October 30, 2013
TIME SENSITIVE! Container class, party and spruce tip service
Just past Halloween, kids, and it's time to rock right into the HOLIDAYS.
Yes, a time of dread for some, joy for others. No matter how you slice it, it rushes at us like a train. Two different perspectives:
I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.
- Fred Rogers
A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
- George Bernard Shaw
I like them both. This newsletter will be proof of both the craziness and the joy, because it is jam-packed with activites, but don't despair -- it's all well in advance of Thanksgiving!
LOTS of quick news, (and some garden tips to round things out), starting with our TWO Winter Container Workshops. Sign up now, both classes will take place Sunday, November 10.
The skinny: Make your annual winter container with us! We'll show you how to choose and cut greens and arrange them for a smashing display on your front stoop, balcony, deck or other outdoor location. $45 gets you the class and a container that will last through a Minnesota winter.
Sunday, Nov. 10
Subject line: Winter Container LF or Winter Container NE
CHECK IT: We'll have one in Longfellow early in the day and another in NE later in the day, so sign up for the right one!
Then right after that, on Wednesday, Nov 13 from 5pm-9pm, there will be a super incredibly fun Customer Appreciation Event in Longfellow. Stop in after work for an adult or all ages beverage, high quality snacks, a drawing where e v e r y o n e is a winner and, of course, 10% off everything, including never before seen gifts and holiday decor. (Oops, not exactly everything: consignment items don't ever get to be on sale.)
If DIY isn't your gig, we also always offer a late autumn Spruce Tip Service, whereby we come to you and make your windowbox or outdoor container all winter beautiful and you don't have to do anything but pay. Email us before the soil freezes solid!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line Spruce Tip for information about styles and prices.
Now into the garden!
Ok, it got super cold in October, but it is not too late if you haven't quite gotten all those chores done. I would like to just weigh in with a quick word of support for chores, especially in the fall. Chores have the nice effect of giving one a feeling that I imagine a squirrel must have - like you got things tidied and stashed and buttoned-up for the long cold time ahead. It's also good exercise, and makes you warmer, if you dress appropriately.
If you only had one or two days to get things wrapped up, these should be on the list:
- Get rid of dead or diseased things and throw them away (not in your personal compost). This means tomatoes with blight, powdery mildew on your monarda, any other blotchy, suspect, or buggy items.
- Clear out and put away (or overturn and cover) all ceramic or not winter hardy pots, statues and structures. This would include furniture.
- Rake the leaves (ideally mow them to shred them first) into the garden beds. They make lovely compost. Keep the rest in bags to add to your compost over the year. Put some hay on the veggie patch.
- I know it seems crazy, but I would haul out some chicken wire, dig some good holes and plant bulbs. You will thank yourself out loud next spring. Garlic, too.
- Continue to water for a few weeks, then turn off and clear out the hose.
- If you have young trees or critter problems, put some hardware cloth around the trunk to protect from chewing.
Extra credit would be to get your birdfeeders cleaned out, and any heated birdbaths nice and spruced up for when the birds are looking for something other than the beautiful seed heads on the plants you decided to leave up for fall and winter interest. Watch the birds this winter - where do they go for protection? Are there shrubs, like coralberry, or vines like honeysuckle that your yard could use for both beauty and habitat?
After you come in for a cup of tea, start considering what containers you want to use for your indoor bulbs like amaryllis and paperwhites. If you start them now, you will have holiday blooms. This is incredibly satisfying, especially if you are only allowed to pretend to be in the tropics this winter. If you haven't tried forcing bulbs before, ask us how; it's easier than you might think!
And last, the snow will fall soon, and we'd like to share some snow and salt information from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization:
Water pollution from salt (or chlorides) is widespread in the Twin Cities and the vast majority comes from de-icers used in winter maintenance. As little as a single teaspoon of salt pollutes five gallons of water, the equivalent of a 50 lb. bag of salt polluting 10,000 gallons of water. Salt becomes invisible shortly after it is applied because it dissolves and becomes difficult and costly to remove. This is significant because prevention is the only feasible way to protect our clean water. Watch MWMO's 15 minute video for more information.
(it is utilitarian and slightly boring, but good info!)
At Mother Earth Gardens, we sell a "salt shaker" that measures out the appropriate amount of salt for the area. You leave the salt in the shaker so it's available when you are rushing out in the morning and realize you have an icy stoop. We also sell traction grit which has no salt. This stuff is do-able without compromising safety and we have an amazing river and lake system that we need to be vigilant about.
Hope to see you all soon - channel your inner squirrel!