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Somerset County Master Gardener November 2012 Newsletter

Really, it’s November already? The older I get, each year seems to fly by faster than the previous one. I have just finished putting my garden to bed and am already starting to receive online garden catalogs for 2013. No wonder things seem to be moving along faster than we would like. I hope this newsletter finds you well and looking forward to spending time with friends and family as the holiday season approaches.

Things to do in the garden

  • The garden season is almost over for 2012 even if the weather seems to encourage you to Plant Now! Stop and think before taking the chance on losing something you may really want for spring. There are some things that you can still plant and they should be okay. If you find a good deal on spring blooming bulbs or possibly your favorite garlic, those should be alright to set out (as long as your ground isn’t frozen), and you may possibly find a deal on some small trees and shrubs that you can put in now. The key to planting small trees and shrubs this late in the fall is not to stimulate a plant into sending out new growth! Most plants that have been outside in the nursery are already preparing themselves for the winter, so the key here is not to encourage new growth now that will surely die later when the real weather hits. Plant as usual, but do not fertilize, and be sure to water and mulch heavily. For information on planting trees and shrubs, see Bulletin #2366, Selecting, Planting, and Caring for Trees and Shrubs.
  • Cut back any remaining dead plants in the perennial bed or dead blossoms off from shrubs such as hydrangea if you don’t care for the winter interest that they will bring when covered with frost or snow.
  • Add any amendments to your soil as recommended in the soil test you sent in earlier in the year. By adding them now they will have time to work into your soil and be readily available to your plants in the spring.
  • If you haven’t already done so now is the time to mulch and do whatever maintenance on your roses that you have been putting off.
  • One last item that you can do now is mulch and put tree wrap on any young new trees that you planted this year, to protect them from rodent damage.

Upcoming Events

Longfellow’s Greenhouse 2012 Art & Artisan Show & Sale

  • If you’re looking for another excuse to go and visit a nursery and greenhouse, this may be the event for you. Longfellow’s Greenhouse located on 81 Puddledock Road in Manchester, Maine, is holding their annual Art & Artisan Show & Sale on November 3 and 4. For information on this event, please visit Longfellow’s Greenhouse website or call them at (207) 622-5965.

Horse Health Education Conference being held in New Gloucester, ME

  • Horse owners, caretakers, and pre-veterinary students will learn about the most serious infectious diseases that can affect their animals, and what can be done to improve bio-security and prevent disease outbreaks on the farm, at the Horse Health Education Conference on Saturday, November 17 at the Pineland Equestrian Center in New Gloucester. This program is for horse owners, prospective pre-veterinary students, 4-H and Pony Club leaders and older youth, boarding farm owners and operators, horse business owners, horse trainers, farriers, auction houses, fair superintendents, and others from New England who are interested in learning more about infectious diseases of horses.

Cost for the event is $15 for adults and $10 for students for early registrations received by November 9 (a limited number of scholarships are available; please contact us.) Late and walk-in registrations are $25 for adults and $20 for students.

To register, send check for registration (made out to UMaine Extension) and your name, address, phone, and e-mail to Melissa Libby, 134 Hitchner Hall, UMaine Extension, Orono, ME 04469-5735, 207-581-2788 or 1-800-287-7170 (in Maine) or or Bring your own lunch or purchase a lunch ticket at registration desk.

For more information you can also visit the UMaine Events Calendar.

The Maine Harvest Festival

  • Will be held on November 10 – 11 at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center in Bangor, Maine, from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days. General admission tickets are $5.00 each, with children 10 and under free. For more information, see the Maine Harvest Festival website.

Items of Interest

  • One of the most popular holiday house plants at this time of year is the Poinsettia. This popular plant now comes in a wide range of colors and can be found in many different sizes. The University of Illinois has a great website with many interesting facts along with tips on how to care for Poinsettias.
  • Non-Timber Forest Products: Goods from the Maine Woods Balsam Fir, Bulletin #2541, by David Fuller, UMaine Extension Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional, is an informative look at products past and present, made from the Balsam fir tree (Abies balsamea) here in Maine.

Thank you!

To Mark Whitney, who worked on cleaning up the raised beds here at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office in Skowhegan. Also thank you to Sheryl Ruman and Cheryl Perkins for cleaning up the flagpole bed. The raised beds are ready for the 2013 gardening season and the flagpole bed looks the best it has since spring and is ready for an upgrade in the spring of 2013.

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