Several weeks ago, as I went into town for a Master Gardener event, I observed garbage being picked up along the roadsides. A few days later the MDOT crews were bush hogging the right of way. Everything looked so beautiful as we traveled along the roads observing the fall foliage.
Fast forward just a few weeks. There are again take-out containers, and snack and beverage containers everywhere in Lowndes County. It just looks so ugly!
Have pride. Keep a plastic bag in your vehicle and put your trash in it to dispose of properly when you get home.
Mississippi spends well over $ 3 million a year on litter pickup. Special thanks to a local church in the New Hope community that regularly picks up the garbage along the well-traveled roads in our area. Many groups do service projects that increase your property value. Do your part. Don’t be a litterbug!
Your November gardening list is much shorter and a bit slower pace than many months. Continue to prune the dead limbs. Evergreen shrubs can also be shaped up in the next few days. The greenery could be used in your upcoming holiday decorations. It will also add that wonderful scent to your home.
Remember, many types of birds enjoy the red berries on your holly bush. You may need to cut your Christmas branch a bit early. Do not prune your spring flowering shrubs. The buds are already forming on your azaleas, hydrangeas, spirea and flowering quince.
Trim back the yellowing foliage or brown tops of your perennials. Just leave the roots in the soil. After your chrysanthemums have stopped blooming, plant and trim the foliage almost to the ground. Many varieties of mums will return next fall. Mulch.
Your tulip bulbs should still be chilling in the refrigerator. I saw a wide variety of colors and sizes. There’s no longer just the old red variety, Daddy’s favorite! Research on planting time varies. Mid-December usually works in the Golden Triangle. Depending on the variety you are growing, planting depth and hole size will vary.
Try to dig holes to a depth of three to four times the width of the bulb. I found several different tools to help dig the holes. There is a handheld bulb planter that works like a post-hole digger, and I also found an auger bit for a hand drill.
Add some compost, worm castings and bulb nutrients into the hole and mix well.
Gently, push the bulb into the prepared hole. Cover with the remaining soil mix and water to help the mix settle around the bulb. Apply a light mulch over the bed or container to insulate the soil. Hopefully, the mulch will also help keep the squirrels from digging up your bulbs.
Space the bulbs about 2-inches apart in a cluster or row. Some of the modern tulip cultivars are reported to bloom for a few years.
Watch your outdoor containers. They can easily become waterlogged. Placing bricks under them will aid in preventing drainage issues. I spotted some cute pot feet that can also be used to elevate your containers.
Watch your houseplants. They are often a bit shocked by our household heat. Mist them often. Sitting the potted plant in a pebble-filled tray of water will ensure adequate humidity.
Share the joys of gardening with your loved ones as you gather this Thanksgiving season!
Former elementary teacher and avid gardener Olivia Sansing lives in the New Hope community and shares timely tips on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.
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