Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fall Garden Cleanup

A few days of badly needed rain has caused a temporary halt in garden cleanup.

In the last few weeks, I managed to get a few things done.

Even though we have not had a frost, I’ve been emptying pots and composting the potted annuals. The pots were cleaned and stored for the winter. The pot pictured is ready to roll toward the compost bin. I never do a great job of cleaning pots before I put them away. I dump the soil and brush out a little remaining soil. I use new soil mix in spring and I haven’t had any problems. I guess this is OK but I’m sure there are better methods.

I cut back a few of the black-eyed Susan and cone flowers. I leave some for the small birds to feed on. They like the little seed heads.

I cut back and cleaned the iris bed a few weeks ago. This is the first year I’ve done this. Most years I tend to ignore the mess altogether. The yellow iris blooms profusely every year with almost no care at all. I hope the iris like being neat and tidy for a change.

The peonies were cut off and discarded in the trash. They were a mildewed, unsightly mess.

I picked the last of the tomatoes and pulled the plant the other day before the rain. I harvested 8 green tomatoes and one almost ripe. Most of them will ripen off the vine – or become green fried tomatoes. Next year I want to try Brandyboy tomatoes if I can find them. It's large beefsteak that I’ve heard good things about from other gardeners.

If we get a frost this weekend, I’ll cut off canna stalks. I’ll dig up the canna tubers with a garden fork. They will be dried and stored in peat moss in a cool place for the winter. The rest of the annuals will need to be cleaned out of the garden.

Hopefully, I’ll have time to spread some compost and mulch before leaf raking starts in earnest.

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