This Weekend in the Garden

IMG_7803This weekend, with frost in the forecast, we are still mostly involved with garden maintenance. For me that means a final cutting back the remains of last years perennials, dividing, transplanting and otherwise moving plants and preparing planting holes for our replacement trees and shrubs throughout the home garden. This last winter was harsh enough to kill back already weakened or tender plants (such as the Madonna elder)  and I am due to replace two climbing roses and two small berberis that did not have time to get established.

Another chore this year is top-dressing throughout the garden with soil and compost from our vegetable garden area. In a few years time I will need to redesign and rebuild the vegetable garden (because of rotting boards for the raised beds), but due to years of adding compost, we now need to remove soil from that area before I can proceed with the renovations. The soil in the vegetable garden is of wonderful texture and will do the front garden some good. The process requires me to pull back the mulch, spread out the compost to a depth of 1 to 2″ (avoiding direct contact with the plant crowns) and then replace the mulch. Some may wish to work-in the new soil  with a cultivator, but I leave that chore to the earthworms. I will also need to add more mulch to bring the level up to 2 – 3″  to replace that lost to natural attrition.

The benefit of the cooler weather is that it is a great time to divide and replant perennials–far less stressful now than in the heat that lies ahead. And less stressful for the plants too…

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5 thoughts on “This Weekend in the Garden

  1. Hi Adrian,

    I like your positive attitude. I was just going to gloom away my holiday Monday and catch up on some paperwork, but maybe I’ll do some clean-up and transplanting today too. Having just walked through the snow to retrieve some tomatoes, peppers, and a squash from the greenhouse, though, I’m wondering if I will have the fortitude.

    With an old bathmat over the vent, the greenhouse held +9 in this morning’s -1 snow, but that was after intermittent sun and a high of +22 yesterday. With today’s predicted sunless high of +2, tomorrow morning will be tough on what I can’t fit inside.

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  2. As a gardener “in waiting” for the landscaper, my perennials are are dug up and potted in a plastic greenhouse with a bath towel draped over them. I am so glad it was gorgeous Friday evening and for a few minutes yesterday — at least I was able to convince myself Spring still hovers close by.

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  3. Hey Adrian,

    I followed your lead and took shovel to plants that needed moving. After a few minutes I was warm enough not to care about the snow (flurries all day) and now I’ve moved a shaded Maltese Cross, a big hunk of Fleeceflower that was starting to overgrow the bog, and a Aconitum divergens burnetti – a Devonian plant from 2005 that hasn’t bloomed in a couple of years, probably because it was overgrown by the Dart’s Gold. Much to my surprise, the monkshood was a cluster of bulb-like tubers, so if the transplants take, I should have a good display some day. In any case, I now have a pre-dug hole ready for the bloodroot I picked up at Hole’s yesterday and feel much better. Time to make dinner.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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