Gardeners, it’s almost impossible not to see the gradual change from summer to fall. Not that our gardening season is over, but we are definitely closer to the end of this year’s garden.
Before we get ourselves all depressed, let’s look at this as the perfect chance to evaluate what we’ve planted this year, what we didn’t plant but wish we would have, and what we would change for next year. Take a stroll through your garden and make some mental notes about what you would do differently; you’ll be all ready for next year!
In chatting with other gardeners, one of the things that seems very easy to some and a great mystery to others is how to winter geraniums. It seems that everyone has their own best way to do this: those who do it successfully say there’s nothing to it.
The first method is to simply bring your pot of geraniums into the house in the fall. Cut them back to about one third their original size, put them in a sunny window, and water them only occasionally, when the soil is very dry. (Another variation of this method is to take them downstairs into a cool area of your basement, and let them rest there until mid-winter, then start watering them and bringing them into the light). I was assured that they are not pretty during this period unless you are lucky to have grow lights; but as long as they are alive, they will start to look better when they get adequate light.
Method number two: take cuttings in the fall. Cut off three to four inch pieces of the geranium, and plant in a small pot with lighter soil. Water well, then cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a mini-greenhouse. Then you can put these pots in a bright location, and your geraniums should be rooted in about six to eight weeks. Then you can transplant your new babies and start looking forward to spring.
Method number three is this: in the fall, gently dig out your geraniums, shake all the soil off the roots, and put the roots in a paper bag. Put this bag in your basement in a cool, dry spot. Once a month, take your geraniums out and soak the roots in water for a couple hours, then put them back in the bag again. As spring approaches, remove the geraniums, prune them back, remove the dead leaves, and then pot them up and set them in a bright location, treating them as any other houseplant.
I know that many of you gardeners have had the same beautiful geraniums for years; they are truly lovely plants that you enjoy season after season!
Local gardeners are invited to sell their produce at the Gardener’s Market, a new venture from the Assiniboine Food Security Alliance. The market will be Saturdays from 10 a.m. till noon outside the Prairie Harvest CLC, corner of Melrose and Simpson street. Everyone is welcome; for more information call Warren Crossman at (306) 782-3249.
Gardeners, the first meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be on Thursday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN on North Street; our special guests will be Joan Wilson and Paula Maier speaking about native plants. Hope you can join us!
I’ve read a prediction that we will have a long, warm fall this year: let’s hope they are right, because the weather has been glorious! Have a great week, and be sure to wear a hat!