Last of the fall tasks

Pudge 2bOctober 26, 2013

Generally snow comes before I'm done all my fall tasks but for some odd reason, I'm on schedule (there's a schedule?) this year. We even managed to put new corroplast on the greenhouse so that's looking quite spiffy (inside and out) and it will certainly be enjoyable to work in there next spring.

I usually leave most of the stems and foliage but this year, cut back pretty much everything. Lily and peony stems went to the dump, everything else just got tossed back onto the beds or under the chokecherries. In the spring we have some serious shrub and tree pruning to tackle; not having to clean perennial beds will be welcomed.

But today was the last of the tasks and it was a fairly nice day to get to it - I fluffed & spread 6 bales of straw over the backyard perennial borders. After that, OCD lawn boy came along with his leaf blower and along with the south wind, chased the willow leaves across the lawn to fall on and mix up in the straw. Those 2 big willows aren't yet done shedding their leaves, about half have fallen off so far. Hopefully a good wind will come along knock the rest of them off in the right direction and they'll settle onto the straw. Snow will settle it all in. A good mulch that I'm hoping will keep some of the weeds at bay next year.

I am now ready. Time to start looking at seed catalogues :)

Old man winter, bring it on

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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I'm close to done, but the last week or so, it has been so cold and damp that i don't feel like being outside. Anything i've done has been an hour at a time because by that time, i'm frozen!

I haven't cut back a lot because everything was pretty green and nice-looking up until the cold weather hit. Today i chopped down the aruncus and piled its dead stems around the two White Koster roses. I usually do leaves, but i find they're a pain to try and get out from underneath some of the roses. And the Kosters always have pretty severe dieback no matter what i do with them. I also cut down the hollyhocks and piled them on to a holding bed full of daylies. It doesn't get a lot of snow cover right away in the winter and i'm afraid of really cold temperatures without snow cover. I also unpinned Henry Kelsey from his trellis and laid him down. I put the trellis on top of him and piled on two bags full of leaves to hold everything down.

Would you believe there are still some gazanias blooming in a container on the deck? That's my excuse for not dumping that container! LOL

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Finished yesterday and got up this morning and it's snowing. Not a whole lot but just enuff to give us a warning and make it difficult to do yard work. Plus it's supposed to go down to -5 by this PM. 0 now. Oh and all those drivers who haven't got a clue.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 9:01AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

One thing i forgot about was my sweet peas. I went to pull them out yesterday and found that the deer had been working on them, so i left them there. Hopefully, they'll eat those and leave my roses alone. Maybe not, though - darn things have given a couple of them a good pruning.

Snow here too this morning, but just a skiff. But it's supposed to go down to -10 tonight - with a windchill of -17, no less. Guess i'll venture out and dump those gazanias.. LOL

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 11:27AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Wow, you guys are good..... I just tend to leave most things as they are and then deal with the mess in early spring! LOL!

Oh, and we have the first S***storm in Calgary this season today! Sigh.............

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 12:38PM
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To be perfectly honest the only reason it got done this fall is because we had such a long fall. Usually I'm kicking myself every spring cause I left such a mess.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:03PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

My goal usually is to at least get all the containers dumped and put away, and the patio cleared off in case there's some reason to shovel it. We've had long falls the past few years and i've managed to get everything done that i wanted to. Heaping leaves around the roses will get done after the ground freezes (might happen tonight from the sounds of it....)

A little while ago, i was putting away some of the containers that i brought in from outside, and the sun had come out and was shining brightly into the porch. I thought, "Okay, i'll go outside after i finish in here." A few minutes later the wind picked up and the s*** started falling. So much for that idea - But! The sun is out again, so maybe i'll make it this time!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:32PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

BTW, on a related note, can I just ask if you guy put away your patio table over the winter? Or do you just leave it outside?

I have a glass patio table that I put out there for the first time this season. I wonder if the tempered glass would be OK over the harsh Calgary winter? Should I really put it away? It would be a real pain in the derriere to do so but if necessary, I will do so.... but after the S***storm is over! LOL

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Pudge 2b

Nice to have gazanias blooming so late in the season. I pulled my front yard petunias October 13, they were still blooming quite nicely. My Autumn Joy sedums coloured up very brightly this year and along with the Blue Oat grass are about the only plants providing colour now.

We also had a nice fall, but more importantly it was a dry one. It seems the past few years September/October have been very wet and then just turned to snow and that stopped me from going out there. I'd never make it as a gardener in a wet climate.

I love gardening when there is no big rush - you know, having to do it all in a really short span of time. Maybe it's my aging bones but I really enjoy an hour or two daily instead of marathon sessions that lead to sore muscles and backs. That's why I envy those who live in warmer climates - not for the plants they can grow but for what appears to me as a more leisurely pace because all those jobs aren't stuffed into 4 or 5 months. Having started this yard from nothing, I grew tired of doing those intensive gardening/landscaping summers and I really looked forward to time when the yard became a matter of only maintenance. This fall was exactly as I like it - the ability to clean not the entire yard in only a few days but bit by bit get it all done. Now if only every fall could be that way!

I spoke with my sister in the Calgary area this morning who was watching the snow fly. Lucky you guys in that area with those chinooks that come and take all that white stuff away :) I lived in Calgary for 8 years; I loved those chinooks, especially the ones that hung around for a while.

According to the weather we may have another (relatively) nice week coming up but work and other commitments won't let me enjoy any of that out in the yard. Oh well, at least the traveling I have to do will be on dry roads in good weather.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Pudge 2b

I have tempered glass coffee and side tables that get left out in the screen room. It's protected from snow/rain but not from the cold - no issues with leaving them out.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:58PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I have a tempered glass patio table that stays out. Been 5 years now and nothing other than a little weathering.

My chores are never done but I don't feel like I am behind. Lots of perennials to cut back and move but I think I am going to think about it over the winter and tackle that in the spring.

Anybody else already starting to think about their order, whether it be roses, seeds, tuber etc, for next year?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:30PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I know i "need" more begonias. A few of mine died last winter - and i'd had them for years! Other than that, i'm going to try campanula white clips inside seeing as the winter-sown ones didn't come up, and more sweet pea seeds since none of mine set seed this year.

So far that's it!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:06PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I leave the lounge chair out and some other chairs. The glass itself will be okay - the only thing I would worry about is the wind possibly blowing the table over. I have to set my lawn chairs up to catch the garden swing when those big blows come up!!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:32PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I'm going to add lots more bee balm, some fox glove and penstemon for those little hummers. The beds are dug and ready for spring planting!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:35PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

The last of the fall tasks for me is getting seeds ready for swaps, and planning for acquisitions for next year's gardening. I was still planting bulbs when the winter weather hit us. I hope the ground is not totally frozen this week.

This post was edited by xaroline on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 9:05

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:01AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

We got the yard cleaned up yesterday. I used the riding lawnmower to blow all the leaves onto my roses, then covered them with burlap. Getting smart and lazy in my old age. I did put away the patio furniture and this year the snow didn't catch my planters outside. I got everything put away!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:28PM
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