Winter is here, and although many of us have already tucked our gardens in for the cold months, it's important to not forget about them.
Loretta Aaron, one of Oklahoma City's most legendary gardeners, made these recommendations for how best to help your garden survive our sometimes very harsh winters:
The main thing landscape buffs and ornamental gardeners should consider is water. Gardeners fear a hard freeze when soil is bone dry. Soak all planting before the hard freezing weather sets in. This includes mature evergreens and plants located under broad overhanging eaves. Watering is one of the best ways to prevent plants from dying because of dry-freeze conditions of winter. Most of our winter months have a tendency to be dry, and while subsoil may be adequate, root systems of fall-planted pansies and hardy annuals grown from seed have not put down a deep root system at this stage.
Gardeners should also clean up their garden plots now by removing dead plants as well as living grasses and weeds. Leaves and grass clippings can then be spread over the garden area along with small amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to help them decompose. The fertilizer and organic matter should be worked well into the soil so they will have time to decay before spring plating.
Remember to sprinkle Sevin dust under the new pansy plants, or they may end up a tasty treat for sow bugs. Should the temperature be predicted to stay in the low teens for several days, give the pansies a light mulch.
So enjoy your hot cocoa by the fire, but don't forget about your outdoor spaces. A little care now and they'll reward you come spring!
For 21 years, Loretta Aaron, an Oklahoma City gardening expert, was a beloved and well-known gardening columnist for The Oklahoman. Loretta died in 2009. Her cousin, Carla Sharpe, an OKC Beautiful board member and avid Master Gardener, copied and indexed Loretta's articles spanning many years. With the permission of Loretta's family, we will reprint some of Loretta's words of gardening wisdom each month.
Beautiful things happening in OKC
• “ART: Art in Recycled Trash” exhibit, Nov. 15 through Feb. 15. Gallery opening party, 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15. Sponsored by OKC Beautiful and the Science Museum of Oklahoma, this is the second recycled art/Science Museum Oklahoma Upcycle Challenge in which participants collect items that would normally be trash to create works of art. See www.
• Lecture on hardy winter plants, 2 to 3 p.m. Nov. 17, Myriad Gardens.
• North Pole Winter Wonderland holiday exhibit, Nov. 25 through Jan. 1, Myriad Gardens.
• Holiday garland workshop, 1 to 3 p.m., Dec. 1, Myriad Gardens.
• Holiday boxwood tree workshop, 1 to 3 p.m., Dec. 2, Myriad Gardens.
OKC Beautiful's monthly Beautification Award winners
Each month, OKC Beautiful awards beautification awards. November's focus is on southeast and central Oklahoma City. The winners are:
• Organization: Positive Tomorrows
• Business: Rural Water Association, 1410 SE 15th.
• Residence: 227 NW 16th.
Want to help make OKC more beautiful? Check out www.