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Green Thumb

By Arnold Krusemark 

Autumn will begin this week - or rather the Autumnal Equinox meaning 12 hours daylight and 12 darkness.  OK, the days are getting shorter. And somewhat cooler.

Our gardening and yard work continues - just as much time but different things to be done.

Last week we mentioned getting started on storing our produce for use during the winter.

Some items to be stored are obvious - what we grew. And also save some seeds for next year’s garden.

Last week we mentioned saving some squashes, pumpkins and related for Winter.

Many times when we ate a squash or pumpkin at lease some of the seeds would be saved for next year. Grandma was an expert at that. She saved every seed from every squash and pumpkin (we thought).

We also seemed to raise or buy several pumpkins for use.

Smaller pumpkins might find themselves in a table arrangement. One would become our Halloween Jack o’ Lantern and many pies would come from others. Carving the Jack o’ Lantern became a family affair many years.

And one person got the privilege of lighting the candle as long as the pumpkin lasted.

Back outside we still need the mowing done. Weeds need to be clipped mowed, or sawed off.

And, as mentioned last week, some fall planting needs to be planned and done.

Continuing our email from Gurneys - The following are some of the many kinds of plants that will benefit from fall planting:

 *Perennial* Fall can be the best time to plant all spring and early summer flowering perennials. Asparagus and rhubarb, while they are not perennials, can be planted in the fall.

 *Shrubs* Many of the shrubs we sell will do very well when planted in the fall, once again we caution you to be aware of your zone and not fall plant a shrub that could be borderline to your hardiness zone.

*Trees* As with shrubs, nearly all trees can be planted in the fall. Once again, hardiness zones are the key here.

 *Ground Covers* September is an ideal time to plant mixes and singly grasses containing any of the bluegrasses. However, warm season grasses, such as Zoysia, should not be sown until spring.

Deep rooted plants can easily handle fall planting, however, shallow-rooted kinds or those planted on windy, exposed slopes will do better when planted in the spring, especially if your winters are bitterly cold.

Here we would recommend putting mulch, straw or even some bales of straw on the ground over the just planted items. Straw bales can be removed easily come spring and what stays on the ground will become fertilizer anyhow.

(but not the whole bale!).

Otherwise continue your gardening and yard work.

And back inside the house be sure to water your house plants.

Until next week.