What are you doing in the garden this week?

bungalowbeesOctober 8, 2006

We may be gardening in different zones here in Utah but I'd love to know just what everyone is doing this week.

When do you prefer to plant bulbs, and whereabouts are you in Utah as you plan & plant these bulbs? (zone-wise, don't mean to get personal!)

Does anyone else order bulbs from afar and fret about timing annually? I generally aim for mid-October (I'm in SLC) but I've been known to plant in all manner of embarrassing weather conditions & times of day & night ... particularly when I order extravagantly without remembering last year's provocative planting conditions and the amusement of neighbors ...

At the moment I'm trying to time bursts of gardening with bursts of rain, and life keeps getting in the way. I have a few pots waiting in the front yard with hopes of some stolen time tomorrow.

If these pots go in I may make a run next week for some persicaria.

What's going on in your garden this week?

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Instead of planting I've been digging-up. I've pulled all the canna rhizomes to store in the basement. Dahlias will be next. I've begun protecting the elephant ears and mulching the bananas and should be completely winter ready in the next week or so.

I did go a little crazy in buying winter-hardy cacti and agave and have planted a few of those. I think I'm nuts though because they won't have much time to acclimatize. I'll surely know by March......:)

I live down by Provo, Alan

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:14AM
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dereks(6 Utah)

What a surprise to find a Utah forum. In the garden I'm admiring all the fall color the grasses are providing. Lots of yellow and red. The large grasses are my favorite of the plants I grow. Unfortunately, my yard is so small that I only have a few of them.
The past few weeks I moved some penstemons. I'm hoping it wasn't to late in the season to move them. But I think it will be quite a while before the soil actually freezes.
It's sad to see summer come to an end. I do love the fall season but it just means that winter is coming. It seems like it takes forever for summer to come around again.
I look forward to meeting everyone here. I live in the South Ogden area.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 11:00AM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)

I, too, live in South Ogden. Even with the rain I've loved looking at the blooming asters. I have 3 of these beautiful, blue, and perfectly round bushes in my back yard and they are just magnificent! Also the blooming coreopsis.

Now that the sun is out this morning with a spectacular blue sky, I'm going to put my hot tub back on line. Then I'll scoop leaves out of my pond. And then I'll inspect the plants throughout the yard to dead-head those still blooming. I'll pull out the *&%^% snake-grass that I cannot get rid of in certain places, and do some weeding. And then, later this month, I want to transplant iris and think about where I can use tulips and daffodils.

I hope we have as spectacular and long an Indian summer as we did last year, so I can putter for quite a while in the yard. Right now, the grass needs to dry out so I can mow it. It is LONG!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 12:06PM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)

Derek, you said something that caught my attention.

This is my first summer with my new-old yard (I moved back to my house after being gone for 10 years and had my yard significantly re-landscaped last fall), and this summer I planted oodles of perennials throughout the yard. I planted penstemons (which I just love!) in several places. I'm curious about your comment about moving them....I'm hoping they are hardy and I can leave them where they are, that they'll return next year and flourish as they did their first four months in the yard.

Would you elaborate please?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 12:10PM
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dereks(6 Utah)

Hi Beth
I moved the penstemons to a different area of the garden because of sun issues. This is their third summer and they overwinter very well. My concern with moving them is timing. It is so late in the season that I'm afraid they may not make it through the winter, although I'm sure they will be fine. The penstemons are called Penstemon Barbatus 'scarlet bugler' They are absolutely gorgeous.
Which penstemons do you grow? Do you ever let them go to seed? You could winter sow the seeds and have more plants. If you haven't been to the winter sowing forum, check it out. The winter sowing idea is a neat concept and it works.
Anyway, I hope addressed your concern.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 6:51PM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)


Whew!! Thanks for explaining. Penstemon is a new plant to me and this is the first time I've planted it. The tag said it is a Beardtongue. The foliage is a lovely purple/brown/dark green -- really the foliage is very pretty when the plant is not blooming. And the flowers are creamy white with subtle purple coloring to them. I think they're just gorgeous! I planted four -- 2 on the north side of the yard where they're in a combination of sun/shade and 2 on the south side where they get morning shade and afternoon sun. They all grew beautifully this summer, and one of the south-facing plants is blooming again.

I planted purple fountain grass (even though it'll have to be treated as an annual) near the penstemons and the combination of textures and complemenetary colors has been a joy to watch. I'm definitely going to re-plant the purple fountain grass in the same locations next spring!

So, I have much to learn about Penstemons. :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:58PM
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dereks(6 Utah)

There are so many different penstemons and tons of them are winter hardy in our area. I'm guessing your soil is very sandy like mine and that's a good thing to help with winter hardiness.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:08PM
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Last weekend we harvested pole beans, bush beans, tomatoes, red & green peppers, chard, & carrots.

I also tilled more of the parking strip so it would be easier to dig out the soil. This is a project to finish reducing the lawn in the front and adding more Xeriscaping. We want to save our water for the back yard where we live.

Friday I planted 2 rose bushes and transplanted a rose bush. all our plantings this year survived. I am most happy with the Pagoda tree we got from Glover's Nursey. It is really happy.

This week we will plant bulbs. Nothing fancy, just a daffodil mix around the base of a few trees.

I notice a lot of different zones listed for Utah. I personally think we are seeing Global Warming and I planted a fig tree as a test. We will see if it survives the winter. I plan on using a 5' cage and filling it with leaves to get it thru the first winter but after that it is on its own.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 4:44PM
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Here in nothern Rich county the only yardwork I am doing is cleaning up flowerbeds, cutting back bushes and waiting for all the cottonwood and willow leaves to come down.

I hope your fig tree does well Jim.
Until last winter I was starting believe there may be something to global warming as well but the cold temperatures are starting to come back. I've noticed this fall is much more 'normal' than those we had during the drought.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:08PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

I still have Granny Smith apples on the tree. Last year, I didn't harvest them till Halloween. They ripen later than most apples. But this year might call for harvest sooner, since it has been colder. I was surprised that my Jonathan apples came ripe in the first week of September! That was pretty early.

I still have cherry tomatoes ripe in the garden. Since my wife is early in pregnancy, she's nauseous all the time and hasn't had her usual appetite for tomatoes. So, they sit out there, waiting and waiting...

I'm still getting a few scattered roses, and daylilies. My Japanese anemones are in full bloom, and my asters have been building up to it for a few weeks. My chrysanthemums are just starting to bloom, but I wonder if they're delayed because the roses by them have gotten bigger this year and are shading them a bit.

My Autumn Blaze maples are nearing their peak red, but most other trees have yet to turn. I had some great color last week from three kinds of shrubs -- yellow-twig dogwood, Peking cotoneaster, and Viburnum trilobum (I think its common name is American cranberrybush viburnum?).

Despite some of the fall beauty, I'm mourning the loss of summer. I'm really a July lover. To me, nothing beats being in my garden from mid-June to late July. So many flowers are blooming, the hills are still green, and everything about life feels so optimistic. Winter is tough, although I did learn to snowboard these past three winters (it's a mid-life crisis thing!). I guess it helps get me through till spring, anyway!

- Steve

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:43PM
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Japanese anemone and persicaria in full-out bloom right now.

Found an earnest chrysanthemum blooming from underneath a ballooning bouquet of persicaria which launched a late season transplant project over here... Some penstemon blooming again, the occasionaly daylily, cariopteris finishing up. Lots of garden clean up going on.

Jim, I'm digging out lawn as well, a little more every year, even more when my DH's out of town! The last of our parking strip disappeared last year & we have a small yard to begin with so I'm digging away. Waterwise as much as possible & testing the limits. (lost a few trials this year...)

Steve, loved the bit on your blog called "Flowers I should not grow again." I think we should have a thread about "garden thugs." This is definitely a regional topic as thugs here are sometimes fondly regarded elsewhere -- or so I hear from transplanted neighbors who try to grow friends from home in Utah gardens.

In fact, I'm new to persicaria but I understand some strains are considered weedy. I have only well-behaved plants so far & can't believe the color & exuberance of this plant in October.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:28AM
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woco(z6 UT)

I live down in Cedar City. Actually out in the valley in Enoch. We have been here 11 years. It is usually 10 degrees colder out here than it is in town. Today I finished rolling up all of my hoses and storing them in the garage. My garden is about 1/3 to 1/2 of an acre so now I am just waiting for the guy to come till it under for me. After he is done, I will plant my garlic for next year. It was a decent year for a garden.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 7:22PM
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karalyn(Z6 W. Boise)

Hi 1914,
Well, I know, I'm in Z6 Boise, but I have lived in Utah and was born there! Plus I have the same growing conditions as part of Utah has.

I drained my fish pond in front of my house and filled it with fresh well water and took out some of the lilies to repot and also go in a waterlily pool in the backyard as the ones I took out were hardies. U will transfer my tropical lilies to the front pond.

I also took out most of the goldfish to move them to the waterlily pool as I want just the koi to remain in the front pond which is watched closely, and I might have to bring in some of my larger koi in my back koi pond as I have to drain that pond for piping changes. But it looks like my 15 year old son doesn't seem interested in working in the cold. So I probably won't bother, but I still can't fill the pond up to the 5 1/2 ft point as the drain upper pipe in not stopped up. I can only go up to 2 ft.

So this is where I have issues with my son. But I have enough to do this fall and winter that I can wait until spring also. I tend to my tropical pond plants in my house and I start to plant clematis seeds that I've collected or traded for.

As like you, I didn't get all my tulips planted last year as I'm picky at where they should go and then they don't get in the ground at all and stay in my entry way! LOL

I will also be transplanting some clematis from their pots into larger ones or planting them in the ground.
I am a clematis addict and have several. So there are many that have set out seed that I must gather before the rain and wind lose them for me.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 1:35PM
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Alliegator(z5 UT)

Last year we never got around to planting all the bulbs we bought. They sat in the garage until the warm spell that came in february.

Everything bloomed.

I have a new flowerbed in the front yard (trying to get rid of some of the lawn) and it needs to have bulbs planted in it, we'll see if we get to it before feb. this year.

We're mostly just cleaning up and pulling out the vegetable garden. Three of my raised beds are now covered in mulch/compost for the winter. The other still has tomatoes in it. I'm hoping to get a few more before the plants totally freeze.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 7:12PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

I harvested a big bowl full of cherry tomatoes today. Also got a few strawberries. This is probably the very last of the tomatoes, since we had a harder freeze a few mornings ago. I don't know if the strawberries will keep going -- there are a few blossoms on them now, but it's likely they won't get a chance to grow.

Still haven't harvested my Granny Smith apples, but I think I'll do it tomorrow. It's apple pie time!!! I love making dessert out of something I grew myself. :-)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 11:27PM
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I've been building compost piles like mad. Most of what I tried to put together this summer, ended up too dry and not working well, so I've rebuilt them using the hose to moisten each layer. I want to get the water off this weekend and the stop and waste valve turned, so it's this week or nothing.
I also check the garden shops in October to see what kind of end of the season sales they are having.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 7:45PM
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Today we planted garlic - red and elephant. We harvested the last of the leaks and they are being prcessed for potato/leak soup for the freezer. Carrots, cabbage, and chard are still growing.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 7:56PM
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Since snow is forecasted for this week many folks here are fertilizer their lawns (as well as their alfalfa fields.)
I finished cleaning out two more flower beds and cut back some wild yellow rose bushes and some lilacs that have gotten out of control. I also finished raking up the leaves and burning the dry weeks in the back lot. The forecasted storm didn't materialize which is fine with me. I still have one little bed to clean out, one lilac bush to trim and some wood chips (from cutting up firewood) to rake up and haul off.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 11:05AM
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zachslc(6 Salt Lake City)

just finished putting in bulbs and dividing lilies

planting rhubarb, jerusalem artichokes and garlic

collecting bags of leaves from the curbs and adding them to the compost

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 8:03PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

Ah... a leaf thief! I recall a long thread about that here at GardenWeb some time ago. Many of us have done that! I used to get all the leaves I wanted from my neighbor's cherry orchard, but now a new neighbor owns it, and he's not as friendly. Bummer.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 6:04PM
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Oh, glorious leaves!! I just had a delivery today. I spent most of the afternoon covering the beds with them, then covering the roses and berries. I know, you're supposed to mulch after it freezes, but with the way the weather is going, is it ever going to freeze? I have to open the greenhouse during the day or it gets too hot for the lettuce. I have two more deliveries on tap, so will put those in the compost bins to corral them. Southern Utah winds tend to take everything not nailed down to the next town. I've covered everything with straw only to wake up the next morning and find all the straw is GONE!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 8:51PM
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