Sunday, October 28, 2007

Diggin' out the Dahlias

Dahlia Tubers
After a week or so of pretty cold nights and one or two hard freezes, I finally dug out the Dinner Plate Dahlias from their pots. A couple of them were nearly root bound, but you wouldn't know it from all the blooming they did. Now I have to work on drying them out a bit, then storing them for the winter. I am very excited for next gardening season since I now have an area to plant them...finally got the future garden tilled and weeded! Below are the instructions from Dutch Garden's site where I purchased the Dahlias from on how to winter them in our zone. We'll see how many survive my care through the winter.

"Summer & Fall Care
Fertilize dahlias monthly with a water-soluble, organic fertilizer that's formulated for flowers. Avoid using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you'll get lots of green growth with little flowering. Mulch with straw or shredded bark to keep weeds to a minimum and retain moisture. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Cut blossoms for indoor flower arrangements and remove old blossoms to encourage more branching and flower production.

In fall, after the first frost has blackened the foliage, cut off all but 2 to 4 inches of top growth, and carefully dig tubers without damaging them. Allow tubers to dry for a few days in a frost-free location, out of direct sunlight. Once dried, remove any excess soil, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem. Store each clump of tubers upside down in a ventilated box or basket. Fill the box with slightly moistened sand, peat moss or vermiculite and place it in a cool, dry location with temperatures that remain between 45 and 55 degrees F. Check tubers periodically through winter for rotting and drying out. If the tubers appear shriveled, mist them lightly with water. If any start to rot, trim the rotted portion of the clump so it won't spread. The tubers are fragile, so be careful when handling them."

Monday, October 22, 2007


We had our first official big freeze last night/this morning. When I got up around 6 AM today the thermometer was registering 25 degrees outside! There was a thick layer of frost on the windshields of our neighbors' cars. I noticed too that my tomatoes had been blown over by the wind yesterday and their bottoms were exposed to the elements. I think they may be done for. I'm too sad to look!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

1st Snow of Fall 2007

We've got snow! It's not accumulating much, but you can see it on the rooftops. Our Thermometer reads 35 degrees F. Burrrrrrrrr!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gettin' Ready For The Big Freeze

Today is supposed to be beautiful and in the 70's, then we're supposed to have a 30 degree temperature drop tomorrow with possible snow. We just put our sprinkler system to bed for the season so at least that task is done. The tomatoes are still hanging in there. I've had them covered for a few days off and on this past week. Not sure if they'll survive through tomorrow's storm and freeze. I've got several more nearly ripe cherry tomatoes, but the Brandywines are still very much green. I've also got about 3 blooms still on my dinner plate dahlias, but I'll probably pick them off at the end of today. The seasons, they are a changin'!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Go Little Tomatoes! Go!

I'm holding my breath for the tomatoes to ripen before the cold snap hits for good. We've gotten two Cherry Tomatoes so far and now they seem to really be taking off. I'm not gonna hold my breath for the Brandywines though, they're still green as ever and I don't think I'll be getting the pleasure of a red, ripened one anytime soon so I might as well kiss it goodbye. I'll try again next year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Caught Up Now

Ok. I've had to dig to find the photos and stuff, but I've gotten all my garden blogs transferred over from two different systems. They've been back dated to when they were originally posted so scroll down the page to read them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Frost Precaution

Ok. After looking at the weather reports, I changed my mind. I decided to be safe than sorry so I once again covered the tomatoes and herbs. It is supposed to be about 35 degrees F, but that is too close to take a chance. Tomorrow night it is supposed to be in the forties so I'll take my chances then. You can see in the above photo, they look like three little ghosts...aren't they cute?

1st Frost of 2007

I'm back! I've been trying some other private blogging, but I decided I didn't really like it. So, I'm back to the Google owned Blogger. Simple and, for the time being, works for me. I'll try to transfer those blog entries over when I get time. I will back date them so that they get filed correctly.

Anyway. Last night was the first hard frost of this year. I had gotten these plant "bags" for my poor tomatoes. Poor things are just starting to least the sweet cherries. I have several Brandywine fruits, but they are green, green, green! I hope the weather holds out just a little longer so that we can have some juicy heirloom tomatoes. Yes. I'm being very selfish! :) The only evidence that there was a frost was on my Basil. Somehow the tops were exposed and frosted. When I went out this morning around 10:30, they were brown. I didn't bother covering my peppermints though and they seemed to have survived just fine. So did my Dahlias and other flowers I have. I looks like it shouldn't freeze tonight so I don't think I'll cover the plants again tonight.

For the record, the first frost of 2007 in Larimer County was on October 7th.