Question: I’m preparing for a new vegetable garden in my back yard. I’ve removed the sod and tilled the soil. What else can I do this fall to get ready for next spring? T.S.
Answer: A soil test is the next step. You can use home soil test kits, but I prefer the reliability of a commercial testing lab. Soil test kits and instructions for the University of Wisconsin Soil Testing Lab may be obtained at the Kenosha County UW-Extension office or http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu. You don’t need an “official” soil test bag. A new zip top plastic bag works fine. Written results arrive in about two weeks and list soil type, pH, phosphorus, and potassium. Recommendations for fertilizer are included.
Having freshly dried herbs from your own garden will make your late fall and winter meals so much better, not to mention the possibilities of giving herbs as holiday gifts. And, having fresh herbs on the windowsill lets us keep the growing spirit alive through the doldrums of winter.
Basil is pretty much gone from the garden, but you can certainly start some from seeds for the windowsill. Other herbs such as oregano, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, chives and sage are still in pretty good shape to clip and dry or divide and pot up. Also, now is the time to bring in your rosemary because it won’t survive the winter outdoors.
Homes in the northern U.S. are treated to a measure of effortless outdoor decorating for fall: Nature does most of the work by turning the trees a vivid palette of reds, oranges and golds. Add a pumpkin or two on the doorstep and the look is complete.
Before the weather turns too harsh, consider using some creativity to add to the season’s colors and textures by decorating your home’s outdoor spaces. But be careful, as Halloween decorating has become increasingly popular, many homeowners aiming for a festive fall look go overboard with big decorations and harsh shades of orange.
Question: I love tulips but they seem to die after a few years. Is there anything special I can do to help my tulips live longer? Is there a kind of tulip I can plant that will live and bloom more than three or four years? A.H.
Answer: It is possible for tulips to survive and bloom for years in the landscape. Growing the right types of tulips, correct siting, and proper care are the secrets to long-lived tulips.
I’m recommending that we not let go of summer. We are having an absolutely magnificent fall, so let’s make it go on forever. It may sound odd, but this is a good time to actually take notes and plan for this time of year for next year’s garden.
Cold frames were planted with mustard greens, pak choi, spinach, lettuce and radishes about three weeks ago, and they are almost the perfect size to start harvesting. I should be able to keep things growing so I’ll have greens and maybe even roasted radishes for Thanksgiving dinner.
Leaves are falling, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up the gardening gloves. There is still plenty of work to do in the garden.
Preparing gardens for winter isn’t just about saving time in the spring. It brings big benefits to a garden’s overall health and beauty. Give your garden an edge on the next growing season by following this winter-prep checklist:
About seven years ago, Kenosha resident Steve Schneider held a family vote to determine whether he should keep or sell his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, which he had owned for more than 30 years.
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Ever since his childhood, John Serzynski has been a big fan of John Deere tractors and riding mowers.
“My stepfather (George Paulausky) owned a landscaping business, and I used to play out in the sandbox all the time, all day long, with my cousin,” said Serzynski, a Waukegan, Ill., native who moved to Kenosha County in the late 1990s.
A bit of nostalgia prompted Peter Wenglowsky to obtain his 1961 Rambler Classic about 20 years ago.
BY JEREMY REEVES
If there’s anyone who appreciates having a luxurious car like a black 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 more than David Gregorski, good luck finding him.
Gregorski, 56, was a local barber for 28 years who was forced to retire about a decade ago because of back problems. He’s since had eight back surgeries.
Jim Masi, his older brother Jeff Masi, Dennis Curnes and Butch Funk were all Kenosha teenagers in the early 1960s. And their passion was cars.
Whenever John Munson gets behind the controls and lifts off in his 2006 AMD Zodiac CH601XL factory-built, special light-sport aircraft, he experiences emotions unlike any other.
“As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating,” said Munson, 66, a Kenosha resident. “You’re airborne, and it’s a whole different feeling. It’s the most enjoyable recreational activity I’ve had. I like it a lot.
KENOSHA — What started as a gift for his wife, Mary, more than 30 years ago has evolved into a type of extended relative for Kenosha resident Jim Hawkins.
Kenosha resident Jason Beiser, 30, has been welding for about seven years and started his own business, “Skully’s Welding,” a couple years ago.
SALEM — It took Mike Vandeville about 25 years but he finally made true on his pledge to himself.
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — When it came to his first car, Eric Nelson Jr. didn’t have many options.
Kenosha resident Florian Kreft, 84, has owned about 25 cars in his lifetime, covering most American manufacturers (Chevy, Ford, Buick, Chrysler and Dodge).
Whether on Lake Michigan, inland lakes or even the Gulf of Mexico, Jeff and Mary Albrecht have been boating enthusiasts since they were kids.
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Wayne Walker isn’t the type of person you’d immediately expect to own a Mercedes Benz, especially one imported from Germany.
SALEM — Judy Grasser said her husband of 26 years, Mike, isn’t much of a sentimental type.
The Kenosha County Board unanimously approved the appointment of Ray Arbet to serve as director of the Public Works and Development Services Department at its meeting Tuesday night.
TREVOR — A 3.4 percent increase in the Trevor-School Consolidated School District tax levy was approved by the electorate Tuesday.
The newly hired Downtown Kenosha Inc. executive director said Tuesday the city’s pro-development outlook and infrastructure attracted him.
A 76-year-old Twin Lakes man reported an elaborate phone scam Monday morning involving the Internal Revenue Service and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.
A Kenosha man was charged on Monday with three counts of sexual assault after reportedly terrifying several patrons and employees inside an area haunted house.
St. Joseph Catholic Academy celebrated honored state tennis champion Claire Czerwonka Tuesday, with an assembly full of adoring peers.
SILVER LAKE — If the referendum to dissolve the village of Silver Lake is approved, residents will most likely see a decrease in the municipal part of their tax bill, according to Dale Knapp, research director of the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance.
The defense has reviewed thousands of pages of discovery materials in the Kenosha County case against a man accused of strangling a woman during a sexual encounter, then hiding her body for several years.
KENOSHA — The Griffin Observatory at the Kemper Center, 6501 Third Ave., will be open for night-sky viewing from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, weather permitting.
A double murder trial stopped abruptly Tuesday morning when the defendant agreed to an 11th-hour plea deal offered by the state.
It wasn’t exactly, “Presto, change-o” Monday night at the Kenosha City Council meeting.
JANESVILLE — The debate between 1st District Congressional candidates Rob Zerban and Rep. Paul Ryan was remarkable for its civility while highlighting a clash of political philosophies.
Public hearings on the proposed 2015 Kenosha County budget begin this week.
Kenosha Police said a 67-year-old Chicago man was getting ready to attend a concealed-carry weapons class when he picked up a handgun in his HarborPark townhouse and blew out a sliding glass door in his kitchen.
A man is on trial this week for the April 2013 fatal shooting of two men in a 25th Avenue back yard.
Declining birth rates and shifting demographics are changing the look of Kenosha Unified School District.
For Ben Dowell, meeting President Barack Obama earlier this month, shaking hands and briefly conversing with him still seems surreal.
Less than one day after being convicted of murder, Kenosha’s Joshua P. Braithwaite was arrested for felony battery after a brutal attack on a Kenosha County Jail correctional officer.
SOMERS — Alarm bells rang early Monday morning after a suspicious chemical smell forced school officials at Somers Elementary to evacuate the school.
In-person early voting began Monday but the hours and days for voting vary by municipality. These are the dates and times city, village and town residents can vote. The last day for early in-person voting is Oct. 31. Election Day is Nov. 4.
KENOSHA — A free gardening workshop begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Sustainable Living at Gateway Technical College, 3520 30th Ave.
Question: How many years did Police Chief Owen O’Hare serve on Kenosha’s police force?
The First Congressional District contest in November involves two men who have done battle before.