GOOD THING I CHECKED the December garden-chores list before the ground froze any deeper. I had forgotten to pound in the pole for the suet feeders, and ditto on the fiberglass markers for where driveway (to be plowed, please) meets garden (not to be plowed, thank you). This month’s the easiest chores list of all, of course, but it does contain some musts. Ready? [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.
YES, I KNOW. YOU RAKED THE LEAVES, but somebody moved them back onto the lawn and into the beds. Here, too. That’s what we get in a windy October-November cusp: a chance to do it all again. This time around, the storm called Sandy promises to set up do-overs with a vengeance. While I’m cursing all the re-raking, I keep in mind that garden cleanup serves a higher purpose, not just making things look tidy and “put away,” but also eliminating hiding places and prime overwintering grounds for many garden pests, insects and animals alike. What I’m focusing on as I do over many of my October chores this November: [read more…]
OCTOBER IS A JUGGLING ACT: last call for so many chores up North here, but which balls can we keep in the air concurrently? Quick, now: Don’t drop the canning and freezing—but keep at the cleanup, too. And I know I’m still transplanting, tucking tropicals into the cellar, and…uh-oh, this is starting to feel like a video of the chaos of spring, but in reverse motion. Here’s what is on my garden calendar this month: [read more…]
THE GARDEN HAS A LOT OF LIFE left in it—the autumn is one of my Zone 5B location’s most beautiful moments. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have fall cleanup already on my mind. In fact, selectively tidying up here and there as the summer gradually gives way gives me both a jump on the horticultural housework of October-November, but also a better-looking seasonal display. I’m tossing some weary annuals, but deadheading those that could go another mile (like my nicotiana, coleus and zinnias), and even re-cutting the edges of certain beds one last time. [read more…]
THINK OF IT AS SPOT CLEANING—you know, when you dab at the ketchup on your shirt rather than wash the whole thing right then and there. That’s what August is for in the garden: spot cleaning. I can’t fix everything, turning brown leaves back to green or sewing up hail holes in the Astilboides. But I can try to trick the eye (Open Day visitors are coming Aug. 18!) with some targeted trimming, mulching and edging. Whether you’re having tours or not, the August chores that follow will make for greater personal visual enjoyment late summer and fall, reduce hiding places for pests and disease—and after all, it’s really just a headstart on fall cleanup, one spot at a time. [read more…]