Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AN EVENT!!!!!!!

All ya'll out in the blogosphere should be there!! In real life!

Food Not Bombs!!!

8-10 pm in MG 2001

Also, feel free to stop by the table in MC from 12-4.  It'll be sweet.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Meeting Minutez 10-14-10

  • John Messina (jjm860) came to talk to us 
    • the Bike Co-op will have a new shed with a green roof 
    • need people next year to water as needed and fertilize 3x/year
    • more info to come
  • Frank Vorhees
    • Kirksville Juvenile Center might like to start a garden this spring
    • We could help get started, do some workshops
    • Get other service groups involved
  • Money
    • as usual we talked about money and funding 
    • Caroline talked to John Nolan
      • some fundraising projects are available
  • T-Shirts
    • Probably can start printing sometime after midterm break
    • Picked a design 
  • No meeting next week because of break
  • Some changes will occur after break

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Straw's Guide to Sheet Mulching

Found another great resource for us! Rob of OneStraw.wordpress.com writes informative essays and guides to all things related to sustainable food production. Here's a link to his description of sheet mulching, complete with pictures of each step...


(This article was written by Missouri Horticulture Specialist Jennifer Schutter of the MU Extension Office in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue of Ag Beat)

Putting the garden to bed each fall not only marks the end of the growing season but also presents an opportunity to get a head start on the next season.
Start with a clean up. Cut down and remove the past season’s annuals and vegetables, and if not diseased or insect infested, add them to the compost pile. Cut back faded or dead foliage on perennials after the first hard frost, and compost, unless they add color to your garden in winter. I leave my coneflowers and black-eyed susans for winter interest and for the birds.  You should leave the dead foliage on chrysanthemums. Research has proven that mums not cut back over-winter better than those that were cut. You should apply a layer of mulch around your perennials. Apply a two to four inch layer of mulch on top of perennial, shrub and bulb beds. It will protect the beds from weeds and the elements and hold in moisture. You can use chopped-up leaves from your lawn or other loose materials like pine needles, wood chips, chunk bark or coarse gravel for the perennials and shrubs. Don’t put down un-shredded leaves or other matter that compact easily because it will mat down and suffocate the plants. Cover bulb beds with evergreen boughs.
Modern, bush-type roses (hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandifloras) require protection during the winter months. Exposure to low temperatures and rapid temperature changes can severely injure and often kill unprotected roses.  Hilling or mounding soil around the base of each plant is an excellent way to protect bush- type roses. Mound the soil 10 to 12 inches high around the base of the canes. Place additional material, such as straw or leaves, over the mound of soil. A small amount of soil placed over the straw or leaves should hold these materials in place. Prepare modern roses for winter after plants have been hardened by several nights of temperatures in the low to mid-twenties.
Strawberries are also susceptible to winter injury. Temperatures below +20 F may kill flower buds and damage the roots and crowns of unprotected plants. Repeated freezing and thawing of the soil through the winter months can heave unprotected plants out of the soil and also cause considerable damage.  The application of mulch in the fall is the best way to protect strawberries. Excellent mulching materials include clean, weed-free straw and chopped cornstalks. Leaves are not a good mulch for strawberries. Leaves tend to mat together and do not provide adequate protection. Apply 3 to 5 inches of mulch over the plants. Allow the strawberry plants to harden or acclimate to the cool fall temperatures before mulching the bed. 
Rake up and compost fallen leaves on the lawn. Before the ground freezes, water evergreens, especially broad-leaved ones deeply, and spray them with anti-desiccants if they are planted in exposed, windy areas. If necessary, protect them with burlap screens to minimize heaving, desiccation, scalding from intense sun, and other winter damage.
Wrap trees, especially recently planted trees or sensitive varieties like Honey Locust or Japanese Maple. Wrap in burlap from the base of the trunk to the second or third branch, allowing some overlap to allow water to escape, then secure at the crown. If your evergreens brown over the winter, it’s because the wind has sucked out their moisture. You have two options to protect your trees: a chemical anti-desiccant spray or windshields. Windshields are easy to erect: simply place wooden stakes in the ground and wrap burlap around them.
During the winter months, rabbits often gnaw on the bark of many woody plants. Heavy browsing can result in the complete girdling of small trees and small branches clipped off at snow level. Apple, pear, crabapple, and serviceberry are frequent targets of rabbits. Small trees with smooth, thin bark are the most vulnerable. The best way to prevent rabbit damage to young trees is to place a cylinder of hardware cloth (1/4 inch mesh wire fencing) around the tree trunk. The hardware cloth cylinder should stand about 1 to 2 inches from the tree trunk and 20 inches above the ground. The bottom 2 to 3 inches should be buried beneath the soil. Small shrubs, roses, and raspberries can be protected with chicken wire fencing.
Cover containers that will remain outdoors to prevent them from filling with water, freezing, and cracking. Clean terra-cotta pots and concrete containers, and store them in the garage or potting shed to protect them from the elements. Drain your water hose and bring it in so it doesn’t freeze. Clean and store tools, ceramic pots and birdbaths. Putting them away before the harsh weather starts will prolong the life of these garden essentials.
Water gardens cannot be ignored as winter approaches. If the pool is fairly small, the best method of winterizing it is to remove plants and drain the water. If it is a larger water garden, leaves that settle to the bottom of the pool should be removed along with any other substantial debris that has accumulated. Debris in excess of 2 inches allows the development of toxic gasses during the winter that create problems for plants and fish.  As long as the roots of hardy water lilies and other plants do not freeze, they should survive the winter well. Any pots containing plants that are elevated in the pond should have the supports under the pots removed so the containers sit on the bottom of the pool during the winter. Tropical water lilies must be taken indoors and kept constantly moist, or over-wintered in clean water placed in a well-lighted spot. Some will not over-winter well without greenhouse conditions. Tropical water lilies are best treated as annuals, and replaced every summer.
Fish that have been bred for pond use can also survive the winter well, as long as the water does not totally freeze. Their body functions are reduced considerably, and they will not require feeding. If something happens so that the water surface freezes over, the maximum time fish can survive is about 2 weeks.
Taking these steps to care for your garden over the winter helps ensure that you will enjoy a beautiful garden in the spring.