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  • Writer's pictureCassie Banning

Slow growth but still some color in the greenhouses

Lowbush blueberries, Vaccinium angustifolium

Japanese maple, Acer japonica

Winter is one of the quiet times for the McAlpin Farm greenhouse operation. Cuttings have rooted. Seeds have been ordered, arrived, and are in cold storage. Tubers and bulbs have been dug and stored. Older hardy plants are about to be covered outside with a warm cloth cover called Remay and plastic for the winter. Young hardy plants have been brought in to spend their winter in our 40-degree greenhouse.

We are at one of the lowest light levels for the year during the month of December, due to our northeastern location. As of December 1, the sun began to set at 3:55 p.m., so even the plants in warmer greenhouses are just sitting and waiting for more conducive growing conditions, if they are growing at all right now.

Mapleleaf viburnum, Viburnum acerfolium

Outside the Preserve greenhouses the leaves have long since fallen from the trees. The 40-50 mph wind gusts during the many storms helped what fall color we had drop from the trees quickly this year. Inside, Jon Knight, Manager of Abby Garden & McAlpin Farm wanted to share with you the fall color he is enjoying on young plants tucked away, free from the wind and temperature extremes as they slowly go dormant here in December.

Cassie Banning, Director of Farm & Garden

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