October has ended and my mind is turning toward Christmas
Which means fruitcakes and gift shopping, but I will try and get back on track with some garden tips for now. It seems we had some nice warm and sunny days , then a switch to cold and windy. I can remember several Halloweens that we had snow flurries. Here in Ohio, sure enough, snow flurries where I am. Just blowing in the wind, no sticking.
Weather is so fickle this time of year. But today is a sunny but cold day weatherwise, so it’s nice here and there. Hope you get one or two and have time to get out there and got a lot done!
Don’t waste good soil!
So you have a lot of hanging pots or deck or patio pots that you used all season and it is time to take them down, compost them, and store the container or recycle it. But what about that soil left in the pot? Is it still usable?
It sure is. Use an old plastic trash can or container that you can place it in, just dumped that light-as-air lump of brown soil into it. Save it til spring. But if you are needing some now for fall plantings, it can be re-used.
Yes, it’s like a brick now, but it is still usable. ( Treat it just as I do my peat moss.) What you can do is get a large container big enough to use as a mixing pan for the amount of soil you will be “treating.” Boil some water and then pour the hot boiling water into the pan over the hard-packed soil. Wait a few moments for it to cool ( don’t burn yourself), then take a spade or fork and stir and mix the soil. Add more hot water until you have nice moist crumbly soil. It will look new again. You may want to add a bit of Osmocote to replenish the soil slightly, but not much. It is fall and you don’t want to cause any new growth.
If you don’t want to mix it now, just be sure to keep it. Stack the pots, soil and all in the corner. They will wait til spring for the hot water bath! Waste not, want not!
Slugs, Our Constant Companion
There are a million of them! Well, it sure seems like it in my garden. Don’t forget to keep the slug control out until the ground is frozen. Those slugs hang around, party down, and the eggs overwinter in the decaying foliage ( another reason to remove the dying foliage entirely).
Beer and honey water traps will still get them and you can dump the dead slugs on the bird feeding tray! Circle of Life, right?
Gardener’s DIY Encyclopedia
Get yourself a loose-leaf notebook and page protectors and start filling it with pages full of information stored about all your existing plants in the garden, and also all the ones you will be adding each season. Adding the plant label which comes with it would be a nice touch. You can alphabetize by the names you call your plants. I know there are some I call by a common name but others I call by the cultivar. So fix it up however it suits you best.
Over time, you can accumulate additional information to add, such as when to pinch, deadhead, when to divide, how to collect its seeds or cuttings, etc. When you read a magazine article or post about a plant, add that to your encyclopedia too! Even clippings and photos , such as combinations with other plants, are nice to include.
You can have a separate notebook for vegetable garden, or trees and shrubs. Maybe you are a rose gardener and need a separate one for each cultivar. Colors and designs would be pretty, but just a plain notebook is fine.
Mine has a “dream section” too. Just sayin’
So get out there in this fall weather and enjoy the garden while you can. We will too soon be inside and only dreaming of getting our hands in the dirt. It will be a long wait once that snow starts to fall.
Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.