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October Garden To Do’s

fallani2October in East Texas is absolutely fabulous and Saturday and Sunday were in deed wonderful. Nice cool temps – had to wear a flannel shirt all day!, low humidity, clear blue sky and just enough wind to keep it cool. We actually got quite a bit accomplished – along with some sore muscles to prove it. Started out by raking of all the leaves in the front yard – although if you were to look out there today you wouldn’t know it. It is absolutely raining leaves out of the big, old oak tree . . . and we’ll be out there again at least 2-3 more times to do it all over again. I wouldn’t have it any other way – I simply love that tree. I did burn some leaves – just so I could smell that wonderful fragrance of musky leaves that make me think of when I was a child – and being in the city back then – we used to burn leaves in the street along the gutter.   Sadly those days are gone – but for me all it takes to bring them back is a whiff of  burning leaves.

The deck kitchen is finished!!!!! David put the last of the quarter-round down along the tile counters Saturday. That has been a 2-year project – so I’m am thankful to be done  and ready move on to something else. Think I might take a rest before we begin anything else big. When we decided it would be ‘fun’ to have an outside kitchen – little did we know what all was involved. David did all the construction and wiring – but to me laying the tile was the most tedious and time consuming. It wasn’t a particularly expensive project. We had a lot of the materials given to us by friends, and we also make a few excellent purchases at auctions. After all is said and done – I think we’ll really enjoy having it . . . if only to sit there and admire it . . and say ‘ Look what we did!’

Got the garden cleaned out and tilled; dug out the grass from around the orchard gate and laid stone pavers there so the gate would open more easily, and continued to work on the last flower bed that’s next to the deck. Even after all that work, there is still more to do to get ready for winter.

Some of my chores left are pretty basic and pretty much what anyone that has a yard or garden will have to do. . .

  • Finish cleaning yard and flower beds – don’t let those weeds go to seed
  • Use oak leaves & pine needles for mulch. They can be used even though they are acidic. It is better to mulch leaves as this will allow water to seep through more easily and they will decompose faster.
  • Plant last edible crop, i.e. onions, shallots
  • Have covers ready to protect plants that may be sensitive to frost ( Christmas cactus – these belonged to my mom and they are at least 25 years old and huge!! )
  • Cover strawberries with extra straw or cut grass. I don’t use anything that may have seeds in it – don’t want to have a weed patch amongst the strawberries in the spring.
  • Leave plants standing that may have seed heads the birds can eat during the winter
  • Mulch day lily beds
  • Plant pansies or ornamental kale in the yard. Protect with mulch as needed.
  • Watch for end of year sales for any garden tools, planters, etc. that I can use next year
  • Collect, mark and store seeds for next spring – garlic chives, cypress vine, zinnia, etc.

Sounds like a lot but it really isn’t. I’m hoping for an early frost so that we can hopefully have some beautiful color this year. If we do, I’m hopping into my yellow jeep and taking a ride down the back roads. May even get a few pictures to share . . . or paint.

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