Saturday, November 23, 2013
We are presently under a winter storm warning. Cold wind from the north is taking up moisture from Lake Ontario and turning it into snow. Four inches of snow is forecast for us with increasing amounts falling closer to the lake. This past Thursday the mechanics installed the snow thrower and serviced the tractor. If the snowfall only amounts to four inches, the snow plow will be used to clear the driveway. Whether the the accumulation of snow is large or small we are ready. Better check the amount of gas on hand to be certain that all necessary preparations have been made.
Frost has entered the ground so it is time to cover the chrysanthemums. Dead stalks are cut and placed loosely over the spreading young plants. This bright light yellow mum is new to us this year so the amount of past growth available for cover was small. The plant is on the south side of a stone wall where it will be shielded from harsh winter winds. A low sun sends its rays nearly directly into the wall where heat will be stored daily. With all of these advantages, we hope to see this plant alive next growing season.
In order to adequately cover the mum, we had to borrow material from a nearby Clara Curtis. That plant has been with us for several years so it had stalks to share. If all of these chrysanthemums survive winter, we will have an abundance of plants to share come spring.
Clipping the growth from the red daisy mum revealed this praying mantis egg cluster. It was placed on the metal sheets that surround and protect our lettuce and spinach plants. We hope that the unintended exposure of these developing eggs to full sunlight does them no harm. Having praying mantis patrolling our garden and feeding on bugs is natural pest control but I fear some animal will feed on the exposed egg case. Perhaps some phlox branches could be cut and placed to provide some cover here. Bright sunshine has replaced the swirling snow for the moment so I will tend to that now.