While I enjoy that early blast of summer heat and the constant evolution in the garden, the cool undercurrent of the first autumn breeze is a welcome transition. There are several projects that are best tackled at this time of year.
Lawn renovation should be done now. Right now. Seeds will benefit from warm soil temperatures followed by cooler air temperatures as seedlings emerge. Seeding can be done through the middle of October. Or you can go with sod, more expensive but more instantaneous results. Sod can be installed as long as the ground is not frozen.
Leaves are already falling but will come down like an avalanche with the next big rain storm. You want to have your compost pile ready to receive them. I always recommend having room for two piles. One that you are adding to and one where you can access the finished product. At this time of year you want to move all the undecomposed material to one pile. This will let you use the finished compost for your fall planting projects. All the leaves and garden cleanup debris can then go on top of the pile. As an alternative, you can make one long pile.
Add new material to one end and take finished product from the other end. As you use up the compost you can go back to adding raw material at beginning. This works if you generate a lot of material. Its great for me since the chickens contribute significantly on a regular basis. If whatever new material you are adding is dry, apply water as you build the layers. It's virtually impossible to wet a compost pile once it gets some size to it. Leaves act like roof shingles and the water runs off.
Bulbs for spring bloom get planted in the fall. October is ideal but you can plant as late as Thanksgiving weekend. Use the project to make room for some leftover pumpkin pie! Buying locally can be fun and spontaneous. You might come across something really spectacular. But if you want a large number of a particular variety for mass impact you are not likely to find that locally. Also, it is kind of fun to curl up with a cup of tea and a stack of catalogs. Of course the more tech oriented gardeners scroll through on the computer, although I will never find that quite as satisfying. However you search, find at least one thing that is totally outrageous. May I suggest Tree lilies, or Crown Imperials or perhaps Schubertii Alliums.
Blooming Now we have a few interesting things. Beauty Berry is one of my favorite fall delights. It is planted next to the driveway so I always see it coming and going. Not sure if it is the color or abundance of purple berries that tickle my fancy, but it always makes me smile. Liriope is another plant that comes into its glory at this time of year. I also have a potted tropical passion vine. It seems to bloom in bursts and it is quite prolific at the moment.
Interesting Pruning! I came across this manicured yard. I am not sure how I feel about it. Someone put a lot of effort into creating this. But I feel myself wince whenever I look at these pics. So what do you think? Creative or crazy?
This, however, is almost scary! It looks like somebody just hacked this through the middle.
Repotting this yucca turned out to be a big job. We've had this at least 30 years and have cut it back and moved it to a bigger pot many times over the years. I guess it was feeling ignored because it shattered its own clay pot. It just cracked and partially fell off. The rest of the pot had to be smashed off. It just wouldn't budge! So we moved it into a decorative plastic pot. It was getting too heavy for me to move.
I generally prefer clay pots. They breathe. But when plants start to get too heavy to handle they go into plastic. It helps a little.
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