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December 2009 • Edition 9.49

Kevin's Korner

We finally got some precipitation after 160 days without rainfall! Could this be the beginning of a wet year? Although the forecasters are divided as to whether we are going to see a wet winter or not, are you prepared?

We have had some cool mornings and as our plants acclimate to the cooler temperatures make sure you cover your plants that can’t handle frost by covering them with DeWitt Frost Cloth, or spray with Anti-Stress (anti-transpirant) to limit dehydration. And while you're looking around, take a look at our great selection of min-max thermometers and rain gauges for the gardener on your gift list. We have a wide assortment of pruning shears and loppers, tripod ladders (up to 14’), tree saws and pruners to reach those hard to get branches! A new bird feeder would look great next to your Majesty Bells Wind Chimes. The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Calendar makes a great stocking stuffer! If you still can’t decide, a Grangetto’s Gift Card is an excellent choice for those that enjoy gardening.

Check out our gardening tips for the month to prepare for December and the months ahead.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends at Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply

 

Poinsettia Ad

Manager's Corner

We’ve rebuilt our website at www.grangettos.com to offer more in-depth information on our products. You can view our product lines for “Do-it-Yourself Gardeners” or Commercial Industries, such as landscape and growers. See our “Services” page to see what else we offer besides Garden, Grove and Landscape Products.

Our Water Conservation page offers helpful information tips and links on how to save water in your landscape. Check out our Soil Amendment and Fertilizer page for helpful tools. We list many of our Organic products as well; from Organic Fertilizers to Organic Pest Control. There are many more pages with helpful information for your use.

We hope you like it!

___________________________________

FACT!

Did you know in the winter your heating system is probably your biggest energy user, accounting for 13% to 16% of your monthly bill. Some of the ways you can save this winter:

  • Choose the correct temperature setting – For every 2 degrees you lower your thermostat; you can save approximately 5% off your heating cost.
  • Don’t let heat escape – Keep doors and windows closed on cold days and nights. Weather-stripping and caulking your doors and windows can save as much as 6% of your heating cost.
  • Keep it clean – Check filters as least twice during the heating season and either vacuum or replace them.
  • Insulate your home properly – Up to 20% of your heating can be lost through your ceiling! Proper installation will keep your home warm.

FACT!

Did you know that your plants get cold too? During the winter months it is especially important to REMEMBER YOUR PLANTS when cooler weather is setting in! It can be so easy to forget or be distracted, until you awake the next morning and remember I FORGOT TO COVER MY PLANTS! Too late!

If a solid surface is chilled below the dew point of the surrounding air and the surface itself is colder than freezing, frost will form on the surface. In general, for frost to form, the surface must be colder than the surrounding air.

Many plants can be damaged or killed by freezing temperatures or frost. This will vary with the type of plant and tissue exposed to low temperatures.

Tender plants, like tomatoes, die when they are exposed to frost. Hardy plants, like radish, tolerate lower temperatures. Perennials, such as the hosta plant, become dormant after first frosts and regrow when spring arrives. The entire visible plant may completely turn brown until the spring warmth, or will drop all of its leaves and flowers, leaving the stem and stalk only. Evergreen plants, such as pine trees, will withstand frost although all or most growth stops

Frost cloths can generally be found cut to several different widths and lengths, and woven into varying weights. Obviously, the thicker the fabric, the more protection provided. Some cloths advertise plant protection down to 20º, if applied correctly.

Frost ProtectionSo, what are the advantages of using a frost cloth instead of a plain old blanket or plastic sheet? Most important, frost cloth allows both light and water to penetrate, instead of the fabric just getting soaking wet and heavy. Also, frost cloth is more breathable. If temperatures warm up during the day following the cold and you've left the cloth on, chances are your plants won't get cooked, as opposed to what could happen with plastic or cotton sheeting.

While you can just 'float' the row cover directly on top of plants, the best set-up is to install hoops or some other support for the frost cloth, making sure it is tall enough to not allow the cloth to touch the plants. Then, drape the cloth over the support and secure it on all sides and at the base, so that the warmth of the ground rises and is trapped around the plants. Office supply-type binder clips, spring clamps, and u-pins all work well for securing the cloth to your chosen support and to the ground

Timing is important, too. If you know Jack Frost is coming, give your plants a good drink of water and get them covered before sunset to trap the most available warmth.

 

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