Ready for winter? In your garden?
I think I am, and even if I wasn’t we got a good amount of rain overnight so it’s too wet to do much in the garden today.
It’s an inside day.
But if it was an outside day, I’d be… what would I be doing in my garden?
Not much, I suppose.
The leaves that fell on the garden beds aren’t too deep. They can stay to rot and become humus eventually.
I mowed the lawn a bit shorter a few days ago so it’s also looking ready for winter now.
What about those perennials standing tall?
They can stand tall until they don’t. I’ll clean up what’s left in the spring, once temperatures have warmed up again and the insects presumably overwintering in some of those stems are on the move once again.
I do make some exceptions.
I cut back and dispose of anything with powdery mildew. I’m looking at you, peonies, and over there, you, tall phlox.
I also cut back lilies and hostas. They tend to turn more mushy than anything else.
I once gave some general advice to a co-worker about which perennials to cut back: If it is high and dry, leave it. If it flops and is mushy, remove it. With an asterisk to indicate you should remove and dispose of anything that is clearly diseased.
And I’m eyeing the seed heads of a few other perennials. Yes, I’m leaving the coneflower seed heads for the finches, but I’m looking at those asters. Hmmm… do I have enough asters popping up here and there? If no, I’ll leave the seed heads, and I’ll have plenty of aster seedlings in the spring.
Eventually, winter will truly come along and then the time for decisions is over.
Unless there’s a warm day or two in there, and there usually is.
But in the meantime, it’s good that I don’t have much left to do in the garden.
Hey, don’t worry about the pile of zinnia and sunflower stems. I’ll eventually do something with it. And stop worrying about the figs. Oh wait, worry about the figs! I need to cover the base of them with a big pile of leaves! And what about Christmas lights? While I was puttering in the garden on those warm days, my neighbors were putting up Christmas lights. Now it looks like I’ll be putting mine up in the cold! Like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation, except I won’t need to be up on a ladder (much), my lights aren’t in a big bundle, and the electric company won’t notice when I flip the switch on my LED lights. Plus my Christmas lights are multi-color, not white, and no weird cousin is going to show up in an RV, but otherwise, yes, just like that movie!
But the figs! I must gather up some leaves to cover their bases for the winter, and then I think all my (garden) bases are covered for winter!
I hope you and your garden are nearly ready for winter, too!