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/category/flowergardening/

and yards/landscaping:

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/category/yardlandscaping/


Clemson Univ put out a Master Gardener pdf back in 2009 that says we should be:



Secure all climbing and arbor plants to their supports to avoid whipping by winter winds, which can severely damage the plants.



Dig up dahlias and caladiums and others that need to have winter dormant storage. Store tubers in crates or cardboard boxes lined with ten to twelve sheets of newspaper and, starting with the storage medium (slightly dampened peat moss, sand, or sawdust/shavings) in the bottom, layer tubers and medium until the container is full. Never store in sealed plastic bags or plastic containers. Store in a cool, dry place with temperatures of 40-50oF. Too warm and tubers will shrivel; too cold and they will freeze or rot. Check tubers once a month throughout the winter.

Clean up leaves and other plant debris from all planting beds.

For cold protection of palm trees or other cold sensitive shrubs or trees, wrap the plant (trunk) in burlap to create a blanket and place leaves over the roots. Remove these in the spring.

Cut the tops off asparagus plants, and add a winter dressing of aged manure to the bed.

Cover strawberries with two inches of straw.

Lime the lawn, if needed, and give it a good raking to lift away accumulations of leaves and other debris. Keep the leaves for composting. Alternatively, you can just mow over them, turning them to a mulch which adds important nutrients back to the lawn.

Drain hoses and put them as well as above ground sprinklers and nozzles away so they don't freeze and burst.


Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage. This is also a good month to restock any tools that have seen better days.



Drain the fuel from your string trimmers and run the engine until the amount left in the carburetor is depleted (the engine will shut off). This will help prevent "gumming" in the carburetor and will make your first start next spring a much more pleasant job. This is a good idea for any small engine tool that will not be used over the winter.



Start feeding the birds and other small creatures that may not be able to find an adequate food supply over the winter.





Good ideas & suggestions all.



What are you doing in YOUR garden this month?
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AtlantaMarie

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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  yolos on 12/2/2014, 9:59 am

Thanks for that list.  I will have to review it this weekend to see how I stand.

I am in the composting mode this month.  Still have brassicas growing and some cover crops.  This warm weather may help them mature.  Since the earlier cold weather, my fall plants have not been growing at all.
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  Judy McConnell on 12/2/2014, 12:17 pm

Sounds like good suggestions for upper south as well
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/2/2014, 1:20 pm

"Secure all climbing and arbor plants to their supports to avoid whipping by winter winds, which can severely damage the plants"

I did not know this and I just planted a bunch of grape vines this year.  And there's lots of winter wind whipping going on here!  Thanks for the info.

CC
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/2/2014, 1:34 pm

Mike had me take down the luffa gourd vines (along w/ the rest of the beans).  He was afraid that the vines would get covered w/ ice and tear down the trellis net.  And we spent too much on that to lose it after one year!!
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/23/2014, 9:41 am

Tis 2 days before Christmas and all thru the land...

it's foggy & rainy.  And cold.

Did I mention it's cold & rainy?

I know I shouldn't whine, but I hate being cold.  Especially w/ rain and gloom.

But my rosemary is doing fine.  I think I shocked my rainbow chard yesterday when I moved it outside w/ the pansies.  I'm going to plant them in our front (old, repurposed) bird bath.

In other news - by the new year, Mike (DH) & I should be Hunter Ed Instructors for the state of GA.  Woo-hoo!  Our Dept of Nat'l Resources guy was in yesterday to go thru everything with us.

I hope everyone is safe & warm this season.  Be careful of the traffic.  Stay calm & patient with others (especially drivers) who aren't.
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AtlantaMarie

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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  yolos on 12/23/2014, 2:30 pm

Where's the sun.  This is the type of weather I associate with the PNW not Ga.

congrats on your Hunter Ed Instructor cert.
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/24/2014, 8:42 am

Thank you, ma'am!  We're quite excited!

Still raining here, but the "warm" front moved upwards....  so it's not QUITE as cold as yesterday morning.

The chard seems to be handling the transition to outside well, thank goodness.
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  Windmere on 12/26/2014, 4:26 pm

Love the posts.  Congrats on certifications Marie!
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/27/2014, 9:40 am

Thanks, guys 'n gals!

Hope y'all had a great Christmas!
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

Post  sanderson on 12/27/2014, 3:21 pm

Late congrats to Marie.
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Re: Mid-South: December, 2014

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