Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Hygiene

October 21 and my Fall garden is still going strong.  As you can see from the photos below, I have lots of purples and reds in my garden, both from flowers and foliage.  

I did quite a bit of cleanup today, pulling a lot of the annuals that have stopped flowering, especially the verbena, cosmos, zinnias and petunias, though quite a few of them are still have lots of buds on them and haven't suffered from frost damage yet.  My compost bins are now filled to the brim, and I still have so much more green material to pull out of the ground before the season is over, so I don't know what I'll do.

I also decided to do a little more moving of plants today, taking my perennial grasses out of their pots and putting them into the ground, and moving a bunch of (dis-)obedient plant to the parking strip, where I don't care how aggressive it it.  (Let it try to compete with the yarrow!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

bed preparation

Today I continued preparing the (unframed) raised bed that I'm putting in in my front garden, shelling out for two bags of Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend (a great mix of soil, compost, seaweed extract and peat).  Before I did that, I threw 100 chiondoxa bulbs underneath it, and tamped them down with my feet, so that they are now buried about 2-3 inches.  Together with the alliums there, they should make a nice Spring display before I put in my vegetables.

On one side of the raised bed, I put in five reblooming daylilies (75% off at Lowe's) as a margin, and on the other side, freshened up my pathway with two more bags of pea gravel.

All this was done in this afternoon's rain, so I didn't need to water anything in. 

Here's to Spring planning!  I love the anticipation that comes with putting in lots of bulbs, then waiting for the blooms in Spring.  Too bad it's such a long wait.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

still no frost; moving and planting

I'm amazed that I have yet to get a killing frost here.  The historical first-frost date is September 31, so this is quite extraordinary.  Given that our last-frost date has been pushed back by two weeks, it means we get an extra month of gardening.  (Not that this doesn't mean troubling things for our planet.)

I pulled the last of my tomatoes, peppers and parsley a few days ago, and moved my lettuce underneath my little cold frame to try to get a few more weeks out of them.  

Today was a big moving and planting day:  I'm planning on a new raised bed in my front yard (since it gets more sun), so I had to move a bunch of plants, including phlox (david), boltonia, ox-eye daisies, joe-pye weed, a veronica spicata, one bee balm, and a hydrangea.  I turned everything over (including the hundreds of annoying ox-eye daisies starting out), threw a hundred alliums (cowanii) and about ten garlic cloves around the area, then put down some soil and compost over it all, and watered it in.  I also watered all the plants I moved.

I also had time (though the days are getting short!) to plant more spring bulbs, putting in some squill, tete-a-tete daffodils, and allium bulgaricum around where I had planted them last year.  I still have to plant my chiondoxa and anemones, but I imagine I'll have more time to do that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

bulbous bulbs

Planted my first Spring bulbs yesterday afternoon, good-sized Woodstock hyacinths from Scheeper's.  I loved using my bulb augur, though it's a bit wide for little bulbs.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall chores

Buckets of rain have come down today, which is fine by me, since my fall garden needs it before the first hard frost.  But I had planned on planting Spring bulbs today and don't want to tramp over soggy soil tomorrow (even if it clears), so I may have to wait for another weekend.

Given that I'm limited to poking in a bulb here and there, rather than digging a trench and filling it, I bought a bulb augur that you can use as a drill bit.  I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I have garlic greens popping up since planting them a month ago.  I still have lots of cloves to plant, but I'm glad to see that those I planted did so well already.  

I pulled out a few of the tomato plants that are done producing and clipped a few of the tomatoes that are just beginning to ripen. (I'll finish them on a windowsill.)  I still have three tomatoes left on the vine that haven't started ripening yet.

This past week my asters, perennial mums, sweet autumn clematis and Joe Pye weed have all opened, and my annuals haven't bitten the dust yet, so there is still lots of color in my garden. Especially beautiful is the brilliant red foliage on my blueberry bushes.

I just bought a couple of discount blackberry bushes and am considering where to put them. They need full sun, so my choices are limited.  Since they can take over spaces, I don't want to put them in my regular garden.  Perhaps in the parking strip or alongside the back fence will have to do.