Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Gardening

You've been weeding until your back hurts all summer, but your job isn't over yet. Before the cold weather sets in there is plenty to do in your garden to keep it healthy and beautiful, and set it up for the spring.

Every area of the US is different. In Vermont you'll want to take precautions to protect young plants from the freezing cold, whereas in Claremont that won't be as much as a concern. Regardless, there are some garden tasks that are important in every climate.

If you aren’t interested in waiting until spring for color, now is the time to plant pansies. These little flowers will make it through the frosts and rebound in the spring with new blossoms. The perfect time to plant is when the soil is between 45 and 65 degrees.

You’ll want to neaten things up around the garden, and not just for appearance’s sake either. Cutting back perennials, removing dead annuals, and removing weeds and leaf debris will all keep the garden healthy through the winter and help protect against pests. Plastic bagging your fall leaves for trash pickup is not the way to go. Dispose of any diseased plants or materials, and it's best if the rest goes into a compost to feed your garden next year!

As temperatures fluctuate when winter sets in, the soil will heave and break up root systems. You can avoid this by mulching in the fall to keep the temperature more consistent. You can choose straw, mulched leaves, or wood shavings, but be aware each takes different considerations. Clear away the summer mulch first, and wait until the ground is frozen or almost frozen.

Finally, fall doesn't mean you have to forego fresh herbs; simply bring them indoors! Not all herbs will grow indoors, so be sure to read up and then select the appropriate varieties such as thyme, rosemary or even parsley. It is important that they receive enough sunlight, so place them in a location that receives approximately 6 hours of sunlight. Remember, some herbs will require less sunlight. During the fall and winter months, your herbs won't require as much water, however, misting will keep them happy!

PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN – How prepared is the U.S. to meet future botanical challenges? The Chicago Botanic Garden and Botanic Gardens Conservation International‘s U.S. office have been working with partners across the country, including the Botanical Society of America, to assess current and future botanical capacity in the United States. The aim of this grant-funded project is to understand the resources we currently have to conserve and manage native plant species and habitat, identify gaps in capacity and highlight opportunities to fill them in the future. Thanks to the over 1,500 survey respondents and 30 workshop participants who contributed to this project in 2009. All surveys were anonymous, and covered topics like academic background, research & management interests and expertise, access to resources, & opinion on conservation issues. Full survey results are summarized in a report outlining strengths & areas for improvement in plant science education, research, & habitat management in the United States which can be viewed and downloaded at

DISSERTATION BLUES – For all our Rink Rats readers who are dealing with your dissertation these days here is an article to ease your pain:

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Sue Bird (30), Jeff Bracken …famous auto executive, Angela Landsbury (85), Bob Miller (72), PBS (40), Peanuts (60), Summer Sanders (38), Paul Simon (68), Karla Suffredini …the best Mom and Sister, George Wendt (62), Michelle Wie (21).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/16, Number 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) @ number 17 ranked Wisconsin Badgers (5-1), 7:00 PM ET, ESPN. The Buckeyes are 6.5 point favorites in Madison, give the points and again, I cannot believe I am saying this, we pick Ohio State to win in Cheese Land.
Season to date (6-0).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/16, another HUGE battle in Cheese Land; the Warhawks of University of Wisconsin at Whitewater (5-0) and ranked #1 in D-III visit number 17 University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire Blugolds (3-2), 4:00 PM ET, HGTV. The Warhawks are a power house we pick them in a close one, 28 – 24.
Season to date (4-1).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/17, Brett Favre, his voice mails and the Minnesota Vikings entertain the troubled Dallas Cowboys (1-3), 4:15 PM ET, Fox. Dallas is a 2.5 point dog, Minnesota is coming off a tough Monday night game in New York, take the points and go with those Cowboys.
Season to date (1-4).

SPORTS BLINK - It's never too early for March Madness. USA Today's "College Basketball" special edition predicts a Final Four (Houston, April 2-4) of Duke v. UNC and Purdue vs. Michigan State, with Sparty spanking Blue Devils for national champion.

DAILY CALLER banner: "Fore More Years! After 14th straight report showing higher than 9.5% unemployment, Obama plays 52nd round of golf as president."

SOCIAL SECURITY 2011 — As if voters don't have enough to be angry about this election year, the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without an increase in their monthly benefits. It would mark only the second year without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975. The first year was this year.

TUBE WATCH - A lot of critics are calling this fall TV season lackluster but there are some bright spots. Here are my top picks:

1. "Boardwalk Empire" (airs 9 p.m. Sundays on HBO): cinematic and gripping, this Martin Scorsese gem is worth the investment.

2. “Mad Men” (airs 10 p.m. Sundays on AMC): the best show on television, if you are not watching it – stop watching mindless reality shows and watch “Mad Men”.

3. “Parenthood” (airs 10 p.m. Wednesday on NBC): great cast and good writing, which is rare for network television.

SHOCKER – LA Times reports that nearly 200(!) L.A. County employees made over $250K last year. And we wonder why California has a budget problem.

THE MARKETS - Stocks just finished their best September since 1939 but low volume and heavy short interest (bets on declines) suggest October could get much uglier. Or it could get even better if third quarter earnings come in strong and jobless claims keep dropping as they did yesterday. The real problem remains the consumer and all the pain of paying down debt that still remains ahead.

AGRICULTURE GOING STRONG - NYT's William Neuman reports: “Even as the broader economy falters amid signs of a weakening recovery, the nation's agriculture sector is going strong, bolstered in part by a surge in exports, according to federal estimates of farm trade and income released on Tuesday. The estimates confirm what economists have been saying for months: agriculture, which was generally not hit as hard by the recession as many other segments of the economy, remains a small bright spot going forward. … The estimates show that American farmers will ship $107.5 billion in agricultural products abroad in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. That is the second-highest amount ever, behind the record $115.3 billion in exports logged in 2008, when commodity prices soared as the global demand for agricultural products was helped by fast-growing economies in the developing world.”

BOB WOODWARD: "It's on the table. And some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012. President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees, that she did so well with during the 2000 primaries. And so they switch jobs. And not out of the question. The other interesting question is, Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016. And be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president. Now, you talk to Hillary Clinton or advisers, they say no, no, there's never a political consideration here, no, no. Of course, the answer is, when you point out to them that her clout around the world when she goes to Europe, when she goes to Asia, when she goes anywhere, is, in part, not just because she's secretary of state or because she was married to Bill Clinton, that people see a potential future president in her."
As predicted in Rink Rats.

Next week, Bankers have replaced Used Car Salesman as the slugs of the planet.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 11, 2010


  1. With all due respect to the old farts, let's not forget:
    1) The $250 Obama gave them in 2009 as part of the economic recovery package.
    2) The 5.8% increase they received in 2009, the largest increase ever.

    and most importantly

    3) We can't afford any of this in the first place.

    If we're going to recover as a nation, these entitlements need to be cut.

  2. Good points Miss Leigh, have you joined the Tea Party? :)