Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Gardener’s checklist

Indian corn

Indian corn

Finish planting spring flowering bulbs. Mild fall temperatures have delayed freezing of garden soils. That’s good news for procrastinators. Give these late planted bulbs a chance to develop some roots before the ground does freeze by applying about four inches of mulch over the soil.

 Wash lawn spreaders to remove any remaining fertilizer particles. Be sure the spreader is thoroughly dry before storing for winter.

 Wrap burlap or commercial tree wrap around the trunk of newly planted or transplanted trees, starting at ground level and extending up to the first set of branches. The tree warp will protect the bark from damage related to sunscald or frost cracks. The wrap must be removed early next spring.

 Dig the hole now if planning to buy a live (balled and burlapped) Christmas tree this year. Store the soil from the hole in the garage or other location where it will not freeze. Cover the hole with a tarp or plywood to keep out snow. If buying a live tree early, leave it outdoors until just before Christmas. Then, keep it indoors no longer than a week. This way there’ll be no risk of the tree breaking dormancy.

 Brush wooden handles on gardening tools with warmed linseed oil. To warm linseed oil, put an unopened pint of the oil in hot water (off the heat) for 15 to 20 minutes prior to use.

 Make sure that pesticide are dated and in their original containers with the labels intact before storing in a frost-free location away from children, pets, and food supplies.

 Place Indian corn in the freezer for five days when finished using it in autumn decorations. Freezing will kill any insects infesting the corn and allow you to save the corn for use again next year.

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Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s a holiday that is largely unencumbered by crass commercialism, though the craziness of Black Friday keeps creeping in and threatens to ruin the purity of Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, I hope you were able to put those latter thoughts aside and let the day be a time to gather with family and friends and openly express thanks for the kindness and love that we share. After all, it’s not about what we have; it’s about what we give.

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