‘Hardy’ mums? Here’s how to help them survive

Originally posted in the Dayton Daily News.

Have you noticed that “hardy” mums aren’t necessarily hardy and don’t come back in the spring? I have had many gardeners complain about planting mums in the fall only to have them die.

I have two answers for you. One, just consider them annuals and enjoy their fall color and plant them every year in late summer. The other answer takes a bit of work, but you are more likely to be successful.

Proper care of decorative mums leads to successful overwintering. CONTRIBUTED

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Planting Garlic

Late Fall is a great time to plant winter hardy garlic. The cloves will produce roots before going dormant. You may notice that your garlic will start growing little green shoots before winter. This is normal and your garlic will be fine throughout the winter.

Deciding what variety of garlic to grow can be overwhelming. First determine if you would like to grow a hard neck, soft neck or elephant garlic. The Ohio State University Extension has a fact sheet with more information on picking the right variety for you. Here is the fact sheet: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-1627

Burpee also has a video with easy to follow directions for planting.

What to Do with a Monster Zucchini!

August 13, 2020 by sharigallup

If you are out and about at farmers markets this summer, don’t be afraid of the monster zucchini! Finding fresh and unique food for a bargain is always exciting.  This weekend at the market I found a zucchini the size of Texas for .50 cents!  I hesitated to buy it because I was taught that they “aren’t as tender and have more seeds.” But I wanted to find out for myself if this were true, plus I was really curious how many dishes I could make from one large zucchini.

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Planting Trees Correctly

Yes, there are right and wrong ways to plant a tree.  By following correct planting practices, you can ensure trees will avoid a slow decline and possible death from several causes. This is especially important for trees, which can be a large, long-lasting, and worthwhile landscape investment.

Choose the right tree for the right site, not just a tree you like.  This means that it will be cold hardy in your area.  It also means that it will be adaptable to your soils and site.  A sugar maple near pavement and buildings may dry out with leaves turning brown, or show salt injury if near roads.  A pine tree will grow poorly on a heavy clay soil.

Consider trees for their function.  Perhaps it is just the beauty of a spring crabapple in bloom, and the fall fruits it produces for birds.  Native trees provide the thousands of insects that birds feed upon.  Picking fresh fruits from your trees provides incredible taste and nutrition, plus saves money over buying them.  Of course, trees can be used for windbreaks and summer shade.

Choose a healthy tree.  This is one that has a good amount of roots in proportion to the tops.  Beware of trees that have been recently dug from the wild with little or no preparation prior to digging.  Often you get what you pay for.  Obviously check for signs of leaf injury from pests or diseases or trunk damage from mishandling.  Local nurseries with trained professionals are your best bet usually for buying healthy and appropriate trees.

Beware of trees sold in many large national chain stores.  These usually have been grown in distant areas, and may not be acclimated to our area.  I have found ones at such stores with few roots, the pots containing stones to hold the plants upright.  If in doubt, gently pull the plant out of the pot and look at the roots.  If non-existent, too few roots, too small pot and root size for the plant top, or the plant is pot-bound, keep looking. Continue reading