Gardener's Grapevine 2011.11.02

Written by David Green.

Halloween is over and the next thing coming at us is the holiday season. Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season. It’s such a fun time of year with all the preparations and goodwill.

Soon we will be going into our cold snaps. This past week we had our first killing frost and the darn stuff got my basil plants before I could get that final harvest! Oh well, we have a lot of pesto in the freezer…but it’s so yummy, the more the merrier.

Now, since we’ve had a killing frost is the time to really clean up. I also clear out the old raspberry canes so they have room for the new shoots in the spring. My dad cleaned up all the leaves in the yard and an hour later the wind made it snow leaves again. If we let them go they move on down the street, but that doesn’t make us very good neighbors, so we clean them up. Something to think about is putting up Christmas lights. While we still have some warm days its a good time to get them in place, so when it’s closer to Christmas you can turn them on and not freeze.

David Green e-mailed me an interesting article from Michigan State University that talked about powdery mildew. It is now becoming a problem with impatiens. Powdery mildew is not new to gardeners, it has been causing problems for years with other plants. It loves to overtake the tall phlox and can cause quite a mess. It makes the plants look awful, like someone dumped baby powder all over the plant.  

You should pull your impatiens and turn them over. If you see something like baby powder on the underside of the leaves throw the plants in the trash. Do not put them on the compost pile as the mildew will spread and when the compost is spread in the spring you will be infecting all your plants with it.

It would be advisable to get rid of the soil they were in also, dig down a few inches and dispose of it. Once powdery mildew is on your property it is difficult to get rid of, so start as soon as you find it. I plant very few annuals and even fewer impatiens but it did surprise me to hear that the mildew now likes them also. Impatiens grow best in shade to part shade and that is normally a moist environment so it makes perfect sense.

After the first hard frost it’s time to think about pruning trees. The sap has slowed for winter and it is not as hard on the tree as when it is in full production. A good pair of loppers and a telescoping saw work great. Barrett’s Garden Center’s tree expert told me that fruit trees should be pruned in late November when we’ve had a few good hard frosts and should be pruned so the tops are flat to make for easy picking. I have five fruit trees and am grateful we do not have an orchard. It can be mighty cold out there in November.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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