Senior Connections Senior Connections Oct. 2018 - Page 5

Getting your garden ready for winter CHRISTIE SCHLUETER There are a lot of things to do yet before that first frost. The following are tips to keep your plants and lawns healthy for the winter. Here are some recom- mended by Deb Brown, University Extension Horti- culturist: Fertilize the lawn. Use a standard high nitrogen lawn food to help your lawn develop strong roots and runners. Grass that is fertilized in the fall will come back thicker and greener next spring. You may choose to follow up with a second application of fer- tilizing mid to late October. Though top growth will have slowed or stopped because of cooler tempera- tures, the underground portions remain active several weeks longer. Core aerate compact soils. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, or it has become compacted over the years from kids or dogs romping on it, make a habit of core aerating every year or two. Rent a machine that takes plugs out of the soil and throws them onto the lawn’s surface. They will crumble and top dress the soil stressed for moisture will increase the likelihood these plants will suffer winter burn or browning. My Fall To Do List: When planting bulbs, write with a permanent Sharpie pen on a popsicle stick so you know where you planted bulbs and what colors. You can also pur- chase white plastic markers from garden centers. Or recycle those that come with your annuals for the summer. Write on the opposite side or cover with duct tape and write on that. When bringing some plants in that you want to winter over, remember this will be a different climate than they are used to. Try to keep near a bright sunny window and water more sparingly. They will lose leaves, but should gain them back later in the spring when you water and fertilize. Do not over water; wait until the soil is completely dry before rewatering. Make sure the plants are free from insects by spray- ing with a hose before you bring in. Empty your terra cotta pots or you will be surprised next spring when they are all cracked. You could also store the pots in your basement or a shed where it does not get as cold. Don’t forget to dig up your glad bulbs, cannas, dahlias, calla lily or others that do not winter over. I found if you put a strip of bright fabric such as red or pink on a stake you will see it when you are fall cleaning your beds. Another way to remind you of chores is to mark it on the calendar. Gardening chores can all be posted on the week you should get done. Take pictures of your beds if you particularly liked the way they looked this year. Then you can refer to them when you plant annuals and seeds for next year. With these tips you will find that fall gardening can really be a fun time of the year. As we near the colder indoor months you will appreci- ate the extra effort you took to do all of these things next spring. This is the time of year when the home fills up with baking goodness. These recipes will be sure to make your home smell of the season Caramelized Onion Flatbread Ingredients: 1 large sweet onion, sliced 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 pound of pizza dough or favorite flat- bread dough (or purchase from your local pizza place or purchase Naan or flatbread at your local store) 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary 1⁄2 cup sautéed mushrooms and a couple dashes of garlic powder Balsamic vinegar – try fig it has a sweet flavor Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion in hot oil over a medium heat for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Saute mushrooms in some more oil and cook until soft, sprinkle with some garlic powder as cooking. Set aside Press dough into a 15x10-inch jelly roll pay, press- ing to about 1⁄4-inch thickness. Press handle of a wooden spoon to make indentions at 1-inch intervals; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, sprinkle with salt, rosemary, mushrooms. Bake at 425 on lowest oven rack for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Take out of oven and drizzle with Balsamic vin- egar. Cut into slices and enjoy. Corncopia Stuffed Squash These acorn squash are overflowing with barley, spinach, sunflower seeds, shitake mushrooms, dried cranberries and smoked gouda for a wonderful side dish. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided 2 medium acorn squash, about 3 pounds More GARDEN on Pg 13 with microorganisms to help break down thatch. The holes will also allow moisture, fertilizer and oxygen to penetrate into the root zone, resulting in healthier grass. Renew mulch around young trees and shrubs. Shredded bark, woodchips, and other organic mulch- es break down where they contact soil. They settle over time. Check to see that mulching materials are about three inches deep over the root ball area of young trees and shrubs. This much will protect them from extreme cold as in the with well as early spring thaws. Be sure to leave a small space between the mulch • Cooking Classes for all ages and Groups and your plants trunks or stems to avoid • Special order cookies, cakes, desserts (for intimate group settings) moisture damage. • Special Occasions Water evergreen trees and shrubs • Fresh Garden Produce - in season regularly. Evergreens keep their leaves • Menu Planning Pot Cooking Classes - tips & tricks or needles throughout the winter. This • • Instant Special order jams, jellies, herbal spice mixes, means they are more vulnerable to dry- salad dressings & more! ing from winter sun and strong winds. Chris Schlueter 320-587-4974 or email me [email protected] Allowing them to go in cold weather Visit me on facebook and on Cooking Country Chris Senior Connections HJ.COM Senior Connections October 2018 5