Autumn is the best time to get a step ahead in the garden. Spring is chock full of garden work, and a little well spent time in your garden now will decrease the number of tasks you will be facing once the snow melts and the robins return. What follows is a list of ten must do fall garden chores:
With the growing season winding to an exquisite end, many gardeners willingly head indoors to relax and review the successes and failures of the season. If, like me, you have garden withdrawal during the frozen months, don’t despair. There are plenty of garden-related things you can do to appease your inner garden muse during those days when digging in the dirt is impossible:
The thing I miss most in mid-winter is fresh herbs and veggies from my garden. Although I still have canned and frozen produce, there’s nothing quite like fresh culinary herbs added to your recipes direct from the plant. Herbs are an easy indoor plant to start from seed, and can be a wonderful family project on these cold winter days. Start with a sterile pot: clean yogurt cartons, clay pots, egg cartons, or any vessel that suits your fancy. If your container doesn’t have adequate drainage, punch a few small holes in the bottom. Add a good basic potting mix.
Winter is a time for repose and reflection, and many gardeners take to bird feeding to fill their need for color, texture and interaction with their landscape. If you are an old hand at feeding our winter visitors, or a newbie, these tips from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will guide you in feeder/feed placement and selection. There are three main choices in food: large seeds, small seeds and suet. Large seeds include black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower, peanuts, shelled corn, ear corn and cardinal mixes that contain sunflower, safflower and peanuts.
I love annuals!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is the selection of our fresh cut Christmas tree. We often traipse through snow filled fields in bitterly cold weather to find that perfect tree. The end result is worth the frosted nose and rosy cheeks.
It seems strange to talk about planting this time of year, but now is the time to plant spring bulbs and garlic. When it comes to producing color early in the season, you can't beat spring-flowering perennial bulbs. If cared for properly, they'll come back year after year from a single fall planting, providing many blooms for your investment. In spring, we all wish we had planted tulips or some of the other spring bulbs to give us that first early color in our yard. Now is the time to take action and get them in the ground.
Do you say "rudbeckia" instead of "black eyed Susan", or "echinacea" instead of "purple cone flower"? Do you know the best methods for ridding a garden of Colorado potato beetles or how to best protect your prize winning tomatoes from blight?
Chickens have been slowly disappearing from our barn, and Saturday evening I found the culprit, a young mother raccoon and her eight little ones. Although some may find raccoons cute and funny, I find them aggressive and menacing. Armed with a broom and a Good Dog, I dodged mom’s attack, and, hopefully, banished the raccoons for the time being. Raccoons can be a real problem in the garden. They dig in vegetable beds, eat fruit off trees and vines, pillage corn, destroy lawns and ransack bird feeders.