Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fall Leaves Still on Trees?

The maple's at it again.  Rather than toss her fiery crimson leaves to the ground after the final frost, the Japanese maple has clung stubbornly to withered brown leaves  through this brutal, snowy winter.

The maple in the front fared about  the same, as did the neighbor's pair of flowering pears. 

I found that reassuring. It's unlikely varied and mature trees would suffer simultaneous disease.

Spring's yet to sprung, but it appears that the shaggy trees are the result of an early cold winter.

In southeast Michigan, the "first widespread frost event" of 2017 was reported on October 26th.  The Old Farmer's Almanac calculated the probable date as October 30th, using 1981 to 2010  average "Climate Normals."

Usually the decrease in daylight along with a gradual freeze allows a tree to begin the gradual process of discoloration coupled with the tightening of the ring at the base.. of each leaf.  The tree, in her own deliberate way, schluffs off her leaves each fall.

In the fall of 2017  the frost was early and hard,
and many trees simply retired ahead of schedule --becoming dormant before the job was completely done.  What's left are muddy looking leaves.

Not to worry.  In the spring, new leaf buds will finish the job, and toss last year's to the ground.

And you thought you were done with fall clean-up?

Grab the rake!

still hanging on:


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fallproof Spring Bulbs

The only difficulty is finding the time.  Fall garden work carries less of an urgency than spring and summer.  Colorful leaves obscure all defects and the neglected home interior needs some attention before the holidays. 

Still, an hour in the yard can yield so much beauty in the spring.  Break away at half-time. You'll thank yourself in the spring.


Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocus and grape hyacinth should be planted in the fall or early winter--so long as a spade can pierce the ground.

Bulbs need at least six weeks of winter freeze in order to bloom.

Tools needed:
  • Bucket for sorting the bulbs--toss out any mushy corms.
  • Rake
  • Large shovel or spade.
  • Baby or foot powder (to deter squirrels--they hate the taste, but who wouldn't?)

There are only a few steps:
  1. Clear the area with a rake.
  2. Dig a trench to the recommended depth (typically six inches)
  3. Plant the bulbs in double lines, closely together, pointed side upward.
  4. Dust with powder (to avoid rodent snacking)
  5. Cover with soil.
Then head back into the house for a warm cuppa tea or chocolate.

LIGHT BULBS:

Planting Bulbs ~~ Pay it Forward

Chinese Garlic Mustard ~~ Winter Weeds and Good Deeds