By JO ERBSKORN
The past two weekends Art and I have done some much needed tiding up on the home front. We started with our garden shed so that all the yard/gardening junk that gets left in the garage can get returned to its proper place in the shed. The problem was in the beginning that there was so much stuff crammed in that tiny shed you couldn’t get anything put away correctly.
For all you die-hard gardeners out there, I’m sure you have experienced the "should I toss this container or keep it?" dilemma. I apparently put a lot in the keep category as the toss pile was amazing. I apparently thought I was going to propagate plant starts for the rest of the county. Well now I guess everyone will just have to go to the greenhouse, because I tossed a record amount of containers in the recycle bin.
What was left for this weekend was organizing the keep pile. Art built shelves to the ceiling and put in a wonderful potting table that runs around two walls and is thirty inches deep—heaven for a gardener.
In the corner there is a nice little area for hoes, rakes, shovels, etc. I separated everything into its own container such as hand tools, water fittings/sprinklers, plant ties, etc. My wagons both slide neatly under the end of the potting table. Best of all, I have a clean garage for my car all winter and a lovely garden shed for next spring.
I always think when I finish this I will have time for that. As all gardeners know, it never ends and even in winter we don’t let go. We read, plan and wait.
October is the month of the conifer. Apparently there is a plant for every month of the year, which I did not know. I read this week that not only is it the month of the conifer, it is the best month to plant conifers. It is supposed to be ideal for getting their roots set and spreading out throughout the winter months. I would think it would be hard to spread out much when your soil is frozen.
I would have thought October would be the month of the squash as we see so many of them. This month you should clear out the garden debris, plant your spring bulbs, and turn the compost pile one more time. It says in some journals to cover your compost bins to keep the rain off during the fall, winter and early spring. I don’t ever cover my compost bin. Seems silly when everything uses water to break down into the soil.
Most of the time Art tills the compost into the garden in the fall and we begin a new pile in the bin over winter. We don’t have as many food scraps in the winter so it doesn’t grow as quickly. It has also never really mattered to us if everything in the compost breaks completely down before it is spread in the garden. Eventually it all breaks down and we never seem to want for worms, so why not? We eat a lot of eggs, and eggshells are excellent for worm propagation.
Give the lawn a final mowing, winterize the mower and stow it in your beautifully clean garden shed. Ready for the big winds and the even bigger "S" word? The worst four letter word I know, which by the way we saw some flurries on Saturday.