By Henry Homeyer
Huge yellow college buses are on the highway once more … or at the very least, a number of of them. Tree leaves within the swamps are turning crimson. Frost and chilly climate are sneaking up on us. This yr, I resolve to get my backyard put to mattress early so I’m not sporting gloves and lengthy johns as I in the reduction of the daylilies and different perennials on chilly, moist fall days. Here’s what I’m doing now ‑ or will quickly.
First on my listing is the necessity to sow some grass seed. I’ve locations the place my garden was killed when a torrential downpour dumped sand from my highway onto the garden. Fall is a greater time to sow seed than the spring as a result of the bottom is hotter, and it’ll germinate shortly. Within the spring, seed can rot throughout chilly, moist climate.
I’ll unfold some topsoil or compost to enhance the soil, then combine it in with a short-tined rake. After spreading seed, I’ll cowl it with a layer of straw. That may assist to maintain the soil and seeds from drying out, although I’ll water often if the soil will get dry.
Chrysanthemums are on the market now at farm stands, and I bought a number of pots of them to brighten up the entrance yard. I deal with them as annuals, although a few of them are perennial. However the growers in the reduction of the vegetation as they develop, inflicting them to department out and produce tons of of blossoms on larger vegetation. If I allow them to over-winter, the vegetation would have some flowers, however by no means so many as what the professionals produce. It’s price it to me to purchase a number of every fall.
Mums in pots are inclined to dry out shortly, so I’ve been soaking mine in my birdbath. That approach, the pots suck up water, getting it down deep. I might really plant my mums within the floor, however I like them in pots on the entrance steps or in my wood wheelbarrow. They want water each few days.
That is additionally the time of yr once I transfer shrubs. I just lately moved a Diervilla, one known as “Kodiak.” It was given to me years in the past, and it was crowded in between a crab apple tree and a red-veined Enkianthus. I made a decision it wanted more room to develop, and I needed to reveal a stone wall behind it. So I dug it up.
This shrub is about three ft tall and extensive, and had been within the floor greater than 5 years. I used a shovel known as a drain spade: a spade with a protracted, slim blade. I pushed it into the bottom at a 45-degree angle in 4 locations across the bush. Every time, I pushed the shovel deal with right down to carry the shrub barely. Then, once I’d gone throughout it, I obtained the spade below the center of the plant, pushed down onerous, and popped it proper out.
I tugged on the plant and pulled it free, roots and all. Some had been lower by my shovel, others not. I moved it to its new house, lined the roots and watered effectively. Every week later, it appears to be like tremendous.
The vegetable backyard is winding down, and as every crop is harvested, I weed the row and apply mulch as wanted to maintain wind-blown seeds from discovering a house. My favourite mulch consists of chopped fall leaves: I run over leaves on the garden with my lawnmower to cut them, and rake them onto a tarp which I drag right down to the vegetable backyard. It’s too early for leaves, so I’m utilizing straw for now.
When cleansing up the vegetable backyard, it’s necessary to maintain diseased vegetation separate from wholesome ones (which go on the compost pile). I usually have a location for noxious weeds and diseased vegetation and don’t use that materials after it breaks down, or not for a few years. It takes a reasonably excessive temperature to kill weed seeds and fungal illnesses, and I don’t need to probability getting both one again in following years.
I are inclined to get a bit lackadaisical in regards to the perennial flower gardens late within the season. Weeds and grasses have a approach of displaying up there and by pulling them now, the work might be much less within the spring. Cindy and I’ve accomplished a reasonably good job of mulching the flower gardens this yr utilizing a floor hemlock bark mulch, although some weeds push on by means of. This can be a good time to eliminate these rascals.
Some gardeners in the reduction of all flowers within the fall, others within the spring. Me? I in the reduction of some, however like to go away some tall perennials with sturdy stems to face proud above the winter snows. Birds get pleasure from their seeds. And a few useful bugs want locations to put their eggs, or to make use of as shelter. However, there’s a lot to do within the spring, and cleansing up the flower beds now reduces the work afterward.
Slicing again perennials with a pair of pruning shears may be very tedious work. I desire to make use of a serrated harvest sickle that permits me to slice by means of a handful of stalks in a single fast movement. I’ve one which prices below $10 (a Barnet mannequin BLK 730) and is obtainable from OESCOINC.com, or by calling them at (800) 634-5557. Simply put on gloves whenever you use it – it’s very sharp.
That is additionally time to divide perennials to make extra vegetation. Peonies, for instance, are greatest divided and moved in late September to mid-October. Dig up daylilies, phlox or asters now the best way you’d a shrub, after which use a small noticed or root knife to divide it into two or extra new vegetation. Most vegetation like being divided – assuming you give them some compost and a bit fertilizer.
Placing the backyard to mattress will be an pleasurable time – as long as you give your self sufficient time to do it in small chunks. So get to work earlier than it will get too chilly to get pleasure from your self.
Henry Homeyer lives in Cornish Flat, New Hampshire. E mail email@example.com.