Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.
There's still time to plant fall bulbs - the ground doesn't really freeze until about Thanksgiving. Water them well and mulch after planting for great results in the spring.
If you are interested in hearing what's going on "horticulturally" in Wisconsin each week, the UW Extension holds a weekly meeting where the Master Gardeners discuss the calls they have received from people and also the experts report on what plant, animal, disease or insect trends are happening. They create both a podcast and a pdf transcript of the meetings.
The early Spring has done wonders for our lawns and I see most everyone in my neighborhood has already mowed at least once. We've applied crabgrass preventer and fertilizer a little earlier than usual (it should be done by the end of April in a "normal" year).
Winter in Wisconsin – of course we need to use salt to melt dangerous ice - but salting can be very damaging to many landscape plants and grasses, so please be careful with how much you salt your walks and driveways. Additionally, we can’t control how much salt is applied in the street that sprays up onto your yards. Here’s some good techniques (from the Steins Gardening Calendar) to help avoid plant damage:
Move over bunnies, my next enemy is the squirrel. These tree rats cause a lot of havoc in our yards, eating bird seed, digging up lawns, shorting out transformers, snipping off buds on trees and shrubs, and when populations are large they can also eat the bark on trees like rabbits do.
I look out my front window seething, watching well-fed bunnies happily hopping all around my yard. Don't let them fool you - even though they are fluffy and cute, they are pure evil under all that silky soft fur and innocent demeanor. Just ask Elmer Fudd and his friends – who have hunted and tracked their silly prey for over 70 years. Bugs Bunny is less interested in escape than in driving his pursuer insane and can be heard to say (with casual unconcern), “What’s Up, Doc?”. Well, bunnies, I will hunt you down, trap you all, and get rid of you – for the next 70 years if I have to! You have eaten your last tulip just as it opens up – sawing off the flower stem with a diagonal bite and leaving the flower petals to dry up on the lawn in the spring sun. To use your own catchphrase, "Of course you realize this means war!" This is not fun and games. You seriously have to go.