Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
What to thank all of these veterans for serving. This picture was taken at the Seabee's breakfast in Waterloo a few weeks ago. All are Seabee's serving with the oldest one started his military career in 1952, while there is one that is still active. The stories they share about their time when they served are really good. Thanks guys...for serving.
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
In the winter of 1969-1970 by mother wrote a book about her siblings. She was 12 out of 13, and had lots of stories to tell about them. I had asked her to write them down. This was the time my dad had a stroke and she took care of him at home. She had extra time she used to write down the stories and we put them into a book. One of her siblings, Carl was in the WWI. For an art project when Amy was at Iowa State she used his picture and words from the story. Someone in St. Ansgar wanted to display her art work at the American Legion post, and they wanted information about this soldier. So that lead us to reread the story that my mom had written about Carl. That is leading me to share with you this. It has nothing to do with gardening, but lots to do with history, family and being Veteran's Day this weekend it seems like a good time to share. Let me know what you think.
Carl Frederick, born October 23,1895 was nicknamed "Brownie" because of his swarthy complexion. The name has stuck through the years; it's only proper he be called this in his story.
Elsie Hefty, one of the kids in the neighborhood, tells it was the Bechtel's that were great for putting on shows, Brownie in particular. Brownie had a way of advertizing the coming event, and the charge for admission was common pins. A common pin in those days wasn't "common," and to take them from your mother's pincushion wasn't the best idea. So with advance notice of the coming shows, all the kids would go up to the Catholic church and dig in the church sweepings thrown out bye the Sisters. Brownie was the writer and producer and the kids were the puppets. He also was the best reader, stopping at an exciting part, telling the kids it would be continue the next day. Elsie mentioned that the ticket taker's mother was the only one who never complained about not having enough pins.
Brownie must have continued his love of shows as he worked at the Germania Hall. This hall was built for a group of men that came over from Germany. A few of these old timers were Boeckh, Brockhausen, Nulander and Kerndt. This was a private athletic club called " Herrn Verein" ( Men's Club) used only by these members for bowling and playing cards. In later years it was used by the puplic for plays, dances, bowling and movies.
Brownie operated the projector, and was the usher and the "cleaner upper" with the help of Ted. ( brother) Ted said they were the first to bring sound pictures to Lansing. In this particular movie, there was a super train wreck. With a little persuasion( getting in free) from Brownie, he convinced Ted to get a few boys in to help make this scene real. The boys with pots and pans got behind the curtain' and at the right moment, they made an awful clatter, making it truly a sound picture. This place burned down after a dance, which was too bad as it was the showplace of Lansing.
Brownie was the first member of the family to graduate from high school which was in 1914. This building still stands and is being used for special classes. The Fiftieth Class Reunion was held in 1964 with only a few members present. Mother was very happy and proud when this goal was reached as it was her ambition to see that her children received the education she didn't have the chance to receive.
Brownie worked in an ice cream parlor in Lansing; so when Oluf Hanson moved to Waukon and opened the Red Geranium Restaurant, Brownie was hired to manage it.
War was declared in 1917. Brownie didn't wait to be drafted but enlisted, taking his boot training at Camp Greene, North Carolina. When this was completed, the troops were shipped to Southhampton, England. Crossing the English Channel to Calais, France, he was assigned to the British at Flanders Field. Later there was more training with French Blue Devils. In this war Brownie was in the thick of things and must have witnessed all the horrors of war. It's over fifty five years since this was fought, and I know when he came home, war or battles weren't discussed. So I feel in writing these battles up for me, Brownie must have relived them.
At the battle of Neuse Sisne, which lasted for many days and where casualties were great, this is where he wrote:
"A week in the field an three days with no sleep, we were exhausted. There was only one officer that hadn't been killed. He left for the rear to receive his orders, leaving me in charge. How I kept awake is beyond me. I was finally relieved by French Blue Devils. Eventually we returned to a reserve station , where we found the rations have been stocked ( much more than need as the casualties cut our number almost in half). No one seemed to have an appetite, although we had not eaten in a long time. Later, taking out a detail of 300 men to scour the battlefield for equipment, we witnessed all the casualties after this battle. It make the Quote " War is Hell" a mild comparison. Since after this battle most of the officer personnel were killed and they needed replacements, I received a commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to Infantry 35th Division. Harry Truman was in this division. The fighting "35th" was holding down the trenches in front of Verdun. This location was the farthest advance the enemy made."
It was after this battle that Brownie received the promotion First Lieutenant. They left for the Argonne, but he had been notified that an Armistice would soon be signed. About 10 minutes be 11 A.M. he received the cease fire order.
" When this hour came, everything became quiet and we just sat. Pretty soon someone had gotten in the bell tower at the church and the bell started ringing. The ringing of the bell reminded me of an incident which occurred in my school days. We were required to memorize a passage of poetry, which none of the boys cared to do. The teacher advised us that there would be no lunch until we did. I think the passage was take from " Thanatopsis."
" Down the dark future, thru long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter, then cease.
And like the solemn and sweet vibrations of a bell,
We hear the voice of Christ say "Peace."
"I felt I was extremely lucky to be alive. I also felt proud to have fought in a war to end all wars, which has proved to be untrue."
I don't know in which battle it was that Brownie felt close to death. As I mentioned, war wasn't discussed too much, but one particular battle was.
Mother, I feel, must have possessed what some referred to as sixth sense or what could be called ESP. She seemed to know when her children away from home were in danger or ill.
Brownie, telling of this battle, said, " I was in this shell hole for three days and nights. There were men lying dead around me and the flash of the shells, like lightning in a severe thunderstorm was continuous. I felt I'd never live, when a great peace came over me, and I felt the presence of the Lord and my Mother."
Mother told her dream of witnessing this battle and being there. This wasn't the only occasion she spoke of the "dreams." Receiving word of a member of the family being seriously ill or at death, she said," Yes, I know because I had this bad dream." What this dream was I don't know. We would tell her she was too superstitious, and after that, she kept these things to herself. Over the years I felt these omens or feelings were far more than incidental.
It was some time before he left France as he was put on the staff at Bordeaux to help with the embarking of the troops to the states. He was honorably discharged from the service on August 19,1919 and returned home. That, too became complicated before he reached Lansing. returning from France by boat there was a terrible storm. Everyone got seasick and he felt so rotten he was afraid he was going to die. When it got worse, he was afraid he wouldn't. Reaching New York with the puppy "Louve' ( German Police) he had a hard time finding a way to Des Moines to be discharged. Arriving in Chicago, he became suddenly ill while waiting in the depot for the train to take him to Iowa. He was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy, consenting to it only if the folks were not notified. So soon after Billy's death ( the same operation), they would worry. He'd forgotten all about the telegram he sent from New York saying when he could be expected home. Every day the folks met the train and no Brownie. they didn't know what to think. Finally, getting in touch with the Red Cross, they found he was in the hospital in Chicago, found him very ill, found out what had happened, and brought back the dog, "Louve."
Returning to Lansing, Carl worked as cashier in the State Bank. He was Postmaster of Lansing from 1929-1933. May 4, 1929, he married Leota Hand who was a teacher in the Lansing schools. Bill and the twins, Carl and Caroline were born while they lived here. Through the years in Lansing he served as Councilman, Secretary of the School Board and Kiwanis Club, Commander and Adjutant Commander of the Beck-Strong-Glynn Post of the American Legion. In 1934 he received a Civil Service appointment working in the government service for 34 years. The following are some of the agencies for which he worked and places he lived: Home Owners' Load, Federal Housing, Veteran's Administration, Waco Savings and Loan. He lived in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and Council Bluffs, Iowa; Wichita, Kansas, Fort Worth, Texas and Waco, Texas, where Brownie has been retired since 1967, enjoying life and the grandchildren.
Taken from the Tree and Thee, by Adeline Bechtel Kerndt
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Houseplants are not my expertise because I forget to water them believe that or not. Here is an interesting house plant and more interesting name.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
The variegated leaves of Dumb Cane can be extremely attractive and it is not a particularly difficult plant to grow. It does like the temperature on the warm side, so avoid placing it near windows and drafts. Use caution when growing this plant around pets and children. It gets it's name from the milky sap it exudes. The sap can be a skin irritant and, if ingested, it can cause a temporary inability to speak. (USDA Zones 11+)
taken from https://www.gardeningknowhow.com
The dieffenbachia is a beautiful if sometimes confusing group of plants. These plants feature pointed, broad leaves in a variety of combinations of green and white. There are at least a dozen varieties, with names like D. picta, D. amoena, and D. oerstedii. A large, well-grown dieffenbachia can reach five feet, with leaves of a foot or more. However, the plants will rarely reach this size in typical indoor conditions.
The so-called dumb cane gets its name from its milky sap, which is a mild irritant and should be kept from bare skin. The sap can cause temporary loss of speech. These plants are a good option for gardeners with the space to grow them, but consider avoiding dieffenbachias if you have small children or pets around the house. Otherwise, they could be hurt by the irritating substances produced by the dumb cane plant.
■ Light: They appreciate bright light during winter months. During the growing season, the plant prefers dappled shade or indirect light.
■ Water: During the growing season, they like regular moisture and do not want to dry out. A large dieffenbachia might need to be watered twice a week. In the winter, cut back water.
■ Soil: Use a fast draining, well-aerated potting mix. Make sure their drainage is good to avoid damaging the roots; they should never be left in soggy soil or else the plant risks destruction.
■ Temperature: They like above-average warmth. If the temperature drops below 60 degrees or the plant is exposed to cold drafts, it is likely to lose lower leaves and gain a "palm" effect.
■ Fertilizer: Feed regularly with a balanced, diluted fertilizer like a 20-20-20 for best results.
There are several possibilities:
■ During repotting in the spring, offsets can be divided (leaving some roots intact) and planted in their own pots. If you take this route, make sure not to damage the root systems of the parent plant in the process, and consider using a sterilized tool to avoid disease.
■ In older, leggy dieffenbachia, the top can be cut off and potted into fresh potting soil with a rooting hormone. New leaves will sprout from the stump.
■ Pieces of the cane can be sprouted by laying them horizontally in damp potting soil
Repot annually for best results, simply by lifting the plant as a whole, knocking away any old soil and dead material from the roots, and replacing it in a larger container. Watch out for signs of stress on the plant, like roots poking out from the surface, crowding, or falling leaves, which could signal that the plant needs repotting. After repotting a dieffenbachia, give it some time to adjust to its new settings before you affect it too much. And make sure to wear thick gloves, or else you risk hurting yourself on the surface of the plant.
These are great plants, much favored by interiorscape companies who use them either as singular specimen plants or as massed plantings to great effect. They are not, however, very easy plants to maintain over the long-term as some varieties are extremely sensitive to drafts and lower temperatures. Look for D. picta or D. amoena varieties, such as Tropic Snow, Camilla, or Marianne. Remember to wear gloves when exposure to the sap is possible, especially near the mouth. Dumb cane sap has been known to cause temporary loss of speech (hence the name). This plant is best recommended for experienced gardeners who have the skills to keep it alive and help it flourish. Watch out for common houseplant pests like scale and spider mites, which cause exterior damage. In small-scale cases, they can be simply wiped away manually, but a more significant infestation could require the use of a good strong pesticide.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/dumb-cane-dieffenbachia-definition-
till next time this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Once you understand why you need to rake leaves (Hint: It leads to a healthier lawn), the question becomes one of when to rake leaves off the grass.
Determining how long you can let leaves stay on the lawn before raking them off involves a judgment call: one can't really put a number on it. However, the tip below can be used as a general guideline, so that novices to lawn care can at least become aware of what factors need to be taken into consideration.
Waiting Three or Four Days Before Raking Is OK
A general consensus is that leaving leaves on the grass for more than three or four days may be unwise (which is bad news for those who reason, "I'll wait until they all fall down, so that I can take care of them all in one fell swoop"). That said, other factors must be taken into account, too. How thick is the layer of leaves? Have the leaves been matted down by rain? The thicker the layer and/or the wetter the leaves, the sooner you should rake or otherwise remove them, because these factors increase the likelihood of the grass underneath being smothered, etc.
How many leaves you anticipate having to rake up should also be weighed as you determine when to rake leaves. Large yards with a lot of deciduous trees obviously pose a bigger cleanup challenge than other yards. People who own such yards may have to start raking earlier, just to ensure that they do not fall behind in what will be, for them, a big lawn-cleanup project.
Another factor that might influence your decision on when to pick up leaves is the leaf-removal equipment that you will be using. If you use a leaf blower properly, you may be able to pick up the leaves faster than you would using a rake, allowing you to procrastinate a bit longer. But using leaf blowers is not for everyone.
Other people run a lawn mower over the leaves, catching them in a bag attachment. But that is not the only way to incorporate a mower into this project:
Turn Trash Into Treasure: Take Advantage of the Nutrients in Leaves
One time-saving method for leaf removal that may preclude having bag, blow, or rake leaves is to use a mulching mower, instead. A mulching mower will break down the leaves sufficiently to allow you to let them stay on the lawn. They will harmlessly work their way down into the soil, eventually. Using this method, you are essentially treating the processed leaves as a lawn fertilizer. The argument in favor of doing so is the same as for letting grass clippings remain on your lawn, especially if you chop them up first using a mulching mower.
But whether you have decided to let the mulched leaves stay on your lawn or remove them, do not waste this wonderful source of free organic matter. As I remark in my article on the reason for shredding the leaves you rake, shredded leaves are invaluable if you make your own compost.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/when-to-rake-leaves-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
How to Tell the Difference Between Downy and Hairy WoodpeckersFigure out which woodpecker is which with these expert tips. By Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Downy woodpeckers are among our most common and beloved backyard birds, but did you know they have a look-alike cousin: the hairy woodpecker? Telling downies apart from hairy woodpeckers can be a challenge, but once you know what to look for, it’s not so tough after all!
Look at the PlumageSmartly patterned in black and white, with a touch of red on the males, downy woodpeckers and hairy woodpeckers look remarkably similar to each other. Both downies and hairies have black central tail feathers and white outer tail feathers, but there are a few sneaky clues to differentiate between the two. Downy woodpeckers have a few black bars or spots on their white outer tail feathers, while the outer tail feathers on the hairy are usually plain
Size Them UpThe hairy woodpecker is distinctly larger than its downy cousin—about nine inches from the tip of its bill to the end of its tail. (To compare, the downy woodpecker is about six and a half inches long.) Their size difference is surprisingly hard to see, except when they’re side by side, which doesn’t happen often. A more reliable way to notice their size differences is to look at the shape of their bills. The downy has a tiny, stubby beak, barely as long as the distance from the front of its head to its eye. The hairy woodpecker’s bill is much longer and stronger, nearly as long as the bird’s head.Listen CarefullyYou’ve probably heard a downy woodpecker’s call: a short, friendly pik and a high-pitched, descending whinny. The hairy woodpecker has a more attention-grabbing call: a sharp, arresting peek!, like the sound of a squeaky dog toy. Hairies also have a sharp rattle that stays at one pitch, unlike the downy woodpecker’s call.
Observe Habitat PreferencesAlthough downy and hairy woodpeckers share some of the same habitats, downy woodpeckers are more likely to be seen in suburbs and small parks. Hairy woodpeckers generally prefer heavily forested areas with large trees.
Be Wary of Identical FledglingsJust after they leave the nest, young downy and hairy woodpeckers can be confusing at first. While both downy and hairy woodpecker adult males have a red patch on the back of the head, fledglings have red on top instead. Sometimes, especially on young hairy woodpeckers, the patch is yellow, not red. Youngsters may have extra black marks on their sides or white back stripes. Watch one of these confounding fledglings for a while and you’ll probably see its parents come to feed it, solving the mystery.
taken from Birds and Blooms <reply-fed315787564077d-23_HTMLemail@example.com>
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
This looks like fun, will have to give this a try. LOVE to be growing plants and this is something we can do here in Iowa in the winter. Share if you have done this.
There are dozens of spring flowering bulbs that can be coaxed into bloom in mid-winter, when you really need them. Some require minimal effort, others require some pre-planning. Here's how to get the best blooms from both types of bulbs.
No Pre-Chilling Required
Not all spring bulbs require a cold period. Some are actually only hardy to zone 8 or 9 and won’t survive a winter chill. In this category are some of the easiest bulbs to force, including amaryllis, freesia and tropical narcissus like paper whites.
To coax these bulbs into bloom:
01 Pot the bulbs, either in potting soil or water. If potting in water, either squeeze the bulbs tightly together in a shallow pot or anchor them with pebbles. Then pour in enough water to cover the bottom 1/3 to half of the bulb.
02 The bulbs will sprout within a week or two of potting. Keep the sprouted plants cool (about 50 degrees F.) and in indirect light for the first 2 weeks, then move into bright direct light and provide more warmth. The plants should flower within 4 weeks.
If this sounds too easy, try forcing some non-tropical bulbs that require a period of prechilling before they will bloom.
Bulbs That Require a Chilling Period
Bulbs that are traditionally planted in the fall need a period of cold temperatures to stimulate growth and flower production. These include: non-tropical narcissus, hyacinth, tulips and crocus. You can buy bulbs prechilled and ready for forcing, but they are expensive and doing it yourself takes planning, but not a lot of work.
■ Potting Up: Shallow pots are traditionally used for forcing and work well, but you can use most any container you choose, if it has holes for drainage. Fill the pot about 3/4 full with a peat based potting mix, for moisture retention.
Squeeze in as many bulbs as can fit. You can use all one type or mix and match. You can even plant smaller bulbs on top of larger bulbs, but try and pick varieties with a similar bloom time. Just be sure to plant the bulbs flat side down.
Cover the bulbs with about one inch of potting mix. If you are planting tulips, leave the shoot tips poking out above the soil line. Water until you see it coming out of the drainage hole.
■ Temperature: Throughout the chilling period, the temperature needs to be around 35 - 45 degrees F.
■ Duration: The period of chilling required will vary with the type of bulb, but most require at least 16 to 18 weeks. A little extra chilling won’t hurt the bulbs. However, if they aren’t allowed enough chilling time, the flower may not fully form. This means the bulbs should be kept where the temperature will not fluctuate greatly.
■ Location: If you live in an area where winters are cold, but rarely dip below 25 degrees F., (maybe zone 8), you can keep your potted bulbs outdoors. Place them in a convenient location and cover them with some straw mulch for protection.
Where winter temperatures are commonly below 25 degrees F., you can still chill your bulbs outside, but it will be more work. The bulbs will need to be in a hole or trench below ground level. A popular technique is to dig a trench about 2 feet deep and place your loose or potted bulbs in and cover them with a couple of layers of floating row cover or even old blankets. Then fill in the trench with a thick layer of straw or leaves. You will need to keep tabs on the temperature in your trench, to insure the bulbs do not freeze. If you have vole or squirrel problems, store the bulbs in wire mesh.
An easier method is to chill your bulbs in an unheated basement, crawlspace or attic, a partially heated garage or a cold frame.
You can also chill the bulbs in a refrigerator. This is the default method for those living in zones 9 and above. The catch here is that the bulbs cannot be stored where there is produce. Many ripening vegetables and fruits, especially apples, release ethylene gas, which can kill or damage the flowers.
■ Timing: Check this Bulb Chart for the average chilling periods of commonly forced spring bulbs.
■ Post-Chill: When the required chilling time is up, the bulbs should exhibit some root growth. Move your pots to a warm spot in your house, about 60 degrees F., with indirect sunlight. Shoots should emerge within a couple of weeks.
When the shoots are 4-5 inches high, the pots can be moved to direct sunlight and the temperature can be increased to 68-70 degrees F., to encourage budding.
When you begin to see color in the buds, move your pots back to indirect sunlight. Remember, these are spring flowers and they aren’t happy in harsh light.
■ After the Bloom Fades: Forcing bulbs knocks them out of their regular routine and saps their energy. Most people simply discard the bulbs, once they’ve finished blooming. However except for the tropical narcissus, they can be saved and planted outdoors. Treat them like an outdoor bulb. Keep watering the plants and give them a little bulb food as the blooms fade. You should deadhead, but allow the foliage to yellow on its own. Then find a spot for them in your garden. The plants should come back the following year, but it may take a few more years before they have the strength to rebloom. For a quicker payoff, try forcing tropical bulbs, like paperwhites and amaryllis. These bulbs need no prechilling and very little fuss.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/forcing-flowering-bulbs-for-winter-color-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
I can't believe we are talking about November gardening chores. I just can't believe how fast the time goes. Remember to turn clocks back one hour this Saturday night. Lighter in the morning, but darker at night. Larry works till dark so this will make him come home sooner.
10 Tasks to complete this November
Last week we received a sampling of cold weather as a small precursor to what is coming. It always amazes me how fast things change in the landscape.
A touch of cold is all we need to unleash falls glory of color. Plants and trees in the landscape are changing almost daily. Here are 10 things to do now before, dare I say it, the snow flies.
1) Now's the time to plant spring blooming bulbs in the landscape. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and more are a welcome surprise when warm weather begins to arrive in the spring. A handful of bone meal added to the soil when planting bulbs will give them a burst o enhance the flowering next spring.
2) Clean leaves up in and around roses to remove any possibility of diseased leaves staying over winter and causing black spot next year. If you were the unfortunate benefactor of having tar spots on your maple tree leaves, these leaves need to be disposed of as well.
3) Yellowing herbaceous perennials should be trimmed back now. As leaves deteriorate, the removal is important to maintaining overall vigor of the plant. A light coating of mulch on the top of the exposed crowns of the perennials will be beneficial as well to help with the freeze, thaw cycle over the winter. This added insulation helps keep your plants from dying.
4)As cold weather arrives, be sure to keep your bird feeders full of seed. Local birds will appreciate a free meal. Keep in mind, birds love berries from holly, winter berries, crab apples, beauty berry and many other shrubs. You may want to snip some now for winter decorations and keep in a sheltered area before they disappear.
5)Now's the time to plant autumn garlic. Add some compost or cow manure to the bed before planting. Break apart cloves and plant each clove 3" deep and 3" apart. Garlic is fun to grow and fresh garlic for cooking is the best!!
6)Trim fruit trees now through mid March when temperatures are above freezing. Tidy up strawberries by removing dead leaves and cutting back runners. Thin raspberries by removing 1/3 of the old canes.
7)If you have not aerated your lawn, do so now. Aerating your lawn pulls plugs out of the ground and allows water, fertilizer and insect ideas to reach roots easily. If you dig out a plug of your lawn and find you have an inch of dead matter between the roots and blades of grass, you should aerate your lawn. As cold arrives start to reduce the height of your lawn mower and shorten your grass in preparation for winter.
8)Continue to rake and discard leaves as they fall. If you have the ability to shred them or mow them and bag them, do so before adding them to your compost bin. If they are diseased, get rid of them!
9)Install pond netting over your garden ponds to stop leaves from floating and eventually sinking to the bottom of the pond causing problems down the road. If you have fish 5-6" long, be sure you add a water aerator which pumps bubbles into your pond for the winter. Fish this size and larger need constant oxygen when pumps are shut down for winter.
10)Take time to enjoy the season, stop and look around you or take a stroll through a park. Mother Nature offers some incredible picturesque selfies this time of the year. Enjoy them before they are gone. The world moves way to fast and we all need time to slow down and enjoy the moment.
Hope to see you soon, J.R. Pandy, "The No B.S. Gardener"
taken from firstname.lastname@example.org
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
How to winter over water lilies? Interesting even if you don't have a pond the work it takes to have one.
For you that have ponds this information you probably know all ready. I found it very interesting because the closest we have ever gotten to a pond is the hole in the ground. It gives the rest of us some idea of the work it takes to have a pond in your garden.
How to Over Winter Water Lilies by Marie Iannotti
There are two main types of water lilies: hardy and tropical. Both will require some TLC, to make it through the winter in cold climates. That’s why a lot of gardeners grow water lilies as annuals, composting them at the end of the season.
But if you have the space and the where with all, it is possible to over winter both hardy and tropical water lilies. You should expect to have varying degrees of success, since there are a lot of things that can go wrong when trying to over winter water lilies.
Outdoors, the weather can surprise you by becoming colder than expected or with wide temperature swings. Indoors you can control conditions better, but sometimes the plants simply aren’t able to adjust.
If you’d like to try over wintering your water lilies, here are some suggested methods for winter care of water lilies.
Winter Care of Tropical Water Lilies
Tropical water lilies are the most difficult to over winter. Although tropical water lilies do go dormant in winter, they are only hardy to about USDA Hardiness Zone 9. They will freeze and die if left in a cold pond over winter. It’s very common to grow tropical water lilies as annuals. If you want to try over wintering your tropical water lilies, here are some ideas to help you succeed:
Store your tropical water lily in a greenhouse, a heated aquarium or in a heated room under grow lights. Lift the pots in late September / October. You can move your water lilies to smaller pots for the winter, if you like. Lift the plant and trim back some of the leaves and roots. Replant in a 1 gallon container. Then place the pot in a small tub of water and keep it at about 68 degrees F. The idea is to keep the water lily alive, but not actively growing, so don’t fertilize or worry about providing too much space.
You could also store the plant outside of the pot, if you keep it damp. Lift the entire plant, cut off most of the top and store the rhizome in a plastic bag with some damp peat moss or sand. Store the bag somewhere dark at about 50 - 60 degrees F. Check periodically to make sure it’s not getting dry or soft and moldy.
If your plant has tiny tubers growing at the base, you can remove these offsets and store them in water or damp peat moss, again at about 50 - 60 degrees F. They should start to sprout in the spring and can then be potted up.
Wait until the water warms in your pond next spring, before bringing your water lily back outdoors. The water temperature should be about 70 degrees F., for tropical water lilies. If it’s too cool, the plant will revert back to dormancy or be killed off by frost and you don’t want to do that after all your efforts over the winter.
Winter Care of Hardy Water Lilies
Hardy water lilies are truly hardy to about USDA Zone 4, but potted water lilies will still need some protection. You don’t want them sitting in your water garden if it freezes solid or even if it tends to freeze and thaw repeatedly. Here are some ways to keep your hardy water lily alive through the winter.
01 Hardy water lilies will go dormant for the winter. The foliage will die back or become sparse. When this happens, move the water lily, pot and all, to the deepest part of your pond, where the water doesn’t freeze solid. Hardy water lilies actually enjoy a cold, dormant period.
Leave it there for the winter and fish it back up as the water warms in the spring. It should resume growing sometimes around April.
02 If you don’t have a deep enough pond to keep the water lily below the freezing level, you can try one of these other methods to protect it.01Take the water lily out of the pot and bury it completely in the ground. Mark the spot, mulch it well, then dig and repot the plant in the spring. (I’ve never tried this and suspect a lot depends on the type of winter you have. A good snow cover should keep it fine, but a dry, cold winter could kill it.)
02 If it’s a small pond, you could insulate the whole pond by covering it with boards and then a layer of straw or old blankets or rugs. Be sure to remove all the coverings as early in the spring as possible or it will heat the water and cause premature sprouting. (This sounds like a lot of work, but think of all the work you save by not having to scoop leaves and debris out of the pond in the spring.
03 Bring the water lily indoors for the winter and store in a cool basement or heated garage, about 50 degrees F. Either bring in the whole pot and place it in a plastic bag or box. Check it periodically to make sure the soil remain moist. Or remove the plant from the pot and store the tuber in moist peat moss or leaves. (I’ve done both and had good luck. Don’t expect your potted water lily to make a good houseplant. It still needs to go somewhat dormant and won’t be particularly attractive.)
Water lilies take some experience to successfully over winter year after year. Since they can be expensive plants, I think it’s worth trying. Remember to check on them every few weeks during the winter. Just like with any other bulb stored indoors, it doesn’t take long for them to dry out or rot, if conditions aren’t ideal. And most importantly, remember to get them potted up and back outdoors gradually in the spring, so you can enjoy their hard earned blooms again.
taken from https://www.thespruce.com/winter-care-of-water-lilies-
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Fall may mean cooler temperatures and increasing rainfall, but birds still need access to baths for drinking and bathing. Properly caring for fall bird baths will not only provide essential water, but will help attract migrating birds and make any autumn yard more bird-friendly.
Why Fall Bird Baths Matter
Though natural water and precipitation may be more abundant in fall, birds also need more water at this time of year.
Water is essential to keep birds hydrated and in good health during migration, and molting birds need to bathe more frequently to groom their feathers and keep their plumage in peak condition. Summer droughts may linger into fall and temperatures can still be uncomfortably high, particularly early in the season, making water just as critical for birds as it has been all summer long. At the same time, many homeowners and businesses are reducing the frequency and duration of automatic sprinklers as fall progresses, so birds do not have as much runoff or as many puddles to take advantage of. Fresh, clean bird baths will help all birds have adequate access to water throughout the season.
10 Tips for Autumn Bird Baths
Whether year-round residents or passing fall migrants are taking advantage of the bird bath, there are ways to keep baths clean, fresh and full throughout autumn.
Keep It Big: Keep larger summer bird baths available throughout early fall, when more birds may be using the bath. This is particularly useful if migratory flocks descend on the bath, and even a large bath may be emptied quickly when multiple birds are bathing.
Swap Bath Designs: More delicate, decorative bird baths are great for extra summer water, but durable, sturdier baths are better for fall. Avoid concrete bird baths late in autumn, however, as concrete is porous and freezing could cause cracks or other damage.
Change Placement: Move bird baths away from deciduous trees and shrubs that will begin shedding their leaves in fall. Fallen leaves decay quickly and can contaminate the water, making it less palatable to birds. If leaves do fill the bath, they should be removed quickly.
Keep It Clean: Falling leaves, windfall fruits and autumn pollen can quickly dirty a bird bath, and flocks of birds can spread diseases through dirty water. Fall baths should be rinsed at least every 1-2 days and cleaned whenever they have algae, cloudy water or discoloration.
Trim Nearby Bushes: If the bath is close to bushes or trees, gently prune the plants to keep excess leaves out of the basin. This will also remove excess summer growth that could be shelter for hungry autumn or winter predators that may stalk birds at the bath.
Protect It From Chemicals: If there are autumn fertilizing, weed control or insecticide treatments necessary for the yard, be sure the bird bath is covered or removed during those treatments to minimize the risk of contamination that would be toxic to birds.
Add Movement: Add a dripper or wiggler to the bath to attract migrating birds with the splashes and sparkles of moving water, or try a bird bath fountain. More movement will act as an advertisement to passing birds that a good water source is available.
Refill Frequently: As more autumn birds visit the bath, refills may need to be more frequent to ensure there is adequate water for all guests. A full bath will also stay cleaner for longer, and will not freeze as quickly as temperatures dip.
Warm It Up: When thin sheets of ice begin to form on autumn bird baths, it is time to add a heater to the bath or take other steps to keep it liquid and accessible to birds. Moving a bath into a sunny location can help keep it liquid longer if a heater isn't available.
Winterize the Bath: In late fall, take any additional steps that may be necessary to fully winterize the bird bath. This will ensure that birds always have access to fresh, clean water, no matter when the season fully changes from fall to winter.
Water is critical to birds in every season, and a good autumn bird bath will be a welcome water source for year-round residents and fall migrants alike, bringing more birds to the backyard and making the most of fall migration.
Taken from https://www.thespruce.com/fall-bird-bath-tips-
till next time, this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a master gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.