Get ready for spring, you ask?
Thank you for asking.
So often we think of late summer and fall as the end of the growing season, a time for tearing out and putting away, a time for raking and cutting back.
Here, I'm bringing a whole new attitude to fall clean up.
I'm not cleaning up. Instead, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do to get ready for spring.
I've got bulbs on order that will show up about the time I should be planting them. Mostly more crocuses and glory-of-the-snow for the lawn, plus some of the earliest blooming tulips because Easter is on April 1st next spring.
I've got my pruners all sharp and ready to deadhead ruthlessly when the time comes. I know. Leave the seed heads for the birds. Well, around here that also means leave the seedheads to self-sow rampantly throughout the garden. After all, there isn't enough to weed around here already. Nope. I don't need more asters, goldenrods, black-eyed susans and other self-sowers so I'm going to at least cut off those seed heads. I might—might—leave some of the stems standing because I've read that's where a lot of the pollinators overwinter, inside those stems.
I'm going to cut back or pull out anything that looks diseased or has no redeeming "winter interest", like peonies and hostas and all the annuals. I usually do that after a good killing frost, which is still hopefully not for another six weeks or so.
And I'll cover, protect, and otherwise try to shelter those decorative items that would break or crumble in the freeze, thaw, freeze again, snow, thaw, freeze cycle of winter. It's brutal out there in January.
Maybe I'll go ahead and increase the size of some of the borders, sort of sharpen up the edges by taking out another foot or so of sod? Fall is the best time to prepare new planting beds.
I'll definitely clear off all the raised beds in the vegetable garden so that when the calendar flips over to St. Patrick's Day, I'll just have to tickle the ground with a little hoe and I can plant my peas.
Yes, indeed. I don't really do fall clean up anymore. It's all about getting ready for spring around here.