Saturday, May 25, 2024

MY GARDEN PATH: Adios amigos

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| October 2, 2022 1:00 AM

Believe it or not, another month has arrived! This summer sure flew by, hot days and all. Hopefully, you managed to grow things regardless.

If only one frost is predicted, don't panic and pick all those green tomatoes and peppers. Sometimes we will get two or three more weeks of warm weather which will do wonders for the ripening process. Instead, cut back on the water and chop through some of the roots. Those steps will send a signal to the plant to get busy with the ripening.

If your lawn is infested with crane fly larva, a good product to spray it with is called Bee Safe. Some of the garden club members have had good luck with it.

Still got those spring bulbs sitting on the shelf? You are running out of time to get them planted so don't put it off much longer. Spring will be here before you know it!

Once the weather does turn nasty, you can always itch those farmer fingers by re-potting houseplants. Keep in mind that a lot of them do their best growing in the winter. South and west windows usually give the best results for those that bloom. Some of our local greenhouses feature an area dedicated to houseplants.

Now is a good time to cut back those raspberry canes. If the cane is brown, cut it to the ground. It produced berries this year, but won't again. Green canes should be trimmed to about 4 feet tall. These will have the berries next summer.

If you haven't fertilized your lawn yet, go ahead and do it as it will get your grass off to a good start in the spring.

For bulbs that aren't winter hardy here, you will need to dig them and store them inside over winter. This applies to gladiolas and dahlias. For the glads, just dig each bulb and lay where the attached soil will dry and mostly come off. Then bag them into something that has holes for airflow and bring them into a frost-free area for the winter.

To overwinter your dahlias, first you'll need to wait for a week after the first frost. That kills the tops. Then dig them up and shake off the soil. Keep over winter indoors where they won't be subject to any chilly temps. Plant them into pots early next spring so they'll have a head start before being moved outdoors. They need extra time before they'll start to bloom.

The fall asters are putting out lots of blooms now. Nothing like those faithful old perennials. If you want to save over some of those pretty coleus, cut off a stalk or two of each variety and plop them into water to root. Pot them and find a nice sunny window for them to spend the winter.

Don't get gung-ho about tree trimming now. Remember the old adage, “Don't trim when leaves are falling or just opening.” Any other time is fine.

Besides flower bulbs, now is the time to plant another type. You either love it or hate it. I'm talking about garlic.

See you in the spring!

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Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 14 years.


Elaine Cerny