Friday, October 25, 2019

List Of Gardening Chores To Complete Before Winter

These are my hastas, I have around four different varieties in back.

This cold can really sneak up on you, specially living in a Winter state. Here is Michigan temps have been in the low 50's, yesterday we had some sunlight so I decided it was time to prep the garden beds and yard for Winter. I wanted to share with you all, some Gardening 'chores' that I complete every year about this time.

I am a gardener, since about 6 years ago. I built my very own raised garden beds last year and will be adding in a additional two to the other side of home for next Spring. I love growing vegetables in these raised garden beds, such as: bell peppers, lettuces, radish, dill, thyme, cucumbers, peanuts, carrots, green beans etc. Additional to vegetables, I also grow flowers like: Lilies, morning glories, sunflowers, lilacs, wildflowers, hostas and zennias.

With fall being in full swing here in MI, cleanup will continue to happen for the next 2 weeks at least. Our home is backed against a wooded area and the leaves that are dumped into our yard are unreal!! First year I am considering a leaf mulcher to help cut yard cleanup time. I curated a simple easy list to help as a reminder or inspiration if needed.

You can see a Green lawn only because I'm mowing over all these leaves.

#1. Rake those leaves. Leaving leaves on your grass is bad news, specially if you care for your lawn. The leaves will kill your grass if left out. I rake and mow over all the leaves in my yard, by next week we will be knee deep in them. Its hard work, but I rid the lawn of them as well as the flower beds. You can however keep some leaves to use into your 'core' of your raised garden beds. I do this every year.

Rake up leaves...However I leave some to cover my herbs every year, kinda serves as a cover for them. I cut my herbs and lavender way back and then leave the leaves to cover the tops.

#2. Start pulling up your dead garden vegetables that did not make it through the first frost, or anything that you know won't make it through the Winter and continued cold. For me this day I pulled everything but my lettuces, one variety didn't seem to mind the two frosts we have already had so I left it to grow a little bigger before I completely pull. You can either keep what you pull and add it to a composer {if you have one} or if you don't have one just toss in the woods or in a Lowes/Home Depot leaf bag. Or you can chop it all up and add it back into your beads for nutrients. Totally up to you. 

#3 Have proper ways to dispose of all the dead flowers and vegetable plants. I buy these every year its what I prefer for pickup on Wednesday from a company that comes and just collects organic materials. You can buy these paper bags at any home improvement store. I also bought a shoot that slides into the bag so it doesn't collapse when adding things into it. I also go around my yard when cleaning and gather fallen tree branches and limbs and add those to the bags as well.

#4 unhook water hoses. I drained mine and tossed them away this year, I kept getting stubborn kinks in mine all Summer. Drove me nuts. They only last a few years before they start kinking every few feet. I'm on a mission to find a good hose that doesn't kind, is there such a thing? If so please drop a comment and recommend one! One other thing I wanted to add, I also cover the spout area with those Styrofoam covers. 

My oregano is on its third year of coming back!

#5. Trim back all your perennials. What is a perennial? Its the plants that will come back year after year. By cutting them back your lower your chances with diseases and pest. As well as protecting them from the cold and sparks a healthy new growth every Spring. 

#6. Clean out and organize the shed. Mine is a mess right now and on my list of this weekends projects I need to get done. There are leaves blown in it, 1 billion cobwebs and creepy crawly things. I like to empty it all out, knock down the webs, sweep it and organize the tools before closing it up for Winter. That way come Spring when I open those doors for the first time. It's clean, with that comes a great since or accomplishment

This is what mole tunnels look like, its raised dirt

#7. Take care of pests. Particularly for me this time of year its ground moles. I battle them pretty heavy every time this year they tunnel like crazy because food is becoming less of a source for them. Now is the time to get them under control before they get out of hand. Also a good time to seal up any holes/openings around your home that little field mice may try and get into to find warmth. I had to seal up under all my sinks last Winter because they were finding a way in. The colder it gets the more likely critters will try and seek warmth near your home. Some of these critters and carry disease and we don't want that near us. 

That's a pretty good list of things to accomplish before it gets to cold out, I have mine about 80% finished. You don't have to tackle it all in one weekend, break it up so its not so much work at one time. I hope this helps. Happy gardening.

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