From Across the Field – Cold Weather Prep

Last week while the Buckeyes were ice cold against the Boilermakers, it also got pretty chilly here in Henry County as we had our first hard killing frost of the season. With colder temperatures here to stay for some time, there is a variety of chores that can be done in and around the garden and lawn. If you haven’t done so already, continue mulching; empty the rain gauge; bring in any houseplants; and drain any water hoses. It is also a good time to winterize hand or back pack sprayers and check the antifreeze in any motorized vehicles. In a couple of weeks, between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, is also a great time to fertilize your lawns as the grass builds a roots system, but more on that next week.

Even though lawns maybe done growing, it is time to consider what to do with the backbones of most fall gardens, in that of hybrid mums. They provide a display of color in gardens during the fall season. Mums come in a variety of colors as well as flower shapes and sizes. They can be used in beds and containers, growing best in full sun and well-drained soil. Once mums finish fall, leave them alone. However, don’t forget to continue to water them in order to help establish the root system. Remember, they are a living plant and even though the top looks dead, the roots continue to grow. Mulch the plants after the ground freezes and cut them back to the ground in the spring. Despite all the good care that they might receive in the fall, not all cultivars are reliably hardy for overwintering in our area. However, they do a great job of filling in holes in the fall garden.

If you have a chance, remove dead annual plants such as flowers and vegetables, even pulling up the roots then toss in a compost pile. Many diseases occur from last year’s plants carrying the disease and composting will kill the disease in the plants. One plant you want leave is asparagus. Let it stay until March, then remove before spears start to grow. It will also soon be time to prune roses and root cuttings and maybe mow the lawn for one last time.

Finally, now that we are in the last week of the month, it will soon be time to harvest horseradish. Most growth occurs in the late summer and early fall. Dig up the entire root, if some is missed, it will grow next year, but the quality will not be as good. Horseradish is best treated as an annual.

Lastly a Beef Industry Update meeting hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) will take place in Williams County. Beef producers from Williams and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Williams County Fairgrounds — 619 E. Main Street, Montpelier, OH 43543.

I’ll end this week with a quote for Thomas Edison who said, “Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.” Have a great week.

Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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