THE LAST HURRAH!
October’s outdoor appreciation month
This year most trees in the region are still dull green or brown from heat and drought. Also, flowers and veggies are still blooming and producing. But the steadily sinking sun will bring fall conditions soon. So play in the garden, walk the woods, carve a pumpkin, and eat some tasty Concord grapes!
Jack Frost is Coming
Plant a colorful Halloween container. Remove spent and leggy plants from your favorite container(s). Pick up some fall bloomers, like: asters, Mona Lavender coleus, violas, and snapdragons. Combine them with evergreens, pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, skeletons, and other fall decor.
Bring in your houseplants. Ideally you want to do this when temps outside are similar to temps inside. Inspect them for insects and other hitch hikers, especially thrips. Use a spray nozzle, cloth, and pruners to thoroughly clean and debug plants.
Sharing is Caring
DIVIDE AND SHARE YOUR OVERGROWN PERENNIALS
Harvest all cold sensitive veggies and herbs. Do this before night temps drop below 40℉ and crops like sweet potatoes and basil are damaged. Harvest unripe tomatoes, eggplants, and winter squash before frost and cook them. Leave kale, collards, mustards, cabbage, carrots, beets, and other cold season crops to sweetened in the cool temps.
Divide and transplant perennials. Asters, joe pye weed, coral bells, irises, shasta daisies, bee balm, and others need division every few years to continue healthy growth. Use garden forks to dig them up and spades to slice them. Work with friends and swap your favorite plants.
Math is Natural
MANY OF THE PATTERNS AND DESIGNS WE OBSERVE IN THE GARDEN ARE LIVING EXAMPLES OF MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS
Nature is mathematical. Many flowers and leaves use patterns and sequences to grow more efficiently and effectively. Bring some sunflowers to class as demonstrative examples. The number of flowers/seeds in the spirals follows the Fibonacci series (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…). The flowers/seeds are arranged on the Golden Angle (137.50). Students of all ages can verify the patterns and theorize why they exist.
Continue to take measurements on cool season crops in the garden. Those with warm climates or protected garden spaces can continue to sow radishes and greens for experiments.
Use Edible Pumpkins and Squashes
EDIBLE PUMPKINS AND SQUASHES MAKE GREAT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS. SHOUT OUT TO SHAWNA CORONADO
Decorate with edibles. Instead of using common Jack-o-lantern pumpkins and gourds for your Halloween displays, use cheese pumpkins, pie pumpkins, and squashes, like :butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, and acorn. After the holiday, donate these edible ornamentals to local food pantries or churches so they can have a tasty, nutritious ending.
Don’t cut back everything yet! The landscape is still active and nature is still using it. Migrating birds appreciate the seeds of coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. It’s okay to remove most dead and damaged material, but leave the seed heads up into winter.
Join Us for our Chicagoland Fall Tour, Saturday, Oct 14, 9a until we are all tired of walking, eating, and drinking