Friday, October 23, 2020

Midwest Gardening October 2020: The Backyard

  Like my last post---I ran around and took photos...before starting work. The goal to get all the pots emptied and dumped into the compost pile along with all the garden waste. 


One thing you can't help think about is how short our season is. Only five months ago, all our plants were coming out of this greenhouse, which is a total fright now. I'll go over our specific SUCCESSES and FAILURES in another post, and there were many on both sides.


I had wanted to Fall garden in here, but I'm gardened out! I have one pot in here with plants that need to be transplanted and a big mess to clean up.


I'm going to save the greenhouse cleanup for a cold but sunny day, it easily climbs to 80 degrees in here with the windows closed. A real plus in Spring.


The vegetables have all been harvested, frozen, dried, or canned. We had hoped for an extended season, but multiple frosts really ended it. These are all the potted Peppers, which are no longer blooming, so into the compost pile! 


Cherry Tomatoes in pots were very fruitful as were the lettuce planters, to the compost pile NOW. I can say we honestly GREEN gardened this year, other than some natural slug deterrent. 


This is all the sunflower stalks and bean vines...yikes that's a lot for the pile! On the compost pile, I'm alternating yard waste, compost enhancer, dirt, yard waste...etc. Last will be leaves which will put a nice cover on the whole mess. We should have fabulous dirt in Spring.


Last of our yellow tomatoes, the ones I brought in the house were spoiled before turning to their ripe color, so these are MULCH!


Our motion sensor lights go on all night long, apparently for the munchers...! We still have raccoons in the area, woodchucks, possums, moles, squirrels, chippies, they all let us live here, sort of!


I have three patches of Calendula grown from seed in the vegetable garden. Excellent for pollinators, and blooming still now. I think the black cloth saves some heat and keeps them alive despite frosts. I'm going to leave the plants in the garden in hopes they self seed.


Our six-foot high Zinnias are still blooming, bees are still buzzing on them, so I will leave all the Zinnias that are healthy for the seeds and the blossoms for the birds and bees.


Another pot of Lemon Grass, I will probably move to the front yard.


The sun is so low already 1:00 in the afternoon,
 I have to get going.


The sandbox becomes a pond, sometimes Dusty Miller will keep over winter. I'll try putting this in the ground somewhere sheltered.


The birds seem to be searching for winter quarters. Lots of room at the INN here.


Our neighbor's wood pile. He had three trees taken down on his property and the house next to him. I just hope the Woodchucks aren't under there.


Our share of the dead Hickory we took down on the lot line. We had hoped to do a pig roast this year, but with Covid, it will have to wait.


Our Giant Coleus grown from seed...still a few hanging on in the shelter of the extended roof.


Our rocked area we did last Fall is deep in leaves, but wet. TIP: On the left the Caladiums have been dug up and dried for a few days, and then placed in peat moss to store in the basement through winter. 
(Crossing my fingers they grow again.)
A few Coleus are still happy despite the heavy shade and cooler temps. I wont' empty those pots as we used all new dirt this year. 

Hubby has been watering the sod to the right.


You can see the seams. It's been down for about two weeks. We waited until Fall because of our heat and drought. Hopefully now it will take hold.


Not any special Fall decor here. I tossed the last of the 'tiny' squash on the table...and it was picture worthy, 
dirt and all. So much to do for Clean Up!
Well, I really have to get to work, NOW.
The sun is so low already and the days are so short! 

Lots to go into the COMPOST PILE! 

How's your Fall Clean up Going?

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Midwest Gardening October 2020:Front Yard

October, what a crazy month. 
I realized I hadn't done a post for gardening this month.  
Pretty much because of the weather. 
Early on we had very hot, high 80's for a couple of weeks, along with really dry. Then we had some rain and sharp drop in temps and total windy days with 50mph gusts. Really not conducive to senior gardening. It's bad enough falling, without being blown over, lol.

Finally a break in the weather yesterday, 
so I ran around and took photos of the yards, 
just as it is now, before we started Fall Clean Up
Our bird feeders have been full of birds. 
We are on a migration flyway, and several visitors appeared and went: multiple woodpeckers, some Thrushes, Cedar Waxwings, and many different wrens.  

The Maple tree behind is the last one to usually turn, but it has lots of green still.

Starting on the east side, we still have Zinnias blooming despite three frosts. All the vegetables are  done on this side, and I've cut back many of the perennials. The yellow chair, won't make it through the winter, it has finally rotted, so I will have to plan on something different here next year. 

The Sweet Pea trellis only has Morning Glories on it now. I had pulled the sweet peas out a couple of weeks ago as they were starting to mildew.

The pond area still needs a final clean up--
I pulled the plug yesterday. 
Hubby put some railings in the back, for safety sake. I had wanted to transplant the Phlox somewhere else, but will have to do it in spring. The ground is still very dry 6" down. The teardrops and the succulents I planted around the pond did very well. Hopefully they will winter over. I still need to cut back the Iris...we had no fall blooms this year, nor a fall bloom on our roses, either, which I have cut back also. 
Probably due to our stressful dry and hot weather.

Our massive PUMPKIN will come in the house tomorrow, as a hard freeze is forecasted for the weekend. And, I'll make tons of pumpkin butter. That will be our gifts to many friends and family, and we've run out of it, in the pantry. 

We had 6 Mandilla plants, and I have brought 4 inside. They were so gorgeous, and I hope to winter these over in the house. You can see the purple potato vine got nipped and is yellowing.

This west a mess. Walnuts everywhere, twigs and tons of leaves. It's too wet to rake now, so I'll save that for later.

The West side pots, one was totally done and not worth taking a photo. This pot is still blooming and the Coleus is gorgeous. The surprise mystery grass, became some sort of Papyrus. These were $2.94 at Walmart, when I purchased Papyrus from a nursery in the past they were like $12.99...??? I will look for them again at Walmart.

We planted seventy or so Spring bulbs 
on the Mound, as we call it.

The birds have been loving the can see one here. Next year should be very interesting, when all the perennials I have planted mature a bit. I have Phlox, three kinds of Sedum, some small Tree Rose of Sharon, a bush RoseDay Lilies, Orange Day Lilies, Liatris, Shasta Daisies, Russian Sage, white Delphiniums,(which I think fried) and Periwinkle that went crazy with the sun. (This area was once occupied by a huge Spruce, which died very quickly last Fall.

The dry ground was so hard, we used an augur on an electric drill to plant bulbs. Easy Peasy!
We have also planted 4 small Conical Firs across the front. We mulched this pretty heavy because of the squirrels.

The Oak that planted itself from somewhere, (there isn't an oak anywhere near here) is quite colorful for an oak. It's about 10 years old, and really growing a lot each year now.

Not everything is dying. Here our Tree Rose of Sharon is forming its notoriously fecund seed pods. Plant one of these and you have bushes/trees for life and longer.

As I ran around with the camera, the birds are so used to us, they are simply willing to have a chat and pose. This is a OLD birdhouse we did a REDO on this spring: new bottom, new roof, and new perches on the front. Our friend on the roof checked out all the apartments.

The mailbox planter at the street is really finished. But, as long as there is color from the yellow Marigolds, I will leave it. The Vinca Vines were transplants from the yard. This is another ground cover that does well in our area. The flowers really baked out here this year, with our record summer temps. The purple Salvia and  Petunias gave up a month ago.

Here is our biggest project this year, a new culvert under a new 6 car driveway. Yikes that was expensive. We waited to plant sod and had to water it the last two weeks. Today it is raining all day, they promised us an inch...much needed. (We got 1 1/2"---YAY!) 

We had to cycle water all summer, hoses everywhere, (we have a very deep well). 

The pots on the rocks along the garage, held heat through the frosts. The cement siding also holds heat, so these plants are still blooming. The Sweet Potato Vines  frosted though. I miss the long trailers they provided. 

 With all the wind we've had, this area and others are hard to keep clean.

I'v not been into any decorating, I only bought two Mums this year. Our pots of Lemon Grass are hanging on. Hubby has to get the faux pumpkins down from the garage attic, maybe. 
It is Really Hard to get into decorating mode. 
BUT, Now we have to deal with Mother Nature's 
(or what I call mulch, LOL)
A very GREEN thing to do.

How did your yard survive 
the summer heat?

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