Saturday, November 18, 2017

Those leaves are your friends

The late-October nor’easter accelerated the seasonal leaf drop across all of New England. Don’t be discouraged and rake the leaves away. Any leaves not chopped up the first time the lawn is mowed will be taken care of as you continue mowing the lawn until the ground begins to freeze at the end of the month. Remember the leaves will add nutrients and improve the soil with no cost and very little extra work on your part. Leaves that fall on driveways and sidewalks can be raked up for use in compost bins, or chipped with a mower and used under shrubs and around perennials for winter protection.

Mow short now. Cool temperatures slow growth so, by Thanksgiving you can usually do your last mowing of the season. Do it short (1 1/2 to 2 inches). Leave the clippings and mowed leaves in place. They will completely break down over winter giving the lawn a booster shot of nutrients in the spring.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Map your Garden

Before you forget where you put new plants this year, map your garden.  Do it by sections if your garden is large.  Make it easy on yourself by giving parts of the garden names: ‘right of the front door’, or ‘near the Cornus florida’ to designate spaces. Next spring, your map will make it easier to figure out which returning perennial is which.  Also do a sketch of your vegetable garden so that next spring you don’t put the tomatoes or peppers, lettuce or beets exactly where they were this year. Rotating planting areas helps to prevent a build-up of disease in the soil.