Fall into the Garden

The sunflowers have dried up, the tomatoes are long and leggy and experiencing a resurgence of green after all the rain and cooler temperatures, and my son delights in picking the green peppers.  The okra’s still going strong, too, but the squash were devoured by the squash bugs.  (I’m sure I’ll be dealing with those again next year.)  Such is our garden now, and I’m wondering what we need to do now that it’s fall. (By the way, that’s not my cute dog — from everystockphoto.com by darkpatator, photo called “Les feuilles magiques.”)

Looking at several lists, these are the basics to making getting started again next year that much easier.

Clean out plant debris.  Healthy stuff can be composted, but diseased or pest-ridden plants need to go in your yard waste or burned in your brush pile (if it’s legal).

Plant or tansplant your trees/shrubs.  Be sure to keep watering young plants until the first freeze.

Clean and sharpen your garden tools.  I hear that putting oil into a bucket of sand is good for storing your tools in and keeping them honed.

Save and store seeds from your favorite plants.  I use regular paper envelopes.  It makes them easy to label and keep separate.

Harvest your herbs.  If you don’t already have an herb garden, now might be a good time to plan for next year’s.

Feed the wildlife.  Make sure your feeders are free of wasp nests and such, clean and ready to fill for the winter time.  We have a feeder hanging right outside our dining room window so the kids can watch birds eating while we do.  We don’t mind the mess, but be aware that wherever you hang a feeder, it gets messy below.

Water features need to be cleaned and drained.  Frozen water expands, and you don’t want to ruin your investment.  It’s not attractive, but that’s why fountains are turned upside down in the winter.

Take care of your roses and gladiolas.  (See links below.)

Some sites if you want to know more:

Enjoy the early fall and the beautiful weather to get your boost of vitamin D and fresh air.  My kids are loving it, but most importantly, so am I!

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