GARDENING: Ready for a workout?
You will not have to go far for a workout in October ― your backyard arena is awaiting your sweat and exertion. As the season changes, nature now lends a hand to lessen the burden of caring for your greenery. Raindrops from the sky bring a respite from the high temperatures, and now you have the right recipe for sustaining your creations in your soon-to-be backyard paradise.
Realize your thoughts for the perfect garden
Now is a great time to design your backyard if you have not yet done so. Enhance the exterior view from your windows by making a new flower bed or add a trellis for a climbing vine. Sketch your plan on paper so you can play with your ideas. How should it look as you gaze out from your window? What shades and tints would you like to see under the sun? Do you want evergreens, or the exposed look for winter?
There are many questions to take into consideration when altering the landscape. The contrast of the edging (border of your beds) to your vegetation would also add to the flair. Edging is not only for an aesthetic purpose. It also provides a neat and crisp barrier for preserving your soil or mulch from erosion during heavy rain.
Once your flower bed is ready, October is a great time to add newly adopted plants as the showers make it effortless for them to settle in and adapt to their surroundings. It is never tiring to look at flowers in full bloom. It adds a sense of purpose to your everyday routine. Flowers such as penstemons, astilbes, coreopsis will love you for giving them the right environment.
Re-create your space
Throughout spring and summer, you would have ideally made note of which plants are doing well in their location and which are not. Abundant blooms and growth tells of a successful match, but if a plant is struggling, it may be craving another vista. Or simply, you just want a better landscape.
No matter the motivation, now is an apt time to make changes. Rain softens transplant shock as plants are susceptible to dehydration and injury. If possible, take as much soil with the roots for a faster recovery. By doing this, you will be transporting the soil microbes (micro-organisms) as well, which are important for a plant’s future health. When transplanting from pot to ground, make sure the roots have been saturated with water. The general rule of thumb is for any perennial to complete its bloom period before transferring, or else the move will disrupt its growth cycle and it would need constant attention. As you shuffle your perennials, remember to remove the spent annuals.
You may notice some perennials get bigger and bigger, eventually crowding each other out as the years pass by. A general principle is to divide or split the roots every 2 to 3 years, because crowded roots will not provide the required nutrients for plentiful bloom. This is the perfect excuse to create repeat drifts (grouping) around your garden as this landscaping style is pleasing to the eye, with colors in equal bursts. It also concentrates more nectar for the pollinators. Just pull up the root ball of the perennial, carefully snip away at the crown into two or more sections based on size, and plant immediately.
As you plant, remove weeds in the process. This reduces the amount of weeds you have to manage in the spring, as well as the risk for plant disease.
Looking at the bare bones of your garden, some people may harbor a degree of uncertainty as to whether their ideas would manifest in the way they envisioned. But come spring, with each new sprout comes new hope, and with that comes greater confidence that you did it right. It will be so worth the wait.