This is the last post for Proctor’s Apprentices this year. Usually we go through the end of December. We’re not sure if we’ll do our annual decorating for Thanksgiving at Samaritan House this year either. Stay tuned as I may post some what to do this month posts between now and when we start up again. It was a great group of apprentices this year and we learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
Even though we reached -14 degrees last week it’s still not too late to do some last minute work in the garden. We were surprised with the very cold temperatures so early this year. The ground isn’t frozen and we’ll have 50 degree temps again but time is running out so it’s definitely time to put the beds to bed.
Pull out all old vegetables and toss them in your compost pile. Don’t trim perennials. Some have great seed heads that give interest to the garden and as the plants compose during the winter it will enrich your soil. They are also beneficial to the animals. Birds can still eat the seeds and use the plants as defense against the cold weather. Don’t rake up leaves and throw them in a landfill. If they are in the garden just leave them or lightly turn them into the soil. The will decompose and give nutrients to the soil. If you have leaves in the yard you can run over them with a mulcher and leave them. They’ll work their way into the soil. If the leaves are more than a couple of inches thick on the grass you might want to spread them out or rake some up and put them in the garden or compost.
Clean out your pots. Pull the annual plants that will die and empty your pots of soil. You can save your soil and mix it with some fresh next year so you don’t have to buy all new soil. If you have huge heavy ceramic pots, throw a garbage bag over the top or anything that will keep the snow out. They should be ok to stay outside if they can’t fill with snow and freeze. When pots fill with snow and freeze it’s the inability to expand that cracks them. If possible, turn them upside down and cover the hole with a heavy saucer or something that won’t blow away. If you have room and they are small you can put them in your garage, basement or shed.
It’s now time to concentrate on your house plants. It’s time for holiday poinsettias, Christmas cactus, paperwhites (remember they come in a non-fragrant variety), and amaryllis.
Thanks for reading my apprentice blog. Watch 9News for the next time you can apply to be an apprentice. It will probably be some time in late January or early February.
Check out the last apprentice segment for this year.