Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Now you see 'em.
Now you don’t.
The first frost happened here on October 20. The annual canna dig-out started shortly after. I used the same process as my November 10, 2007 post.

The pile of rhizomes is large again this year. I will only keep the bunch in the foreground. The others will be given away to anyone who comes to get them. The rest will be compost. I don’t have room to store more than one container full of rhizomes.

The beautiful coleus are all brown and shriveled. They will be added to the compost.

Before frost.

After frost.

I removed most of the zinnia, cleome, impatiens and other annuals. I’ll get the marigolds and petunias later this week. The pots have been put away. I trimmed the holly. I’ll clean up the prickly leaves that fell on the ground.

It’s a little early to put the roses to bed. In the next few weeks, I’ll trim the long branches, clean up and remove all the fallen leaves. I’ll spray the canes with my baking soda/water solution. Then I’ll cover the base with a hefty layer of mulch. According to some experts, this should be done after the ground freezes. But, if I wait for the ground to freeze, the mulch is also frozen. Did you ever try to shovel frozen mulch?

My biggest incentive for all this fall cleanup is spring. There is too much to do in spring. Any cleanup I can get done in fall, will give me more time for other jobs in spring.

There will be plants to divide and plants to move. Ornamental grasses to cut and dig out. The brick garden edging that didn’t get moved this year will be started next spring (I hope). Then there’s mulch and compost to spread. Weeding will begin anew.
I always eagerly await the garden work after a cold, dark winter. Can you imagine?


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I am always a little sad when that first killing frost comes, but then excited at the thought of starting fresh in the spring.

Is the baking soda/water solution for blackspot? What is the ratio that you use for the solution?

Marie said...

I do use the baking soda solution for blackspot.

I mix 2 tbs. baking soda and a dash of dish soap in a gallon of water.

This solution is also very effective on the scale on my euonymus.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Thanks Marie! I'm going to try it on my roses this year.

Marie said...

Of course there is no guarantee with this recipe :-).

I start spraying early in the season before black spot starts. I usually have some black spot by the end of summer but it's not as bad. Some experts say to alternate sprays weekly.

I also use compost tea on the roses - several times in the summer. This seems to keep the roses healthy and help them fight black spot.

MeMeMe said...

Hello Marie, I'm still a newbie gardener. No cannas to dig out - i have plants to move to the ground like peonies and a daylily, and some new iris bulbs. I'm in the Pittsburgh area, it's supposed to warm up a little this week.

Like you I guess I should trim my hollies...