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Answering Your Questions on End of Season Gardening

Despite warm temperatures, it IS time to winterize your lawn and pond, and bring flowers inside to overwinter.{ } Check out our experts' advice, from Monday's Answer Desk.

Despite our summer-like weather, it IS time to close up your garden and other outdoors areas. We invited a panel of experts in to answer your many questions, on Monday night's Answer Desk.

Lawncare: Terry Ettinger, SUNY ESF greenhouse manager & longtime gardening advisor says yo should mow until the lawn stops growing. Give it one more shot of fertilizer, about Veterans Day. But, DON'T rake leaves. Set your mower on high, and run through them several times. The small leaf piees will drom into the grass, decompose, and add nutrients to the soil. (Ettinger says we spend WAY too much on municipal leaf removal!)

Ponds: Kim Maddox, from LandMasters Cicero Pond & Rock Shop says fish can overwinter in very little water (as little as 18") a lonF a there's a hole in the ice that will allow methane and carbon dioxide to vent. He also says that as the water cools, fish diets need to change: more carbs, less protein, to help them build fat. Fish won't eat if the water's under 50 degrees. Maddox says hardy plants will overwinter in the water, tropical and non hardy plants have to be brought inside and treated as houseplants for the winter. (If youre not sure, he says they can usually identify from a picture or description).

Flowers: Carol Watson, from Carol Watson Greenhouse in LaFayette, says that even though its fairly warm, it's time to bring outdoor plants in, especially the tropicals. That gives them a chance to adjust to lower light while they still have energy. Plants may need to be cut back, and definitely cleaned up. AND, don't overwater while they're indoors, may 'drown' that way--it's better to let them run a bit dry. They also like it cool!

The Answer Desk returns next Monday evening, with your chance to ask questions about breast cancer, on NBC3.

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