“A good, deep watering with moisture reaching at least a foot down into the soil is much better than several light sprinklings that just wet the top portions of the soil. A deep watering will ensure that the majority of roots have access to water. Roots that actually absorb water are killed when the soil temperature reaches 28 degrees F. Those near the surface do not last long in our Kansas winters. We must rely on roots that are deeper, and provide moisture for them to absorb. Watering depth can be checked with a metal rod or wooden dowel. Either instrument will easily penetrate moist soil but will stop when dry soil is reached.”
“There is a limit to how much organic material such as leaves can be added in one application,” he says. “Normally, a layer 2 inches deep is adequate with 5 to 6 inches being the maximum that can be added at one time. Shredding the material before application encourages faster and more complete decomposition due to increased surface area. Remember, soil preparation is an important key to a successful garden.”
“After the ground has frozen, add a 4-inch mulch of straw, leaves or hay for further protection,” he says. “More soil may be spread on top of the mulch to keep it in place. Do not add the mulch before the ground freezes, or mice may invade and feed on the roses over the winter. The purpose of these coverings is not only to moderate the cold, but also to prevent warm days during the winter or early spring from stimulating growth that is tender to returning cold weather.
“Excessively tall canes should be pruned to a height of 36 inches and tied together to prevent them from being whipped by strong winter winds. Wind can damage the crown of the plant or loosen the surrounding soil. Next spring, remove coverings before new growth starts. Wait until after the ground thaws, or the tops may begin growing before the roots can provide water.”
“To use horseradish, peel the large, fleshy roots and cut into sections. Use a blender or food processor to chop the roots along with a small amount of water and a couple of ice cubes. Vinegar or lemon juice is added to stop the process that produces the ‘bite’ of horseradish. Add immediately after blending for a mild flavor or wait up to three minutes to give the horseradish more kick. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of horseradish sauce along with ½ teaspoon of salt for flavor.
“Horseradish has an extremely strong odor and so you may wish to open the blender or food processor outdoors and to keep your face away from the container when opening. Store ground horseradish in a tightly sealed jar in a refrigerator until ready for use.”
On both weekends there will be s’mores over bonfires and other refreshments.
Next weekend, the Hesston College Bel Canto Singers will perform at 7 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, and the handbell-ringing duo of Kendra Flory and Janelle Flory Schrock will perform at 7 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $2 for children ages 4 to 15. Proceeds help to maintain the 28-acre arboretum. For more information, call 620-327-8127.