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Last MG Training of 2016 and preparing for the cold

December 6, 2016
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The weather cleared up today and it was fairly mild this afternoon with clear sunny skies, but the forecast is showing all that is going to change drastically Thursday night.  Right now they are predicting lows between 21-23.  If you are growing winter vegetables you need to consider covering them.  Most of them will do fine until we get below 28.   All of the summer annuals that have been lingering and blooming will also be a thing of the past if it does get that cold.  penta-and-sage-nov-26-16 my-yard-nov-5-163I have roses with flowers and buds, but they too will get nipped. roses-dec6-16The recent rains should help protect the hardy trees and shrubs, with ample moisture inside the plants to serve as a buffer.   If you still have tropicals outside that you just plan to overwinter in a garage, they need to make the move tomorrow.

I picked the last of my eggplants today eggplants-dec-6-16and will cover my winter vegetables tomorrow.  chinese-cabbage-16 learning-fields-dec-16-1

They can be covered with row covers, a cardboard box or even an overturned pot.  Hopefully the cold won’t linger too long.

I did spend the day in Cleburne County today with the final MG training of 2016.  This training is composed of Cleburne, Searcy, Stone and Van Buren Counties.  They rotate each week where they train. The church today was in view of Sugarloaf Mountain.  sugarloaf-mtn-16-1 and had the brightest colors inside. It was a great location for a training session. mg-training-cleburne-16-1 mg-training-cleburne-16-3 mg-training-cleburne-16-4 mg-training-cleburne-16-5

Local Master Gardeners provided snacks and lunch and as always it was tasty and plentiful.

I got home with time to walk the yard and take inventory of what I have.  I have plenty of things still blooming and great fall color on itea itea-dec6-16and the blueberries. blueberries-16dec-2   I have a couple of Japanese maples and their color is diverse. One has multiple shades on the same tree. japanese-maple-dec-16-1 japanese-maple-dec-16-2 japanese-maple-dec-16-3

while the other is never outstandingly colored. japanese-maple-dec-16-4

I still have seed pods on the cleredendron cleredendron-dec6-16-1 cleredendron-dec6-16-2and the Manhattan euonymus. euonymus-berries-dec-16

When I got home I also had an early Christmas present. Clay ordered me a year of participation in the Urban Food Loop.  You save your food scraps in the kitchen container, and then transfer them to a larger plastic container which is picked up weekly.  It all goes to a local composting operation and then you can receive compost to add to the garden.  Sounds interesting and I can’ wait to start. the-urban-loop-dec-16-2 the-urban-loop-dec-16-3  I have had several friends talking about it, but saw it Saturday night and we got signed up.  I will keep you posted.

Take stock of your gardens tomorrow and protect what you need to.  This is our first taste of winter weather, and it looks like we have more in store next week.

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