Fall has its own version of “spring [sic] cleaning.” The gardens, both edible and aesthetic, are winding down. They are always happier in the spring with a little prep in the fall.
The question is: does all the fall clean-up get done? Rarely so.
Happily the garlic is planted, but we still need to schlepp leaves from the woods to serve as mulch. The leaves will, however, blow away without some bark or compost on top. We still have compost, but we’re in desperate need of bark. Hence, task #2: get more bark, preferably a lot of it.
Because the landscaping beds also need (more) bark. Some have been mulched, but they could use more. And all of the beds that I added after getting F’s free flowers (say that three times fast!) have no mulch at all. The plants will be more likely to survive their first winter after replanting if they are properly mulched. Plus it will be easier to tell which plants are desired and which are weeds when mysterious green stuff starts coming up in the spring if the mulch at least marks the edges of the ornamental beds.
The dreaded weeds will have less of a head start come spring if I manage to make more of a dent now, even this late in the season. Alas, I’ve had little time and recently it’s been too cold and/or wet for weeding .
But back to the leaves. The compost bins could also stand some more leaf layers (also say that three times fast!) before winter hits. The more leaves, the merrier in compost-land.
And speaking of compost, we still have a pretty big pile of compost after paying for a dump truck load this spring. Much of it could be wheelbarrowed (yes, that’s a verb) to the vegetable garden. No need to spread it out. The chickens are helpful, not to mention happy, laborers on that front. Why not dump the compost now, get the chickens to spread it out, and then the garden will be closer to being ready for spring rototilling.
Also in the vegie garden, the two rhubarb plants and bed of asparagus could really stand some weeding as well. And compost. And perhaps some bark in a desperate attempt to keep the weeds at bay come next year.
Yes, compost, mulch, and weeding are the major themes of fall clean-up. We’ll see how much gets done before winter hits.