Wtih The Augusta Chroncile since Dec. 20, 1995 covering courts and legal issues. Now serving as part of the projects team that focuses on investigative reporting.
Posted November 5, 2009 05:47 pm

Just when you thought you were done

  You just thought you were done with gardening chores come

November. But there’s still work to be done and the neighbor’s

 oak trees have just started to lose their leaves.


 Weekend garden warriors need to grab their gloves and get busy.


   It’s first Friday and another list of chores from the Gnome. You

know who to thank _ Richmond County Extension Agent Sid

 Mullis who has provided Augusta area gardeners with the perfect

and free booklet “Gardening Calendar,” and a couple of books

I’ve purchased which always come in handy, “Month-By-Month

 Gardening in Georgia” and “Georgia Gardener’s Guide,” both by

Walter Reeves and Erica Glasener. 



  You can still plant those pansies and other winter bloomers.

Give them some fertilizer that is specially formulated for winter

bloomers. If you’re still planting later in the month, you will need

 to buy bigger plants to ensure they can make it through the

winter. I’m a six-pack kind of Gnome, but if there’s need for

 replacements by the end of the month, even I will pay more for

the larger plants.


   If you haven’t yet dug up your Caladiums do so soon. Leave

 them out to dry, shake off the loose dirt and store in a fairly warm

 location. Ditto that with your sweet potato vines.


   Plant spring bulbs and fertilize bulbs, too. I’m a little nervous

 about fertilizing my established daffodils considering the fact that

 most of them are already several inches tall, but you can fertilizer

established bulbs, too. (allegedly.) If anyone knows who has snow

 drops for sale, please shoot me an email. I’m in love with them

and must have some. 



  There’s still time to divide perennials. Don’t be afraid like I used

to be. It’s good for plants to have breathing room. I noticed a very

over-grown batch of coreopsis this past weekend that I thinned

out and added flowers to my new garden area. I added some

creeping phlox along the brick wall the other week in hope that

 one day we’ll have pink blooms spilling over the wall and

 looking incredible.


    Hopefully your winter garden is coming along nicely by now. I

 scored some winter Chinese cabbage and a couple of different

greens from Bedford Greenhouses the other weekend. I lost a

weekend of planting opportunity because of feeling poorly, but I

finally got everyone planted in the raised bed this past


   If you’re not going to do winter vegetables, clean out all weeds

and dead plants _ this will deny some bad bugs a place to make

camp over the winter. 



   It’s a good time to clean tools and pots. A solution of bleach

 and water mixed 1 to 10 will clean and disinfect. If you have

leftover potting soil in your pots, just add to your beds or garden




  Leave the lawn alone, unless you simply must mow again

because you’re that kind of grass-obsessed guy. It is a good way to

 chop up the dead leaves at the same time. No fertilizing unless

 you have over-seeded the law with cool season grass. But you

 can hit those annoying wild onions and other winter weeds with

an herbicide. 


   It is a great time to plant shrubs and trees. My better half is in

the midst of a Gnome inspired project to change the look of our

 back door. Since we moved in, two huge nandinas forests have

 crowded the back porch and encroached on a flower bed. I have a

chase tree, and two patio trees to take their place. I predict it will

 be fabulous, but the nandinas are proving extraordinary difficult.


   As I’ve said before, one woman’s weed is another’s flower. I

realize the former owners probably lovingly planted them. I’m

trying to honor that love by transplanting the smaller ones, but the

big ones are going to compost.   Don’t get me wrong, I do like

nandinas and have many in the surrounding landscape. I just don’t

want to feel like I’m hacking through jungle every time I come



   Oh, and just in case you thought I wouldn’t mention it, get the

 rake and get busy.