Fall...A Time For Gardening?
October 20, 2011
Normally, I do the brunt of my yard work in the spring, as soon as the outdoor temperature beckons me to come and play in the dirt. It seems logical, since it corresponds to the earth’s reawakening as well. However, this year seemed lost to me, due largely to family health issues. By summer’s arrival, I had resigned myself to "take a year off" from my usual planting of annuals and new perennials. My new plan was to take it easy for now and just be prepared when May again graced our calendars.
Certainly, I was aware that fall was the best time to invigorate and revitalize the lawn. But imagine how surprised I was to learn that fall is also the best time to divide overgrown perennials or move them to a new location. What a great idea! Usually I wait till spring to move them, and then forget about it in the flurry of planting new purchases. So now, I have no excuse to do fall yard work with our recent ideal weather.
In addition to dividing a few perennials, I decided to add a new planting bed in my backyard. I chose to utilize a tried-and-true method called lasagna gardening. This method allows you to layer organic materials in a specified, framed area, then let it compost naturally over time (at least 6 weeks), making it ready for plants in the spring. The beauty of this gardening technique is that you do not need to dig up a new planting bed; the materials themselves prepare the soil for planting. Having completed this project this past weekend, I can now relax and let nature prepare my new bed for spring planting!
If you are interested in taking advantage of our lovely fall weather and tackling your own yard issues, be sure to check out MCPL’s extensive gardening materials. Here are a few titles to get you started:
High-Impact, Low Carbon Gardening by Alice Bowe
Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton
Perennial Gardening by Better Homes and Gardens
Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza
North Oak Branch