Please mark you calendars for May 6, 2018 for Ferndale Day.

butterfly

Tip of the Month:

August

  • Gather herbs for drying as they mature. Pinch the stems of basil regularly to prevent flowering. Harvest about once a week.

September

  • Fall gardens are brimming with color and the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn from lush greens to brilliant hues of red, yellow and orange in preparation for the cold winter ahead.

    • Make sure your soil drainage is adequate. Fall gardens are more often damaged by too much moisture than frost.

October

  • By mid-October, or if frost is predicted, pick all tomatoes, whether they are ripe or not.

    • Refrigerate or freeze ripe tomatoes. Wrap green tomatoes or hang the entire plants (with unpicked fruit) upside down. Alternatively these can be stored in a brown paper bag in a cool dark area.

November

  • Protect your roses during the cold winter months. Place bark mulch around the base so that the first part of the stem (nearest the ground) is completely covered.

    • Consider MAKING your Christmas gifts this year. If you get started now you'll be ahead of the game next month.

    • Here is a great garden gift idea! Use a soap recipe to make your own herbal soaps and cut out flower shapes once soap is hard. Fill a flower pot with assorted bath products then put the soap flowers on barbeque skewers and decorate with imitation leaves. Place them into the pot and adorn with a holiday bow.

December

  • Store amaryllis bulbs for a minimum of 6 weeks then plant them 8 weeks before you would like them to bloom. Do not store them in your refrigerator with apples, this will sterilize the bulbs.

    • Keep your seasonal plants out of reach from children. Poinsettia, holly and mistletoe berries aren't poisonous, but can cause stomach irritation when ingested. One common plant that is VERY TOXIC is the Jerusalem cherry. Both the fruit and leaves are extremely toxic and should be kept well out of the reach of young hands.

January

  • Plant your garlic now. Poke 4 inch deep holes in the ground with the end of a rake and drop the Garlic clove into the hole.

    • Place Poinsettias in a sunny window in a cooler area of the house now. Reduce watering and begin feeding it again in spring.

    • Use kitty litter or sand to melt ice on your walkways instead of salt. When the ice melts, the salt runs off and can burn the roots of neighboring plants and shrubs causing problems when they begin growing in spring.

February

  • Place a heating mat under your seed trays and begin planting your seeds indoors now. Keeping the soil warm will assist with faster germination and plants will develop a stronger root system.

    • Start Hoeing or pulling weeds now to avoid a rush later. Pulling weeds is easier while the ground is wet but be careful not to compact and damage your soil. Place a board along the area in which you are working to walk along while weeding.

    • Start feeding your houseplants again once they begin to show signs of new growth.

March

  • It's time to hang up your hummingbird feeders. Feed hummingbirds a solution of one cup of sugar to 3 or 4 cups of water. Make sure to boil the water first so the sugar dissolves.

    • Now is a great time to transplant houseplants to a new pot. If your plants have been in the same pot for several years it's a good idea to give them fresh soil and a clean home.

April

  • Water new plantings and blooming shrubs (such as azaleas & rhododendron) regularly. Don't forget to water plants under overhangs
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    • To keep your Easter lilies blooming longer; place them in indirect sunlight in a cool room. When the flowers open up, pinch off the yellow anthers. Once your blooms have faded and all danger of frost has passed, remove the lily from its pot and plant it in a sunny spot in the garden. Easter Lilies like lots of water and good drainage. Be sure to mulch the roots of the
    plants over winter and remove the mulch again in spring. You'll enjoy your Easter Lilies for years to come.

    • The best way to control pests in your garden is to plant resistant varieties. Garlic and pepper sprays, row covers and wood ashes are other effective natural methods for guarding your garden against unwanted visitors.

May

  • Remember to rotate vegetable crops to help control pests, disease and keep the soil in good condition.

    • For better blooms next year, resist the temptation to cut back your daffodils until they have almost completely died back.

    • If you aren't planning on making wine from your dandelions this year, why not EAT them? They contain more vitamin A than carrots and twice as much spinach.

    • Purchase annuals without flowers so that you can enjoy the blooms longer. Choose shorter bushy plants because the larger ones are more established already and may not transplant as well.

    • A dark green color is generally a good indicator of a strong healthy plant. (Make sure that they are not light colored or yellowing. Nor should they have brown patches).

    • When planting your annuals if you loosen up the roots a bit before planting it will stimulate stronger growth.
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