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Monday, November 24, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 11/26/2013

IN THE GARDEN

There’s still work to do in the yard

BY KELLY HEIDBREDER
GARDENING COLUMNIST FOR THE BLADE
Kelly Heidbreder Kelly Heidbreder
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You can always count on Christmas decorations hitting the shelves before Thanksgiving, carols on the radio playing non-stop, and bell-ringers at the entrance to every business around town at this time of the year. You know what you can also count on? My annual advice about feeding your lawn after your Thanksgiving dinner.

I might sound like a broken record, year after year, reminding you to give your lawn one last feeding before winter. You should be used to it by now and be prepared for a bit of yard work this week.

Winter feast

The grass in your lawn is in slow motion right now as it goes into winter dormancy. It might even be a bit crispy from overnight frost. But it is still able to get some nourishment.

Buy a few bags of slow release winterizing fertilizer to end the season. The high nitrogen blend of fertilizer has a special coating on it. It takes a while for it to break down into your soil. It will slowly melt into the ground over the next few months and be ready for the roots of your turf to pull it in once it wakes back up in the early spring.

Mulching your leaves into your lawn will also give it a bit of natural compost. Instead of raking everything to the street or into bags, keep chopping it up and let it naturally break down into the soil of your turf below. It is an inexpensive way to give your lawn a bit of gourmet food before spring.

Other natural fertilizers like bone meal, fish blood or chicken manure will help your turf. You will need to sprinkle it on your grass and rake it into the soil line for it to be effective on your lawn.

Get off the couch

After you finish off that last piece of pumpkin pecan pie, burn off some calories by walking your fertilizer spreader around the yard. Read the back of the bag to be sure you are applying the right amount of fertilizer for the size of your lawn.

Give the equipment one last cleaning before packing it in the back of your garden shed so it will be ready for the next fertilizer application in late spring next year.

Sit back and relax

The active part of our outdoor growing season will slow down for the next few months, but the indoor fun is just beginning. Don’t forget to take a picture of your fall landscape for your garden journal.

Start making your list of plants you would like to grow next year and if you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse like one of my local garden buddies, give thanks that you have huge tomatoes still on the vine. Hmm – I wonder if he will be sharing that bounty with me? Happy Thanksgiving!

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com 



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