Putting the Garden to Bed as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

A good mulch of shredded leaves will keep the soil insulated and prevent erosion.

It’s important to get all the tender crops that were killed by the frost out of the garden. That’s where pests and diseases over winter. As long as the plant material is not diseased it can go right in the compost pile.
Remove all annual foliage from the garden.
It’s also a good idea to mulch the garden to keep all that good soil in place.
Gardens can loose up to a half inch of soil over the winter to erosion. A thick coating of mulch will insulate the soil and prevent the erosion.
I like straw or shredded leaves in the vegetable garden and bark mulch in the ornamental garden.
The stalks and seed heads of perennial plants can stay in the garden. They will provide a place for beneficial insects to over winter and can be a food source for other wildlife.

Doug is headed for London, England and you can come along for the garden trip of a lifetime

Kew Gardens is just one of the incredible gardens we’ll see together on our trip.

I’m thrilled to present The Gardens of London featuring the Centennial Chelsea Flower Show.

It’s an eight day trip which will includes air transportation, hotel, nine meals and great garden, castle and city tours.

Trip runs from May 18th through 25th 2013. You need to book soon though, and there’s a $200 discount if you sign up now.

Here are some of the highlights-
Special access to the 100th anniversary Chelsea Flower Show.
London city tour.
Hampton Court Palace.
Windsor Castle.
Wisley Gardens.
Kew Gardens

Call me if you’re interested 412-779-5861.
All the details are here.

Plant Flowering Kale Now! As seen on Pittsburgh Today Live

It might seem strange to be gardening this late in the season, but two plants in particular will thrive deep into winter.

I always plant flowering kale and pansies as the annuals fade. Usually around the second week of October, but believe it or not, I just got my first killing frost. All those annuals have bit the dust and pots need to be planted…right?

I’m substituting the tender container plants with these hardy varieties.

Lets look at the garden timeline for my pots. March 7th pansies are planted in containers close to the house, then more in two weeks along with some other tough cool weather flowers. They were replaced in July with discounted annuals. Now we’re back to pansies and of course the flowering kale.

Both will add color and shake off cold temperatures. If the pansies are kept watered, many will often winter over, especially in a mild season. The kale will go until January until it gets bitter cold.

Site them where they can be seen from inside the house, or walking up to the front door.

You’ll be surprised how a few plants will bring a smile after slogging through a few inches of wet snow.

When the winter sun is right, the kale explodes with color.

I’ve fallen in love with ‘Redbor’ kale. It’s a tall form and goes great with pansies.