Plants to Propagate in Winter

Winter is officially here! If you're reading this post you are probably thinking what I can do in the garden in winter? Well if you're a fan of plant propagation you should try some winter plant propagation! What plants you can propagate and at what time of the year largely depends on the type of wood you select for the cuttings. At this time of year we are looking at hardwood cuttings which can be taken from a number of different types of plants. Below is a list of a few plants to propagate in winter. Plants to Propagate in Winter Arborvitae Caryopteris Crape Myrtle Dogwood (Cornus) Forsythia Fruit Trees (Peaches, Plums, and many others) Grape Vines Roses Russian Sage (Perennial/sub-shrub) Viburnum Willow Yew This list is not extensive! In general try hardwood cuttings from deciduous plants in the winter. My thought is if you are intending to prune something,…

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Fall and Winter Gardening

So many of us gardeners tend to think of one thing when it comes to the vegetable garden - tomatoes! I know I do, although in recent years I've become very partial to peppers. The garden doesn't have to just be about those summer vegetables. In many areas you can continue to garden well into the winter months. Here in Tennessee we are fortunate to have a relatively mild winter that allows us to grow cool season crops deep into the fall and early winter without having to take special precautions. Gardeners can extend the season throughout the winter by adding protective measures. However long you have where you are it is important to give your crops enough time to grow. This often means you have to start your plants when it doesn't feel natural to be growing them. Cool season greens in August and September? That's what it takes.…

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Making a Hoop House for Winter Vegetable Growing

Many gardeners take the winter season off from gardening. They work hard from early spring through late far then take a little break but you don't have to stop growing vegetables in your garden just because the weather has changed. One way to continue growing vegetables in cold weather is to construct a hoop house. A hoop house is simply an unheated greenhouse type structure that will help keep the temperatures several degrees warmer. In areas with mild winters a hoop house can allow you to continue growing all the way through the winter. Hoop houses can be made of many different types of materials. In this post you will see one way to put together an economical, small hoop house for your garden. (The materials for this project were furnished by Lowe's as a part of the Creative Bloggers Network!) How to Make a Hoop House for Winter Vegetable…

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Making Gardening Plans

I do a lot of thinking. Too much probably but I have ideas and they have to work themselves out in my head or in the garden one way or another!  The gardening "off-season" is when I plan.  It's when I take those thoughts in my head and entertain them before discarding the impractical ones.  You know, like the idea of encompassing our whole 1.3 acre yard (house included) in a giant greenhouse to garden in year round.  That probably won't work out...but other plans will. The first thing I usually plan out is my over the winter garden purchases, mostly notably choosing the seeds I want to grow.  I use seeds to grow all my vegetables and herbs but also to grow my business.  Winter is also a great time to purchase bareroot trees and shrubs.  I'm considering some fruit trees that might be different from what we can…

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The Warm Weather Needs to Chill

I like warm weather, don't get me wrong. I like the warm spring sunshine that bathes everything in light and encourages the flowers to grow. I like the summer days - when it isn't above 90 degrees and 65% humidity - I'm not picky. I love the warm fall days where the sun trickles through the falling leaves. I even like the warm winter days, but we need a change in the air to bring us some cooler temperatures.   The warm weather isn't giving the plants the necessary hours before spring to chill out. Dandelion It's also not going to kill off enough of the insect population - which means we'll probably end up with a bad mosquito, tick, and chigger season next spring. Not to mention squash bugs, squash vine borers and other vegetable garden pests.  I've seen cherry trees flowering - months early.  If the sap begins to…

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A Frosty December Morning

Over the last couple weeks the weather has been much warmer than it should be, but now we're getting back to a much more normal December weather pattern.  There was even the mention of snow in the forecast for next week.  We'll see.  I won't count my chickens but a little snow would make a nice scenery change!  For now though we'll have to enjoy watching the ice crystals form on the vegetation.  Here's a few pictures from this morning's heavy frost. The blueberry plants that still have leaves are well frosted! Catmint with frosted white leaf edges. Even the grass looks cool - well of course it does - it's frost it has to be cool! Shadows on the frosted grass.  There's the blue shed!  There frost and shadows here too.  Yes it's December, it should be thyme for frost! Is it cold where you are yet?

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It’s December, Do You Know What That Means?

Today is December 1st, 2011.  The first day of the last month of the year, do you know what that means? Mockingbird on a Frosty Morning Only 137 days left until our last frost date here in Middle Tennessee!!!  WOOHOO! OK, I sound completely ridiculous here but think about all the stuff that has to get done before that planting date over the winter.  Seed catalogs need drooled over, new plant introductions need perused, seeds for planting in the garden need selected, garden beds need prepared, weeds need weeded, seeds need planted, mulch needs put out, plants need transplanted, hardwood cuttings need to be taken, and there are many, many more things I could list. Here are few things for the Winter Garden To-Do List: Finish moving plants around.  I have a red twig dogwood in a bad spot that needs a new home and several other plants that really…

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