Preparing the garden for winter....
the garden to bed for the winter is mostly a matter of cleaning up and covering
progresses plants naturally prepare for a season of rest, the onset of winter
and temporary dormancy. As cool nights and beautiful autumn arrives, the ground
cools and frost comes to the garden. It is time for the fall clean up.
Usually in the Chicago area, the first hard frost is from mid October to
appears the garden is shutting down for winter from the top growth, plants are
still growing roots, taking up moisture, and nutrients and preparing for winter
It is a beautiful day and a good time to think about what gardens might be fun to someday visit. Some of these I have been too some I would love to go to!
What are your favorite garden spots to visit?
Here are a couple links to check out...
Anderson Japanese Garden Rockford, Illinois
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois
Cantigny, Wheaton, Illinois
The Chicago Botanic Garden
Northwind Perennial Farm, Wisconsin
What can we learn from the lesson of the rabbit and turtle?
How can we get slow?
solutions are often the most sustainable ones.
Small solutions make better use of resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
It is time to start fall and winter veggie crops! Why not add a
smallarea of the garden for these easy to grow late season crops this year. Veggie gardening is more than just fast summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, and zuc's.
You can garden (nearly) year-round. If you start winter crops soon you will be harvesting in late into the year.
How can we catch and store more energy in our home and garden and our everyday life?
Maybe there a low spot where water collects that could be used as a site for a a garden on your property? This is a place where many plants that like sometimes wet condition would like to grow.
Maybe you could use this low spot to grow some wonderful native plants this year?
Great blue lobelia is a very cool plant! It is a beautiful native plant with a lovely upright spike of
bright blue flowers.
Why is there strength in diversity?
How can we create gardens that value diversity?
Diversity is the rule in the natural world.
Diversity is strength.
Diversity protects against disease and disharmony and celebrates the uniqueness of each plant and all of its traits.
Cheap is not cheap in the long run.
What can we learn from dutch elm disease and the problems of the emerald ash
borer. Disease spreads fast when plants are used in massive monocultures.
Landscaping using one type of tree or one kind plant in the hundreds and thousands creates major problems if that type of plant turns out to have a plant health issue.
Happy Earth Day & Happy Arbor Day!
Some Ideas to share:
5 Simple Ideas for going green(er) in 2013:
1.)Add a rain barrel to your garden and use it.
2.)Grow your own veggies or shop at a local farmers market.
3.)Use organic fertilizer and organic pest deterrents instead of chemicals.
4.)Plant more native flowers for the pollinators and bees.
5.)Build or buy a compost bin and use it!
Old fashioned hyacinths are currently in bloom.
Every year as spring approaches most gardeners will ask themselves:
How should we garden this year?
Where should we add plants?
What should we add ?Remember we are all connected.When planting it is not about one plant but about the big picture of how everything works together. How can plants be placed to benefit the whole garden, the local ecosystem and for our pleasure.
Think about the following:
Minimize waste, choose the right plants for the right location.
Build a garden that has maximum benefit for people, and for the local ecology and the whole environment.
Spring in the Garden....There is lots to do now that it is Spring!
Time to Clean up the leaves -
A very heavy leaf fall can contribute to crown rot on many perennials and or poor emergence of new growth in spring.If the leaves are thick and messy they should be removed from the bed and composted or taken off site. Keep the compost pile going by adding layers of green material (grass and old annuals) and brown dried material (fallen leaves and small twigs) Turn regularly. Try to keep diseased material and weeds gone to seed from the compost pile.
Signs of Spring Checklist:
How do you know if it is SPRING?
How many signs have you seen?
The first day of Spring is officially 3.20.2013. We are moving towards Spring even with the snow!
__X__You see the robins hopping about looking for bugs and worms.
__X__The snow drops are blooming.
__X__The winter aconite is blooming.
__X__The witch hazel is blooming.
__X__ It is light out later.
__X__The buds are getting fatter on all the trees and shrubs.
____ It is raining not snowing!
What's going on in the garden?
So begins another Spring....
I have a grow light over these and some bottom heat...
Here's a peek at the first spring crop.
Bloody Butcher tomatoes,
& Mache salad.
I started new Spring crops...
beets outside in the cold frames.
Winter Kale Crop from Saturday March 16th....
I harvested the last big batch of winter kale on Saturday and made it into a nice
soup! This is zone 5 and these crops are just in a cold frame over a raised bed, so it is great to see that I managed to grow them all winter along.