chores by month
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The may garden chores: 2013 -
21.07.2023 / 23:15

The may garden chores: 2013

Yes, there are a lot of chores vying for attention:  whether to deadhead the spring bulbs, or edge the beds they’re growing in; divide that overgrown drift of some perennial, or pot up the annuals for a summertime show ahead; mow or mulch and so on.  But let’s not get crazy—let’s go area by area through the list:vegetable gardenMAKING NEW BEDS? A nature-inspired method for raised-bed building, using fallen branches and logs, is called hugelkultur—and it’s fascinating, and effective, if you’re expanding your growing area.TUBERS AND SLIPS: Are the white potatoes in the ground? Sweet potatoes can go in this month, too.MY NEW SEED-STARTING TOOL will tell you when to sow what, indoors and out. Also fo

My february 2010 garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 23:12

My february 2010 garden chores

OR TRY THIS ESCAPE: Force branches of spring-blooming shrubs and trees like pussy willow, forsythia, apple and cherry once buds have begun to swell. Cut on an angle and put indoors in water. I submerge them overnight, then place them in a bucket of water in my mudroom, draped with a plastic bag, until the buds push off their coverings. The closer to actual bloom date you try to force things, the higher the success rate (no big surprise).COLORFUL TWIGS from shrub dogwoods and willows would make good indoor arrangements now, and many want stooling (cutting to maybe 8 inches from the ground) every other or third year.TAKE A WALKABOUT, unless the ground is muddy (I don’t walk on sodden soil; it does such damage). Check to see if mulches are in place or if they’ve heaved, or if burlap and other protectors have come loose, exposing vulnerable plants to possible heaving damage or windburn.MOLE PATROL CONTINUES, in perpetuity: I am still re-baiting mousetraps under boxes, buckets or cans in the gard

My october garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 23:11

My october garden chores

Peak planting time for bulbs and for many woody things continues through month’s end or so; make that work include some focus on the addition of fall and winter plants to the landscape.Garden cleanup, though, is the primary order of the day—and don’t forget: quickly stash your tender things as frost threatens or just after, depending on the plant, to carry them through the winter. Here we go:TREES & SHRUBSCLEAR TURF OR WEEDS from the area right around the trunks of fruit trees and ornamentals to reduce winter damage by rodents. Hardware cloth collars should be in place year-round as well.BE EXTRA-VIGILANT cleaning up under fruit trees, as fallen fruit and foliage allowed to overwinter

My december garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 23:07

My december garden chores

Seed-catalog season gets going in earnest later in the month, so early December is prime time to inventory leftover seeds and store them in a cool, dry place. A friend stashes his in the fridge, first sealing in zipper bags with the air squeezed out, then placing the bags in a sealed plastic box rather than having strays get lost among the yogurt and mayonnaise. If you want to test your germination rate now, here’s how. Toss those more than a few years old and make a list of what you’ll need. Not that any act of self-control stops me from ordering yet another gourd or pumpkin variety, or some oddity I simply must have or perish. My list of favorite s

My september garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 23:07

My september garden chores

AS YOU BEGIN to wind down and clean up, take notes of what worked and didn’t. Mark areas that would have been easier to maintain with a workhorse groundcover in place, for instance, or areas where more bulbs might fit. I have already made a walkabout and identified a few shrubs whose days are numbered; just not enough bang for the buck (well, for the space they take up).TREES & SHRUBSBE SURE TO WATER trees and shrubs now through hard frost, so that they enter dormancy in a well-hydrated state. Evergreens (needled ones and broadleaf types like rhododendron, too) are particularly vulnerable to desiccation and winterburn if not well watered before the cold and winds set in.DON’T PANIC IF EVERGREENS start to show some browning or yellowing of needles this month and next. The oldest, innermost needles typically shed after a few years on the tree.HOPEFULLY YOU STOPPED FEEDING woody plants

My august 2012 garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 23:07

My august 2012 garden chores

Like the journalist I was trained to be, I’m always editing the garden, and good thing, since by August in a dry year like this one has been, it needs another round. Gaps in the perennial beds (preferable with a little fresh mulch applied) will look better than a hosta that’s had it, or an anemic-looking bleeding heart.Focal points: weeds and water. Every weed pulled now is a hundred (a million?) you don’t have to deal with later. Don’t let them go to seed. Make a pass through each bed each week, since weeds are not just unsightly but steal moisture, nutrients and light from desired plants. Too many to handle in a particular area? Smother them with cardboard and mulch, like this.If your garden is dry, don’t waste water on lawns, which will bounce back from brown when cooler, moister days return—or on washing down paths and patios. Sweep instead! Target water offerings to the most precious subjects, particularly recently planted things and the vegetable garden.

My july garden chores - - Japan
21.07.2023 / 23:04

My july garden chores

FIRST, THE HAIRCUTS: Many perennials (euphorbia, some true geraniums, ribbon grass orPhalaris) do better the second half of the seasonif cut back hard. Others need just deadheading. Annuals that grow leggy can often benefit from a chop job, too. Do some experiments. Sometimes a plant can’t look worse, and you probably won’t kill it. :-)MAKE A PASS through each bed each week, since weeds are not just unsightly but steal moisture, nutrients and light from desired plants. Top up mulch in all garden beds if washed or worn away to help in the plight.IF YOU ARE IN JAPANESE BEETLE territory, handpick (as with other obvious pests like tomato hornworms) in early morning and drown in a can of water to reduce infe

My garden chores: october 2011 -
21.07.2023 / 23:00

My garden chores: october 2011

THE NEW SEASON IS HEATING UP, at least visually, even as temperatures trend downward. I’ll be interested to see what the fall foliage season amounts to after what seems like a record wet year. I wonder if it will come close to last year (which was dry). I will say the fruiting plants here have produced abundant crops (like hollies, viburnums, and crabapples).TIME TO COOK UP the last bits from the vegetable garden into a batch of ‘Tomato Junk’ or soup, or local/homegrown apples into easy applesauce, checking on the kettles between rounds of raking and cutbacks outdoors. All my harvest-stashing tips are recapped here. With such delicious reminders of summer and fall in the freezer, and the right plants in the garden, there’s no “end” to fear. Some of us even feel happy about the coming riches: berries and other fruits, bark, a new season of birds.PEAK PLANTING TIME for bulbs

My garden chores for december 2014 -
21.07.2023 / 22:59

My garden chores for december 2014

I typically close out November and begin December by quickly re-checking myself around Thanksgiving for anything forgotten, before it’s really too late. A hose bib not drained for winter; a partial row of potatoes still in the ground; another skimming of the water gardens for leaves that scuttled in since my last pass. Oh, and that last bag of bulbs I seem to have misplaced—till now.An early dump of 10 or so inches of heavy, wet snow the Wednesday before the holiday interrupted the final 2014 countdown, but now that it’s melting I am back on the punchlist:Are any

My december 2010 garden chores - - Iran
21.07.2023 / 22:56

My december 2010 garden chores

THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES lies just ahead. Gardeners, like their gardens, benefit from a bit of dormancy, and the time is upon us. Enjoy it.THIS YEAR I’M MARKING where the beds and paths meet, and where the driveway meets lawn. I bought a bundle of tall, flexible fiberglass rods to drive into the ground as markers to try to keep my shoveling and plowing in bounds. Wish me luck!SEED-CATALOG SEASON GETS GOING in earnest later in the month, so early December is prime time to inventory leftover seeds and store them in a cool, dry place. A friend stashes

My garden chores: may 2011 -
21.07.2023 / 22:55

My garden chores: may 2011

VEGETABLE GARDENTUBERS AND SLIPS: Are the white potatoes in the ground? Sweet potatoes can go in this month, too.CONTINUE SOWING CARROTS, beets, radishes, salad greens, dill. With salad greens, select heat-resistant varieties now for best results as they’ll bump into warmer weather. A primer on when to start what seeds.DIRECT-SOW BEANS at mid-month and beyond; sow a short row e

My june 2012 garden chores -
21.07.2023 / 22:54

My june 2012 garden chores

I KNOW, I KNOW: Why can’t it just last; why does it all have to start to flop and fade and fall apart? The spring garden, that is. June is the month when spring turns to summer—often well before the official moment (June 20 at 7:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time in 2012). Remember those gorgeous lilacs, rhododendron, flowering bulbs? Beautiful memories, yes, but also big brown messes everywhere. Uh-oh, get ready for another cleanup! Shall we tackle it together, one thing at a time (in print, and in podcast version)?

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