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The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







In This Issue

-=Issue Cover=-


Fleas No More!
By Gert Slabach

Freshwater Shrimp Harvest
(Local "Seafood" in Southside)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Make getting a Christmas tree an event)

Daylight Foolish Time
(End the Madness)



Editor's Page
(Scary Bridges)

Southside Gardener
(Monthly Tips & "To Do List")
By William H. McCaleb

South Winds
(Bats in My Belfry)

Ask Bubba - Advice



Festivals & Events

Nov - Dec Events

Christmas Parades

Farm & Ag Info

Farmers Markets Listing (FMs in or near SSVA)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Tree Sales & Farms)

Press Releases

Southside Master Gardeners
(Class of 2010)


Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.


Southside Gardener

This month's To Do List for the Gardener

 Contributed By William H. McCaleb

 Master Gardener Coordinator
 Virginia Cooperative Extension


"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth"
~Thomas Jefferson


Late Fall To-do list


   Plant tulips now through December. Tulips should be planted 6 inches deep. The hole should be dug 2 inches deeper than required. Put 1 inch of sand in the bottom. Add mixture of half sand and half peat moss plus a pinch of ground limestone. Tightsqueeze DoIt Best Ad - Click for more information Tulips like a neutral pH soil, thus the lime. Next sprinkle some “bulb booster” fertilizer in the hole. Plant the bulb and replace the soil and water. Bulbs properly planted will rebloom for 3-4 years. After 3-4 years you will need to dig them up and separate, replanting in the fall using the above method. You should have about 4X the number of bulbs.

   If you haven’t planted all you lily bulbs by now, it is not too late to finish getting them in the ground. Be sure to water them well and apply mulch to prevent winter heaving.

   Plant deciduous trees and shrubs after they have gone dormant. Be sure to water containerized plants waiting to be planted, so their root systems don’t dry out.

   Lilacs may still be planted this month. Add wood ashes and bone meal to the soil mixture in the hole. They should bloom well in the first spring in the ground if planted now.

   If you are planning to plant a live Christmas tree after the holidays, plan ahead and determine where the tree will go and dig the hole now and fill with leaves.



   Boxwood requires little or no pruning except when a branch outgrows the general habit of the plant or to restore overgrown plants. Thinning is a type of pruning that can reduce the size of the shrub.
Did you know...?

There are actually several different kinds of frost. Here�s a look at some common varieties.

 � Rime Frost
Rime frost looks like sugar sprinkled onto the edges of leaves and flower petals. It occurs whenever damp winds are coupled with extremely low temperatures. The word �rime� means �crust.�

 � Hoar Frost
Hoar frost is frost that resembles spiky hairs. This type of frost gets its name from the word �hoar,� which means �ancient,� because it resembles an old man�s bushy, white beard. I happens when water vapor freezes instantly after coming into contact with a very cold surface.

 � Fern Frost
Fern frost is a kind of frost that appears on windows when there is very cold air on one side and moist air on the other. This causes tiny water droplets to form on the cold glass and freeze into patterns that resemble leaves or ferns.

SOURCE: Farmers' Almanac

November or December is the best time to do this as long as the temperature is above freezing. This is most important for English boxwood as the interior leaf shoots die without adequate light or air circulation. Do this late November. This will give you some beautiful foliage for use in Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

   After frost, cut perennial stems back 2-4 inches from the ground making them easier to find in spring. Dispose of stems, do not compost.

   Limit pruning of early spring blooming shrubs such as azaleas, forsythia, and camellias, as well as spring blooming trees to the removal of awkward, damaged, or diseased branches. Major pruning of these shrubs should be done in the spring after they bloom.



   A late fall application of 10-6-4 to boxwood will promote root growth and provide best results. Because boxwood is shallow-rooted, surface application is best. Broadcast fertilizer over well mulched plants at the drip line.

   Feed deciduous trees and shrubs after they are fully dormant. Remember, roots grow during the dormant season.

   Fertilize wisteria after the leaves have fallen. Never fertilize during the spring and summer. This will cause more growth and less bloom. Always plant wisteria in full sun.


   Apply a 2-4 inch mulch to the garden after the ground freezes. Good mulch materials are rotted sawdust, straw, pine needles and ground-up oak leaves.

   As the leaves fall, they create an ample supply of organic mulch for the garden. Decomposing foliage nourishes your plants. First use a fan rake to gently remove fallen leaves among your evergreen shrubs. Then rake your lawn, or gather them up with the bagging attachment on your lawn mower. Add the chopped leaves to your flowerbeds. The extra layer insulates roots, retains moisture, enriches the soil, and will slow weed growth next spring.


   Water broadleaf evergreens thoroughly before the ground freezes. Berry Hill Irrigation Ad

   For best results with your Christmas poinsettia keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water with 20-20-20 and let the plant drain in the sink for several minutes before returning it to its saucer. Watering solution should be warm. Plants should be placed in indirect light away from drafts and heat registers.



   Turn off garden faucets. Drain hoses after disconnecting them from the spigot.

   Cut the lawn for the last time about 2 inches high.

   Leaves should be removed from the lawn before winter. They will smother the lawn unless removed. Magnolia and beech leaves should be left under the tree since they create their own fertilizer.

   You can share perennials now. Dig up and divide summer phlox, irises, hostas, and daylilies. When lifted, some will fall apart easily, while other may need to be coaxed. Set divided plants back into the soil at the original growth depth, water well, and mulch. Give the extras as presents to family and friends.



 Ripening Green Tomatoes Indoors

   Arrange end-of-season green tomatoes in a single layer in a cardboard box, cover with several sheets of newspaper, and place in a dark pantry shelf or even under the bed. Some people include a banana or apple peels to raise the level of ethylene gas (the gas produced by fruit that hastens ripening).


“Exercise for free – Grow A Garden This Year”


   If you have questions about your landscape plants, you can also call the Extension Office and ask to speak to a Master Gardener or the Horticulture Technician.




William H. McCaleb
Program Assistant, ANR
Master Gardener Coordinator
Virginia Cooperative Extension
171 S. Main Street
P.O. Box 757
Halifax, VA 24558-0757
fax: 434-476-7777






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