Theresa Knutsen

Theresa Knutsen is a horticulturist and writes the Raintree Nursery newsletter "Growing Tips." Email:

  1. November: Prepare potted plants for winter weather

    November: Prepare potted plants for winter weather
    If you have not yet experienced your first fall frost, as your first frost date approaches, prepare hardy plants you are growing outdoors in containers for winter. Plant roots are generally not as cold hardy as the top of the plant, so they need to be protected from freezing during severe winter weather. Potted Plants (Photo credit: PinkMoose) Sink containers to the rim...
  2. Harvesting Quince

    Harvesting Quince
    Painting of quince fruit and foliage (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Quinces are ready to harvest when they are aromatic and the seeds have matured to a dark color. The background color in the portion of skin that never sees the sun changes from green to yellow or yellow-green about the same time the seeds mature. Eat non-astringent varieties while firm, sliced...
  3. Transplanting a tree or shrub previously planted in the wrong spot

    Transplanting a tree or shrub previously planted in the wrong spot
    Demonstration of transplanting a tree at the Horticultural Centre of the City of Paris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Fall is an excellent time to relocate your over-sized or struggling plant that has been in the wrong spot, or one that was planted in a temporary location last spring. Ideally your plant should be fully dormant, or nearly so. Make sure the root system is...
  4. Taking Care of Mason Bees

    Taking Care of Mason Bees
    Homes of mason bees (Photo credit: Wikipedia) By October, mason bees have finished pupating inside their cocoons and are mature, waiting for springs’ signal to emerge. Between now and early December, you can handle the bees inside their cocoons without damaging them, or waking them up accidentally, making this the ideal time to clean your mason bees and blocks...
  5. Keeping Insects at Bay

    Keeping Insects at Bay
    A bowl of gravenstein apples showing the effects of codling moth larva. The larvae feed especially on the protein rich seeds, which explains why the core of the cut apples have been almost completely eaten away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Keep those fallen fruits cleaned up. In apple maggot and codling moth infested areas, collect and destroy any unused fallen...
  6. How to Harvest Walnuts, Butternuts and Heartnuts

    How to Harvest Walnuts, Butternuts and Heartnuts
    Black Walnut (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Knock the nuts from the tree when the green hulls begin to split and the packing tissue between and around the kernel halves has just started to turn brown. Remove the hulls as soon as you can. There are several ways to remove the hulls: Use a knife, stomp and roll the nuts with...
  7. Plant Those Fall Bulbs

    Plant Those Fall Bulbs
    A view inside some tulips, showing the stamens and stigmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is time to plant your spring-flowering bulbs when the soil has cooled to about 50-55°F. October is a great month for planting potted plants and spring flowering bulbs in the ground in USDA zones 6-10. For best results, have your plants and bulbs in the...
  8. It's Time to Pick Kiwi

    It's Time to Pick Kiwi
    The plural of Kiwi is Kiwi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If your kiwis have softened, they are ripe and ready to eat. Kiwi tend to ripen unevenly on the vine and can be picked as they soften over several weeks. Or the whole crop can be picked when the fruit is firm ripe (berry feels firm, and when you cut...

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