Sunday, October 28, 2007
Gardening After The Frost: Get Started, Pile High, Make Decisions
We've had a killing frost.
We know it's over. We know we can't go back.
We can't undo the frost.
Today in the garden was a time to get started on fall clean up, to pile high the compost and make decisions on what goes and what stays as the gardening season now rapidly winds down here at May Dreams Gardens.
We've had a killing frost.
The first thing I did today in the garden was to clean up some of the bigger rocks that I found while digging holes for my new trees on Friday so I could use them in the miniature garden as edging.That may seem like an odd task to start fall clean up with, but it needed to be done. Does it really matter what you do first when doing fall clean up as long as you just get started and it all gets done? Plus, this was one task that I was able to start and finish quickly, giving me that sense of accomplishment, that joy that people of my type experience when they check something off their 'to do' list, even if that list is in our heads. Just get started, do something, don't lament what was, get started on cleaning up the garden to prepare for what will be. Get started.
After I got started and finished up my first task, I turned my attention to clearing up those plants that were clearly killed off by the frost.I pulled out impatiens, corn stalks and all the pepper and tomato plants, and piled them up in one of my three compost bins. Don't be afraid to pile up the plant material as high as you can. Now is definitely not the time to scrimp on the compost pile and start bagging plant material to put in the trash. My compost bin sides are about three feet tall and this new pile rises above the sides by at least two feet. Compost will happen and before you know it, this pile will be half the size it is now. Really, it's like a miracle. Pile high.
While cleaning up one of the planting beds, I found this catnip where I thought I had dug up all the catnip to give to my sister.
As you clean up the garden, you'll have to make a lot of decisions, like what to do with this catnip. Should I weed it out or let it stay? I also found more ribbon grass and a bunch of four o' clock seedlings nearby. I definitely pulled those out. Then I decided to leave the catnip so I can transplant it someplace else next spring. As I go from bed to bed, I'll be faced with a myriad of similar decisions to make. Cut something back or leave it be? Dig out unwanted seedlings or let them go to transplant in the spring? Add compost or leave bare? Make decisions.
And before I know it, after just a few more days of working in the garden, I'll be ready for winter. I'll just keep reminding myself to get started, pile high and make decisions. Repeat after me... "Get started, pile high, make decisions".
And don't forget to plant the bulbs.
(Someday soon, I'll post about handmade gifts for the gardener.)