Friday, November 1, 2013

Putting the Garden to Bed

All of us serious gardeners have to put our gardens to bed for the winter. This year it just seems all that bending has taken the charm out of the process for me. Man, the ole back gets sore, quicker. Can't be permanent can it? I must have strained myself, didn't stretch right or lifted something wrong.

The point is, somebody has to do the work or you don't maximize the grandeur of the garden for next Spring. Cutting back the Iris, Echicinea (Cone flowers), Brown eyed Susan's, Mums, Hosta and all the other perennials. Plus, pulling some of the clumps of grass and weeds in the garden come naturally; especially when the ground is moist. I also hate it when the sod is creeping into the edge of the bed. Got to get it now, before it gets a head start in March and April.

I always try to groom the bed by raking up the soil and spreading it out more evenly. My flower bed is about 30 feet long and elevated, so I need to push the soil back up that slides down when it rains. I have been thinking it would be nice to put a brick retaining wall up around the bed; maybe two courses up with some packed gravel beneath. Then I would not have to constantly dig out the edges. My that is work. I think that project may have to go on my calendar for next year.

Now my veggie garden is my storage garden for all my potted plants, to winter them over and re pot them in the early spring and pop them into my hoop house for expedited root growth and expanded blooms later. I have rows of Mums, Brown-eyed Susan's, coreopsis, Iris, and other perennials temporarily in the ground in my veggie garden. I also get a lot of plants prepared for the Garden Club plant sale in the Spring.

We got some great rain a few days after I did most of my transplanting. The day I re-planted most of my potted plants I gave them a good drink of water, but knowing the rains were coming, I did not get carried away; just a drink. I hope the majority of the plants survive winter. The only thing I regret is that the ground did not dry out enough to allow me to rototill it and loosen it up for Spring. Since the soil is so fertile and humus like, I am not worried about it being difficult to turn over in the Spring. It is just that it feels like the right thing to do; to turn it over.  I would love to add more enriched soil and perhaps another  level of 8 x 8's to give more depth to the garden.  Always something to do. See you in the Garden. 

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