It's that time of the year for gardeners that is both bitter and sweet. It is sad to reflect on the end of the harvest of beautiful flowers, delicious fruits and vegetables. At the same time, it is wildly liberating to think that the endless weeding, watering and energy required to maintain that garden is drawing to a close. There's something almost cathartic about looking out on a snowy landscape knowing your gardening chores are mostly done.
All you have to do is remember these simple ABC's for end of the season gardening:
A - Amend the soil
Have your soil tested and make the necessary adjustments. If you do it in the fall, by spring your soil will be ready to plant. Contact your County Extension Office for soil testing laboratories.
B - Bring in the last of the fruits and vegetables that won't survive frost
Collect the seeds from your favorite plants and store in a cool dark place. Be sure they are labeled.
C - Clean up, Compost and Cultivate
Cut down decaying plant matter and add to your compost pile. Remove dead annuals. Put mulch around tender roots. Clean your tools and sharpen dull blades.
And finally... relax. The winter is a great time to reflect on what went well and what didn't. Make a list of plants that were great performers and ones that weren't. Curl up by the fire with some gardening books, seed catalogs and a cup of hot tea. Here are just a few of the titles the library has available to bring out the master gardener in you:
Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening - With a keen eye for aesthetics matched by a strong concern for the environment, garden expert Stephen Orr has developed a sense of what a modern garden should be: small, visually pleasing, and responsible.
The New Low-Maintenance Garden - shows exactly how to have a low-maintenance garden that doesn't sacrifice style. You won't have to give up your favorite plants or settle for expanses of ugly bark nuggets. You just have to unlearn some bad old habits and pick up some good new ones.
How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work - discover effective and efficient methods to complete just about every garden project, chore, cleanup, or predicament you'll face.
If you want to find magazine and journal articles about gardening, landscaping and horticulture be sure and take advantage of our online database InfoTrac Garden, Landscape and Horticulture.
I'm a novice gardener and have been looking this type of information, but never new quite where to find it. Thank you for posting. Very informative.
Thanks for your comment. Please be sure and check out all the great books the library has available for every type of gardener. If you start now you'll be an expert by Spring. Good luck!