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Calendar: November 1, 2011

Dave Hansen, UMN

Last chance! The Arboretum Apple House will remain open until at least November 6. They have the best supply of Honeycrisp in years and have been picking some high quality late season apples this week. Whether you prefer a tart and juicy Haralson, a sweet Fireside or SnowSweet with a balanced flavor, you will find the apples you enjoy the most right now. For updates on the Applehouse inventory, call 952-443-1409. For more information about the Apple program at the U of M, please visit the U of M Apples website.

Dave Hansen, UMN


Potted chrysanthemums in rich, autumn hues are traditional for Thanksgiving. Choose plants with some buds just opening, rather than in full bloom. They'll last three or four weeks when kept in a bright locations. Discard the plants once their flowers fade. It's not worth trying to plant them outdoors. Even though they might survive our winters, most florists mums won't bloom before hard frost, so they aren't useful in Minnesota gardens.

Apply winter mulch over bulbs and the flowering perennials buy mid-month if the soil hasn't frozen yet. (Ideally you'd wait until it freezes.) You can even spread straw, leaves, or partially finished compost on top of snow. Winter mulch's most important function is to insulate plant roots from fluctuating soil temperatures and keep them safely dormant during early spring warm-ups.

Move houseplants to brighter locations within your home, to compensate for reduced-light levels as days grow shorter and cloudier weather increases. South-or west facing windows are not too bright-- even for "low light" plants, this time of year. Pull the shades or draw the drapes at night, thought to protect houseplants from cold air near window panes. Continue to rotate the plants 1/4 turn every couple weeks so they don't bend toward the light.

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