After a very rough summer in the garden where everything died, I have been very happy with how the start of fall has been going.
In late September, I was able to plant a few fall crops. Considering I am starting them from seed, and its a bit late in the season, only time will tell if they reach maturity. So far, the lettuces and radishes have been doing beautifully. I’m hoping to get a harvest in time for Thanksgiving so our salad will be fresh from the garden this year, instead of fresh from the market.
We had planted several rounds of corn this year, and none of them have produced a single edible ear. As summer finished up, we had some leftover seed, so I soaked it for a day to fully hydrate it, and then planted the corn. It is really late in the season for corn. Currently, the plants are a little over 2 feet tall. There are even a few ears starting to form! If I get even one ear of corn out of the garden this year, I’m going to do a happy dance.
Our maple tree and fruit trees are slowly starting to turn into beautiful balls of fall color. The first of our plants to get dressed for fall was the blueberries though. I love the deep crimson leaves they bushes get this time of year. Delicious blueberries in the summer and beautiful foliage in the fall.
And remember our $3 Pollinator Garden? Well, it appears the seed I had purchased was for a sunny spot, and the spot I picked was mostly shade. We got a lot of beautiful greenery, and even some clusters of small white flowers, but nothing dramatic like I was hoping. I am already working on a plan for next year to better utilize the space and the less than optimum sunlight it gets. Even with things not going exactly as I had planned, we did get a handful of beautiful flowers this year, and some are still blooming!
While fall is officially here, it doesn’t mean that gardening is over. In fact, its really just beginning for so many of us, especially after the summer heat wiped out so much. Now is the perfect time to plant mums and pansies for continuous fall color. Many garden centers have these in stock now, and when planted outdoors, they will often last past Thanksgiving.
Its also time to start thinking about spring! No, I haven’t lost my mind. I know its only October. However, if you want a spring flower garden now is the time to start thinking about it and planning. Spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses need to be planted now and allowed to over winter in the ground. Today, I transplanted our hyacinth bulbs from our Easter flowers from last year, and I’m looking forward to when they bloom in the spring. And while we are talking about bulbs, garlic is a bulb too! Plant your garlic this fall for a July harvest.
Its also the ideal time to transplant shrubs and trees – both ornamental and fruiting! Many garden centers are putting their spring/summer stock on clearance at super low prices.
As the leaves fall, consider heaping them onto your gardens or creating a compost bin this year instead of bagging them or putting them to the curb. The leaves will begin to decompose over the winter, and in the spring you can turn them into your soil adding lots of nutrients. If you had dead soil in a part of your yard (like where you had landscapers cloth or a swimming pool) and the soil is hard and dry, put the leaves there. As they break down, they will add nutrients back into the soil, hold moisture to rehydrate it, and bring the worms and bugs back to that spot to revitalize your soil. It took us a little over a year to bring back the soil in our front yard behind the shrubs, and it is so much healthier and stronger than I would have ever imagined possible.
What’s going on in your garden this October?