September Sustainable Garden Checklist
No way does the end of summer mean slowing down. In fact, I feel busier than ever with a truckload of new compost to lay around the garden beds, save seed heads from summer-flowering plants, order bulbs and garlic, reseed the small lawns we have and think about the winter vegetable garden!
Some other tasks on my mind include:
1. Dividing all the thick spring-flowering perennials such as irises, salvias, hostas, phylox and bee balms that are seeing better days, with the centre of the plant dying out, leaving an ugly bare patch. This not only improves the looks of the garden but also aids the plant as cramped roots aren't able to access moisture and nutrients properly.
2. Then, we will need to move the divided plants throughout different areas of the garden, to create a cohesive gardenscape with repeated colours and pattern, as well as saving a lot of money in filling out our garden beds!
3. Another great way of filling out bare spots in the garden is by root cuttings. I have started to trim small sprigs of lavender, hyssop, rosemary and thyme (those lovely hardwood herbs); all of which propagate easily by either layering, which is laying a woody stem on the ground with a light covering of soil to promote root growth, or by cuttings, where you strip away some of the leathery outer 'bark' and put it in a small beaker of water and watch for the roots, or just pop in directly in the garden in an appropriate spot, with damp, rich soil. Doesn't get better than that for free and easy plants!
4. Last year I felt a little bereft not having green things to look at in the middle of winter, so this year I am determined to repot some of my better herbs for the kitchen windowsill ~ yes, I am a slow learner! So in goes the mints, thyme and oregano for a little fresh, herby flavour all year round in terracotta pots.
5. In the fruit and veggie garden, its time to clean out the remaining raised beds and put in winter veg like more carrots, beets and salad greens, but also prepare the beds for next year by add cover crops (more about cover crops in future post).
6. We also will save one bed for planting garlic. I have to admit something - haha, yipes - well, I did plant garlic last year for the first time, right about this time, give or take a week, and I planted them as one whole bulb, not separated into individual cloves! We ended up with masses of thin, spindly garlic sprouts, that had to be pulled out. Oh bother, still lots to learn!
How are your September garden plans going?