Putting gar­den to bed gets a jump on spring

The Observer (Sarnia) - - HOMES - Denise Hod­gins holds an On­tario di­ploma in hor­ti­cul­ture. Grow­ing Con­cerns is pro­duced by Park­way Gar­dens. Send your gar­den­ing ques­tions to Home, c/o The Lon­don Free Press, P.O. Box 2280, 369 York St., Lon­don, Ont., N6A 4G1

DENISE HOD­GINS

GROW­ING CON­CERNS Sit­ting on the deck with my fam­ily on Thanks­giv­ing week­ing, I re­al­ized it was time to put the gar­den to bed.

The phrase means some­thing dif­fer­ent to ev­ery­one. For me it means do­ing an al­most ruth­less clean up and cut back of plants in the gar­den.

For many gar­den­ers our to do list in the spring is so long, the more we do in the fall the faster we can get go­ing in the spring.

I hate the dam­age ro­dents can do to my gar­den if I don’t cut things back in the fall.

So here is a list of what I do in the fall. from pots and the gar­den.

I do leave a few things stand­ing for the birds such as black-eyed Su­san (rud­beckia), cone­flower (echi­nacea), and se­dum to name a few. I also leave a few of my taller grasses stand­ing for win­ter in­ter­est and be­cause their seed heads feed the birds in the cold months.

When I say cut back peren­ni­als, I mean re­move all the fo­liage to about five to seven cen­time­tres off the ground. I make sure all weeds I find along the way are re­moved too. I even cul­ti­vate the soil gen­tly so the fall rains have a chance to pen­e­trate. (above) be­fore all the seed pods bust, sav­ing me from hav­ing to weed out mil­lions of seedlings in the spring. spring be­fore I prune them. If you are un­sure when to prune a plant, the safest bet is to prune as soon as they are done flow­er­ing. You can take up to half the growth off the plant at that time. any tools. rid of any­thing I did not use this year. (You will be sur­prised the stuff that finds its way in the shed when you are not look­ing.) grass at least one more time be­fore the snow falls, but I do switch the snow blower for the lawn­mower in the garage while the weather is nice. There is noth­ing worse then hav­ing to dig the snow blower out of the shed to be able to use it. I also have the snow blower ser­viced now so it is good to go. I will have the lawn mower done at the same time so it is ready in the spring. The most im­por­tant thing with the lawn mower is to have the blades sharp­ened.

Now, I will be ready, come spring, to get down to plant­ing and car­ing for my oa­sis.

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