Tasks around the yard before the season’s end
While we still have some warm sunny days left in the season, now is the time to close up your garden’s for the year. If you would like us to do it for you, let me know and I will schedule your yard closing.
The vegetable garden still has a few weeks left. Not all the green tomatoes will ripen, but that does not mean that they are lost. Green tomato ketchup is an absolutely delicious topping for eggs, meats, crackers and cheese or fish. It is important to harvest them before the first hard frost so they don’t get mushy. Cucumbers in a sunny spot will keep producing, and lettuce should be nice, crunchy, delicious and ready to harvest. Add kale and swiss chard and take advantage of your fall salads!
Raspberries and blackberries need to be trimmed back. Old raspberry canes (brown) can be cut down to 2″, new (purple) canes should be cut to 3 or 4′. They will bear fruit in the early summer. Cut blackberry canes back to 3 or 4′ as well. Tying canes to stakes or fencing helps a lot to keep things orderly.
Blueberry bushes just need pruning to remove dead or damaged branches. Also remove any branches that are rubbing or touching. The bush should be open airy shape for maximum fruiting.
Once leaves fall off your fruit trees, wrap the stem in a tree wrap to protect from rodents, and add mulch to cover the roots. If your tree or shrub is in a pot, it needs to be protected by digging it into the ground (ideal) or insulating with styrofoam and old blankets. Snow is a great insulator and can be piled on the pot for extra protection.
Outside the vegetable garden, you need to chop down soft stemmed perennials like hostas and peonies. Divide them and spread around the garden if they are getting to big or dense. Remove spent annuals. Weed all the gardens and remove all debris to best control pests and disease. Plant bulbs of spring flowers like daffodils and tulips. Plant new perennials, trees and shrubs.
This is a great time to lay new sod, or reseed your lawn. If your lawn is not what you wish it was, let me know and we’ll come and give you an estimate. Add compost or topsoil to your lawn, and seed any bear patches.
Continue to hunt and kill snails and slugs. Re digging and redoing garden borders, replacing rocks and cleaning out all nooks and crannies helps keep slugs down for the next season.