Fall lawn and garden tips | Columnists

With the end of the vegetable gardening season coming to an end, clean your garden space before winter. If a frost is predicted, be sure to harvest all you can from your garden prior to the frost. After the plants are finished for the season, clean the plants out of […]

With the end of the vegetable gardening season coming to an end, clean your garden space before winter. If a frost is predicted, be sure to harvest all you can from your garden prior to the frost. After the plants are finished for the season, clean the plants out of the garden and either compost them or discard them. If these plants had any diseases this year, it is best to not compost them. Also take the time this fall to till your garden to prepare for next spring. Add mulch to the soil after tilling to prevent wind erosion through the winter. Organic mulches, such as grass clippings, make a good mulch to use for this because it can then be tilled back into the garden in the spring, adding organic matter to the soil.

It may seem odd that I am writing about a Christmas plant now, but if you were one of those who kept your poinsettia alive all year, Great Job! Also, now is the time to start the dark period for poinsettias to get them to rebloom.

Poinsettias will flower after being induced by a photoperiod. Starting at the end of September, place the poinsettia in a closet or cover it with a black cloth to keep it in total darkness from 5pm until 8am the next morning. Even the lights in our homes can interfere with the flowering cycle of this plant, so it needs to be completely dark around the plant. Once the flowers fully expand in mid-December, discontinue the dark period for the plant. Then, you can enjoy your poinsettia through the holiday season.

If you have any further questions please contact Nicole Stoner at (402)223-1384, [email protected], visit the Gage County Extension website at www.gage.unl.edu, or like my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NicoleStonerHorticulture and follow me on twitter @Nikki_Stoner

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