Batten Down The Hatches!

I believe that this phrase, ‘batten down the hatches’ must be a nautical term. A few weeks ago, we prepped for the rain storm that would come that night. Checking this and that. Making sure that all of our garden stuff would not blow away. My mind has been pondering garden structures and if they are strong enough for that old North wind. Of course, there are the usual end-of-season gardening chores. How can we really be ready for extreme winter weather? It sounds like the NOAA weather predictoons could go either way. It could be milder than usual or wilder than usual. We will have to wait and see.

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Greenhouses

Depending on the greenhouse that you have will determine how much you will need to do. It is advisable to keep doors and windows secured during windy weather. End windows can even be boarded over. Make sure the structure is secure so the greenhouse will not blow away. Removing the snowload is also wise. We place posts under the center ridge of our gambrel greenhouse to hold it up during storms. Doing just a few precautionary things can ensure that your greenhouse structure stands for years to come.

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Inside our greenhouse.

Temporary greenhouse structures need to be secured too. Make sure the plastic that you use is long enough for tie down. Plastic needs to be attached with wood and screws or with heavy objects. These can be hefty boards, logs or sand bags. Any openings will allow the wind inside and create a possible parachute effect, so do what you can to keep it tight.

Salad greens From the hoop!

Protecting Tender Plants

Most of the plants in a Maine garden have no trouble making it through a New England winter. Some plants on the other hand need special care to survive. Basil can be rooted for winter use by cutting and placing in water. Tender herbs such as rosemary need to be brought in. Potted geraniums can be brought inside and used the following year. Bulbs or tubers such as glads dahlias and begonias can be stored for future use.

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Bring in your rosemary!

Some plants are known as tender perennials. Butterfly bushes or buddleia can get through a few winters. Here in Maine zone 5, they can make it or not depending on the weather. One way to help such plants along is to mound the base with mulch or compost. This gives extra insulation to the base of the plant. Roses do well with this treatment too. In the spring, simply spread the compost around the base of the plant. I’m going to try this with a hardy hibiscus that I planted this summer. Burlaping tender shrubs can also be beneficial for new planting. Especially if they are near roadways or will be exposed to a heavy snow load. These are just a few ways to get your garden through harsh winter conditions.

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Current views in our area.

Storm cleanup has been a huge task in our area. Many lost power for as much as a week after the storm took so many trees. Thankfully, the trees that we lost were not near our house. Downed wires and trees were a common site on most side roads. Things are slowly getting cleaned up and back on track now.

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Beau’s latest adventure!

Working in the garden with Beau is always interesting. Last week he got stuck inside a tomato cage. Don’t ask me how he even got in it!  At least he let me help him out.

Thanks for checking in this week. Make sure you ‘batten down the hatches’ in your own yard! Now I’m leaving you with some words about the season. The part of fall before the snow flies!

A Change In The Weather 

The crisp morning brought a hard frost to the dry ground. A chilly shock to the system after so many warm days.

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Every blade of grass, every frozen flower and each evergreen branch was coated with sparkling frost. A dazzling kaleidoscope in the early morning sun.

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Bittersweet winds it’s way up the trees in the woods. The orange berries are bright against the grey bark.

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Frosty!

The lake was like a mirror with only a ripple from the loons gliding through the water. They call out as if to speak me. They are only talking to each other. The doves and chickadees work with renewed urgency now. I must hurry too…if I am to finish my work!

Hilary|Everlongardener

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