I’M STUCK ON A DR. SEUSS RIFF: ‘How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon…My goodness how the time has flewn…” While that plays on a continuous loop in my head, there are also moments of panic: Did I forget to turn off the outdoor tap and drain the lines? Is the potted rosemary in a place that will make it happy all winter? I’m double-checking, and doing other last-minute tasks that make up the December chores—the year’s shortest list. Most important, I’m working on memorizing another Dr. Seuss-ism: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” [read more…]
chores by month
Wonder when to prune or when to plant tomatoes or start vegetable seeds? My garden calendar includes seasonal tasks large and small. The goal: progress, not perfection. I don't get everything done, either, but the list helps me to stay somewhat focused. Note: I garden in Zone 5B on the NY-CT-MA border, so you may need to adjust timing for your Zone by referring to the previous month's chores or even the next.
I KNOW, IT CAN FEEL OVERWHELMING: How will we ever tuck it all in for the offseason, battening down the botanical hatches “in time”? Particularly in the Northern zones, November can turn on us. Let’s take the pressure off by working in priority order, making sure we get the important things done first, in case the weather shuts down the cleanup operation. [read more…]
I GOT FAKED OUT by early bouts of cold, but the cusp of fall is always that way: fickle, and a bit of a tease. In the face of high-30s nights last month, I stashed tender tropicals when perhaps I could have waited, but better safe than sorry, right? Now if I can just get the rest of the harvest put up before the serious cleanup begins—all part of October’s mad juggling act that makes it rival spring as the year’s busiest garden month here in Zone 5B. [read more…]
I DARE YOU: DO A SURVEY of your garden, right this minute. Go outside with a clipboard, and make a headcount of what’s still queued up and waiting to show off (compared to what’s spent and done for the year). Then commit to lengthening the still-to-go list with some well-planned September planting. That’s how this year’s September garden chores begin: with analysis, so you can do enhancements–and yes, I know: we also have harvests to process, weeds to outsmart, lawns to renovate, and more. But let’s not skip this primetime strategic opportunity to not just analyze, but also act to improve the year-round view out the window by planting and transplanting this month. [read more…]