Fall Cleanup

soilent_greenNovember 15, 2013

Pretty quiet in this forum so I thought I would post.

After getting three inches of snow on the ground from that early winter storm I did not think I would be able to get my fall cleanup done. The weather this week has been fantastic and I have been able to do some catching up on fall chores and winter prep.

Pic shows one of seven such leaf piles I had to haul away to several compost piles I have staged around the place. I much prefer to till most of the leaves into the vegetable gardens but the soil has been too wet to do so this year. These leaves are highly valued by me - free organic fertilizer as far as I am concerned.

Mowed the lawn one last time - leaf cleanup and final mowing always makes the place look nice heading into winter.

Got the snow fence up and burned the grass on the sides of the farm road to reduce winter drifting. Installed road markers.

Got all the garlic planted. The total is approximately 14,000 consisting of cloves, rounds, and bulbils, mostly bulbils.

Put away all the gardening stuff such as containers, tomato cages, stakes, trellises, tools, etc.

Did some fall bare root transplanting, moved some black raspberries, nanking cherries, sand cherries, alpine strawberries, and made a new Junebearing strawberry bed.

Processed the horseradish, got 1 gallon plus one pint of finished product. This project closes down my gardening season for the year.

Making some gardening notes. Already looking at the seed catalogs and making gardening plans for next year. I am excited for the next season and ready to start again. Too bad winter is in the way. ;-)


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Sounds like you got tons done Tom! I just finished fall cleanup myself and planted my 12 bare root fruit trees. Kind of late into the season but that was shipment from grandpa's farm and they ship late. All done and ready.
Time for christmas lights now :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:05PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I have finished cutting back everything but a few grasses and perennials that I leave up for fall interest and cut back in the spring and clematis that get cut back in the spring.

Dug up and moved brugmansias to the basement for dormant storage over the winter. Moved houseplants back inside for the winter.

Dug and dried and stored various bulbs and tubers for winter. First year I haven't planted any spring bulbs. May look for some tulips to pot up and sink in the garden to use for spring displays on my deck.

Collected and cleaned seeds from my garden to sow and share.

Deck furniture moved in except chairs that will come in next week. Need a place to sit and visit during these late fall days when neighbors stop when they see me working in the front gardens.

Have all the leaves picked up and mulched except for those on the neighbor's trees that drop late. Maybe tomorrow's wind will bring them down. I have also collected mulched leaves from the neighborhood to put on my gardens.

Turned the compost pile and moved some compost to a new bed that will be planted next spring.

Moved a Pagoda dogwood and planted hydrangeas and viburnum. Also divided and moved various perennials this fall.

Put chicken wire fences around shrubs that rabbits find tasty during the winter.

The electric company is burying electric lines in our neighborhood. Looks like I will need to move some perennials next week.

Still to do: clean and organize garage. My garage gets messy during the growing season but is always neat throughout the winter.

Create winter pot for front door entrance from garden seed heads, branches, etc.

Rest and enjoy making plans for next year as well as getting ready for winter sowing.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 12:44AM
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Tom..that is one impressive pile-o-leaves!

* Landscaped my front/backyards this year so planted the last few juniper in the nick of time

* wrapped by beautiful little Japanese Maple, surrounded her with a small fence so the dogs won't use her as a "fire hydrant"

* all leaves raked and mulched, spread on all beds

* stole all of my neighbor's bags of leaves that they set out on the curb for pickup...mulched and spread on lawn. NICE!

* all pots, potting bench, furniture and equipment into garage for storage

* one last watering for Arborvitaes planted this year

* drip lines removed, all irrigation equipment organized

* fountain disassembled and stored

* all hardscape hosed down one last time

* fire pit set up and ready for action

* placed an order for seeds: scotch moss, coleus assortment, hosta assortment. As if I have anywhere to plant them?!

To do Dec 1:
* Mums are dead so change front pots to Christmas
* icicle lights on front of house
* pray that my Japanese Maple makes it this year
* take a moment to be grateful for all of this leisure time:)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Thanks for posting your updates in response! I enjoy reading what other Minnesota folks are up to. Lets hear from some more people, keep the updates coming.

Leaves: To pick up leaves I use one of those lawn sweepers towed behind the rider, works pretty good. Takes around three hours to "sweep" the entire lawn then takes a day to move the leaf piles. That leaf pile in photo filled the trailer five times, packed down. Not the best system but it is the one I have and it works.

I forgot to mention that a week ago my brother helped me with the fall wood cutting. We took down, cut up, and burned up the branches of five hybrid poplar trees in four hours. Just need to stack all the cut up firewood, will do when my back feels up to the task. This firewood, once cured, will be used for the fire for boiling off sap for maple syrup for the 2015 syruping season. I always have to think and plan one year in advance so that I have a cured supply of firewood when needed, or no maple syrup.

We also took down a 3 feet diameter, 75 feet tall dead standing silver maple in the woods. I am in the process of splitting all that wood and hauling it out to sheltered storage. It is nice stuff and I plan on turning it all into lump charcoal for grilling. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:49AM
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fitzerroneous(z4 MN)

This was the first year I raked and bagged my leaves. Normally I just mow over the leaves to chop them up and let them decompose into the lawn, but I've had what I think it anthracnose on my two huge bur oaks for the last few years and I've read that hauling away your leaves helps keep it from recurring. I'm guessing I took about 25 bags to our municipal compost site. That's nothing compare to your piles, Tom, but boy was it no fun. I might just decide to live with the brown spots next year.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 4:25PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Today I potted up tulip and muscari bulbs and found some unfrozen ground beneath piles of leaves and grass clippings to drop the pots in the ground for the winter. Next spring they will decorate the deck.

Also did some cutting back of grasses and other garden plants.

Tomorrow the clematis will be cut back and the yard will get a final leaf collection. Still waiting on some shredded leaves from a neighbor to put on my frozen beds.

Will pick up some spruce tops on Monday and get the winter pot finished for the front entry.

Happy Holidays to all.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 7:48PM
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