Monthly Wrapup: October

Planning

  • I got some fall plant ideas from Home Depot.  True, it is not the best nursery around, but as long as I was there, I decided to browse.
  1. Japanese Blood Grass: I have really been noticing grasses lately, and have been toying with planting some in the backyard.  This particular grass has a deep red color that is reminiscent of fall.
  2. Crocosmia: This flowers in a deep harvest yellow.  I love this color, but it is also very nice to see something flowering other than chrysanthemums.
  3. Baby’s Tears: This moss-like ground cover would look perfect in my shade garden.

Maintenance

  • I prepped the cold-frame for the winter, including scrubbing the plexiglass top.
  • The hanging baskets have been stored.  One of these days, I should actually scrub them out, but at least they are neatly stacked and stowed away.

Landscaping

  • The cherry tree isn’t losing its leaves yet, but the big hazelnut is.  I have had to rake the lawn twice so far.  At least the leaves make a nice mulch.  Some people compost them first, or at least chop them up, but I take the lazy approach and just pile the leaves around the trees and shrubs as I rake.

Lawn

  • Nothing this month.

Pruning

  • I pruned the leaves off the backyard rose, but have not gotten to the ones in front yet.

Fruits, Nuts, and Berries

  • I fertilized the potted strawberry with coffee grounds.
  • I top-dressed the honeycrisp with compost and then mulched it with leaves.

Vegetable Garden

  • The potato beds got winterized.
  • I harvested the beans, tore down their deer cage, and cleaned the bed.  Everybody liked this year’s purple beans, but they did not produce as much as a normal crop, so I won’t grow them again next year.
  • I bought early, mid, and late season Italian garlic and planted it in the bean bed.  Amazingly enough, I even had enough foresight to plant the late season garlic in the middle of the bed, so I can harvest everything without crushing other plants in the process.
  • Now that it is getting colder, I put a sheet of plastic over the tomatoes.  Next year we will build a more stable A-frame.  This one does not hold up in the wind, and it does not completely cover the tomatoes.  The plastic is also only semi-clear, but we already had it and did not feel like going to the store for more.

Herb Garden

  • I finally cleared out an area for the oregano and transplanted it.  We will see if it survives the winter.

Flower Garden

Annuals:

  • I pulled out most of the bachelor’s button.  The rest will follow shortly, and it will not be replanted next year.  I think they would look great in a meadow, but these flowers were too leggy and weedy this close to the house.

Bulbs:

  • The allium got deadheaded.
  • The calla lilies got the old foliage removed.
  • The bulbs in the reclaimed section of my front flower bed got top-dressed with compost.  There are more in the overgrown zone, along with the shade garden, that I have not gotten to yet.
  • I am still waiting for my hyacinth and tulip bulbs to arrive.

Native Plants:

  • The Indian plum was top-dressed with compost and mulched with leaves.

Roses:

  • I continued tying the climbing roses to the trellis.  This should be the last month of that until spring.
  • The rose in the backyard got top-dressed with compost and mulched with leaves.  I haven’t gotten to the others yet.

Shrubs:

  • I top-dressed the lilac with compost and mulched it with leaves.

Houseplants

  • They were watered mid-month.  The African violet looked extremely wilted, so I gave it a good soaking.  The others were watered as normal.
  • The plants that were still flowering got fertilized once with coffee grounds.
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