The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 5, 2012

Unseasonably warm temps extend gardening season

Procrastinators have extra time to prepare perennials

OTTUMWA — The weather this year has been the exception in many ways, and December is continuing that trend. Thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures, gardeners in southeast Iowa have the opportunity to extend their schedules a little.

Richard Jauron, horticulturalist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says that mid- to late November is generally the cutoff date for preparing perennials for the winter months. This year, however, anyone who has still has yard work to do has been given a bit of extra time.

“Everything should be done by now because you don’t want to wait and do things in December,” Jauron said. “You want to get it done on time in Iowa because we can’t count on the weather to cooperate. You can still do some things now, though, since the ground hasn’t frozen yet.”

Perennials that are well established, ones that have been in the ground for more than a year, don’t require any type of winter protection. Jauron says this includes peonies and hostas, which don’t need anything special to make it through the winter cold.

More delicate plants like hybrid tea roses and mums need more attention before cold truly sets in.

“Mums are a different story because they’re very finicky. They will either do well over the winter or they won’t,” Jauron explained.

To make sure they survive, Jauron suggests several inches of straw, pine needles and evergreen branches. Leaves are not the best mulch, he explains, because tend to mat down and won’t provide adequate protection. The mulch should remain in place until early April.

Perennial beds can be protected in much the same way, using a 6- to 8-inch layer of clean mulch. Any unplanted perennials can be planted, in their pots, and mulched as well. In the spring, they can be dug up and planted in their permanent location.

“You can still do some of these things now if you need to, but usually you can’t. It shouldn’t be something you plan on from year to year,” Jauron said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition