MORE PLANT NOTES
Last month I
wrote about some of my plants and how they did this year. With the cool
weather I could not go outside as much as I would like so have been
spending more time indoors with my houseplants and writing. This is the
second article in a series about my plants, how they did, and how I
prepared them for winter. As the winter wears on and I canít get outside
you will hear more about my plants.
BJ (my garden
helper) dug my dahlias before the
cold keeping the entire root intact. He
washed all the soil off, dried the clumps in the wheelbarrow, and put each
clump in a plastic bag. These are now in a box in the garage where it
doesnít freeze. Next spring I will put them in pans of damp sphagnum
moss to start the sprouts swelling. This
will make it easier to see and divide the new plants. Then I will plant
them down six inches with a stake and a cage. At first they will only be
barely covered with soil. As
they grow I will fill it in. Those
blooms get very heavy and need all the root and stem support they can get.
With all the rain last summer I have many more bulbs on each plant then I
have ever had before.
Do you save
your coffee grounds in a bucket and put them in your garden.
have told me they plant overripe bananas or banana peelings in the hole
for their ROSE BUSHES. Others
use the peels for mulch.
Have you ever
tried raised beds? There are a number of good things about them.
One is the soil. Since
you are ďmakingĒ it you can have control over runoff, the moisture
keeping quality, and the pore space, as well as the depth.
If you have a wet spot which causes root rot, higher beds will
raise them up above the problem. Drainage will not be the problem you had
before as your new soil will contain a goodly amount of compost and sand.
Be careful with the use of sand as you need to have at least one-third of
your soil be sand to avoid making concrete. What you really want is a
relative of potting soil to remain loose for aeration, drainage, and ease
donít want compaction from walking on your soil, your beds should not be
too wide, but narrow enough so you can reach across. If your beds are two
sided, that is you can walk on both sides, donít make them so long you
canít get around easily. One
sided beds, such as against a fence, needs to be narrower.
advantage is that many people do not plant in rows but in groups of plants
from one side to the other. This
shades out weeds and has more plants per inch of space. As one crop
matures it can be pulled up to make room for a fall crop.
In our clay
soil, depth is quite important, especially for root crops such as carrots
that will grow crooked. But in the loose composted beds they can grow
straighter and down. ONIONS
like moisture but not standing water and your bed will let the water down
to the roots but will drain well so they donít rot.
will warm earlier in the spring and stay warm longer in the fall, giving
us a slightly longer season. Also
snow will melt sooner and the moisture will drain faster.
Be careful with your watering as raised beds tend to dry out
gardens the beds are high enough for the gardener to work from their
chair. So depending on the need, the height can be changed. Some gardens
have block sides so gardeners who cannot or find it hard to get up and
down, can sit on the side and work.