Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Tasks in the Garden

I love Country Living Magazine. I could live somewhere within its pages. Alas, we do not live within it's pages, and so we've settled for trying to make a bit of our own happy, serene spot. It is definitely a work in progress. Never finished. Never perfect. Every year, in the early spring, my husband humors me by digging up and moving around bushes and plants that need a different spot to really thrive. And every year, my boys humor me by digging up some sort of plant that has taken over its area of the garden, and threatens to dominate the whole yard. Always something to tweak and try to improve out in the yard.

And now that fall is literally right around the corner, it is time to start wrapping things up and get the plants and beds ready for the snowy winter months. I came across this list from Country Living Magazine today, and it's a pretty good list of To-Do's for the next several weeks...

10 Must-Do Tasks

1. PLANT BULBS AND PERENNIALS. Fall is the time to place spring bulbs in the ground and plant bare-root roses, deciduous trees and shrubs, and evergreens.

2. TIDY BEDS. Cut back spent perennials after the first frost and pull up annuals. Leave some plants with beautiful seed heads, such as grasses and sedums, for winter interest and to help feed the birds.

3. WEED. Get a head start on spring, when weeds are potentially most harmful, by ridding beds of weeds in fall. Be certain to pull the entire root out of the ground. Avoid using harmful pesticides.

4. MOW THE LAWN. Give your lawn a final cut before winter. Apply corn gluten, which inhibits weeds and fertilizes lightly.

5. ADD MULCH. Give perennials an extra layer of protection in winter by mulching. Wait to apply mulch until after the first frost to help prevent rodents from nesting in it.

6. APPLY ORGANIC FERTILIZER AND COMPOST. Give plants food in late fall so they will be well-nourished in early spring after the winter thaw.

7. PROTECT TENDER PLANTS. Wrap tender plants, such as fig trees or boxwood, to protect them from harsh winter conditions. Bring indoors any potted plants that you want to keep for years to come.

8. COLLECT SEEDS. Seed saving is a thrifty and easy way to get a head start on next year's garden. It is also important in preserving treasured heirloom varieties.

9. DISINFECT POTS. Clean pots with a coarse brush to remove all traces of soil that could harbor harmful bacteria and disease. Let terra-cotta pots dry out completely before storing them.

10. CLEAN AND SHARPEN TOOLS. Prevent disease by keeping tools cleaned and sharpened.

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