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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September in the Garden

Okay ladies and gentleman....listen up! Break time is OVER...The fall is creeping up on us and we are WAY behind in our gardening adventures! September is a month of transition for our gardens. They recover from the hot summer weather and slowly they get ready for the cooler fall and in my case, the bitter cold of winter.

Before I begin lecturing you on the ins and outs of preparing for the winter season, I would like to take a moment to thank you all for the sweet comments of concern and friendship that you have been so kind to leave for me. My troubles sadly are not a thing of the past, but thanks to one little lady (and she knows who she is) who gave me a kick in the pants yesterday afternoon, I am back for some blog therapy. Thanks girl. I hope I can keep up with this.
Now...on to something that will get us ready to welcome the cooler weather. (at least here)lol

It is the middle of September, and for some reason, we still have not encountered a killing frost here in Alberta. I think this may just be some what of a miracle for us....but will take what I can get. Now is the time to start thinking about some chores that need to be finished up before the ground starts to freeze.

Here is our September "to-do" list
-stop fertilizing our flowers and shrubs. (yes that means no more fertilizer Fridays)
-bring any house plants that we have had "vacationing" in our outdoor gardens inside
(don't forget to de-bug them first)
-take any houseplants from inside out doors and give them a good rinse to clear the dust...but
only for the warm part of the day!
-clean up any flower beds
-take out any that are finished to preserve the beauty of those that still look nice
-cut back any perennials that are finished
-watch for frost, and take the necessary precautions to protect our tender annuals as long as we
-take all the photos we can to remind us of what we did and did not like when we are planning
our gardens together for next year
-divide and transplant perennials
-remove and store tender bulbs and tubers such as dahlia
-plant any spring bulbs....such as tulips
-soak in our trees and shrubs
-plant any trees and shrubs that we wish to add to our gardens and water them in well
-choose the plants you plant to over winter indoors
-finish gathering the seeds from your garden
-locate the rake for the leaves that will fall
-prepare to fertilize regularly your lawn for the last time this season
This is not a complete list, but it will give us a start to our fall work load.
It seems long and dreary, but once we get started, it will go quite fast...I hope.

Now, since we have outlined a few of these things, I will answer a question that is pressing in many of our minds:

Janie wrote to me:
Glad your back Tootsie, My gardens are a mess too!How do you spruce up your gardens when the summer annuals are looking tired?Have a great one, Janie

Okay, first and foremost, we need to accept that the season is coming to an end. Once we have accomplished this easier than said task, we can do a couple of little things that will help make things look a little less dreary.
I will occasionally pull those things that are looking ever so sad and replace them with a pot of flowering plants that is still looking relatively good. This works in beds that are capable of holding a pot or two of flowers.
If I should end up with an area that there is not enough space for a pot to sit in, I have been known to replace the sad flowers and plants with some empty pots arranged in a creative way, or temporarily put out some garden ornaments.
You could put a few faux (or real) pumpkins in the garden, add an empty wheel barrow filled with fall bounty, or put a lonely bird bath in an area that will need some character.
It is not possible (in my opinion) to revive a planted area that has "finished" or seen better days. But it is possible to spice it up and give it a new look.
It is also possible to run to your local garden center and pick up some potted mums to replace the dead or finished plants and add a little fresh color.

Later this month I hope to be doing just this thing....but I refuse to bring out the fall decor until the frost has finished me off! I just can't let go without a little denial...I am a gardener at heart!

Now, if you have any questions for me, I would love to hear them. My mind has not really been on the garden lately, and things that I had planned to discuss, have slipped away. I plan to show some of the ways I get my garden ready for the -40C that is coming to my garden, so stay tuned.


artis1111 said...

I have been thinking, can I take a cutting of a hydrangea and put root tone on it to start inside for spring? I have started roses that way, but I don't know about the hydrangeas. See we do need out Tootsie to anser thes questions. LOL Kathy

Justine said...

Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! My girl is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that white cart filled with flowers yours? OMG, it's phenomenal!!!!!!!!!!! I love it... it's a friggin' work of art!

Justine :o )

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Hi Tootsie, I have a question for you! :) I saw that you suggested to take inside plants out and spray them of to dust them! Great idea, but will they get to wet? If there anything special I need to do or care when spraying them? Please let me know, cause I desperately need to do this! :) Thanks for all the tips!

Oh, and I got the head planter about 3 years ago from Homegoods. But I saw that they have them again in stock! ~Rhonda

Betty said...

Hey Tootsie! Glad I am not the only one that has a hard time accepting fall, I keep watching my impatiens knowing they tend to not tolerate the cold and am watching for the signs of glob they will become but hey so far...not! So I continue to be positive that I have some more time and when it happens I will wonder why I planted so many impatiens this year instead of something more cold tolerant!
Have a great day!

Unknown said...

I hate it when my flowers look so sad . I really have a lot of cutting back and pulling out to do . My hydrangea was so full of flowers and pretty last year . Not this year . Never looked so sparse . What happened ? What can I do now to get it ready for next year so it will bloom real good .
Thanks for all yout great advice .

Unknown said...

I for got to ask , what flowers are more drout tolerant for flower boxes and baskets . I want some thing that doesn't need to be dead headed every day ? I'm planing for next year . Zennias will be in my flower beds , they did better then any thing .
Thanks . Mary

Buffie said...

Wow, lots of awesome ideas!!! I have one of those little carts, I'm going to put mums in it, I think it'll fill in a blank spot in my garden just perfectly!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

YAHOO!!! your back Toots..don't know who said what to you but THANKS LADY who ever you are for bringing back our Toots.. Now I have to get ready for winter?? to me that means buying new sweat pants haha!!! Any yes I have remember my Friday thing every week and my Boston fern is moving me out of my sunroom now THANKS.. hope you have a great day...hugs and smiles Goria

Tress said...

Good Afternoon Tootsie,
Thank you for all of your little tips. You asked if I was from RMS earlier-yes I had pics there-I left when the rest did. I am sorry to that you are going thru some rough times having been thru many myself (a husband leaving for a co-worker,being left by my parents at 15-those both took 2 years of counseling! Then a loss of a child)Just take your time to grow through this and it is okay to feel down at times-its part of the yucky process-in time you will come around-trust me!!! I will lift you up in my prayers and pray that you feel loved!

SG said...

That flower filled cart is gorgeous!!!

A garden is a lot of work! Gary just yelled at me for all my dead petunias. He said NO MORE next year since I don't water them enough. lol.

Glad to see you back!

Picket said...

hey glad to see you are still in my heart and prayers girl...thanks for all the great take care and I hope you have a great week!

Julie said...

Hi Tootsie! You are showing great strength in whatever you are going through...getting back to blogging, and asking people for questions! WOW. Well, I will ask you a question, and I don't expect you to asnswer it unless you have time or feel like it.

I have a bald spot in between me and my neighbors yards...between two large Mexican Sunflower bushes...I need a no-water perennial that will bloom a color other than yellow, that will grow to about 5 feet to fill in the bald spot. Zone 10 (South Florida). I know that is not your area for sure!


Tootsie said...

you couldn't make it an easy one could you! I will do my best! this one may take some time

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

Hi Tootsie, Girl, I admire YOUR talents! You are the gardening guru! Love your post and your sense of humor! I always learn something each time I visit. :-) Susan

Anonymous said...

Tootsie, Glad your back, I am still thinking about you and praying that you have peace in whatever you may be going through.
I was wondering do you compost. I have been looking at compost bins, those big things that you are suppose to turn everyday. The soil always looks good in the picture.
If you do would you recommend getting one?
Thanks for all your great tips and for always answering our questions no matter how silly they may sound.

Tootsie said...

Thank you Beddow! Betty is the kick in the pants friend who inspired and encouraged my return to blog land....

Anonymous said...

Hey there! I'd love to ask you a few over winter geraniums? I read that they are slow to bloom after being overwintered. Do you bring impatiens and begonias in for the winter? I hate to lose them. I plan on bringing in some asparagus fern and golden creeping jenny, I know the fern will do fine indoors, but not sure about the jenny..I just love the look of it, so I'll try. Oh yeah, and some coleus is coming in too. I'm going to run out of room, but this being my first year with more than a hanging basket or two, I just can't part with these "babies" that I've raised. (remember, all my gardens are in containers, but I still have to take them up and put them in different ones.) When you first started were you like that?
Okay, last question, what do you use for aphids? They got at my petunias, I tried some soap spray, it helped some. It's weird though, my pot of mostly white ones got them bad, the pink pot, not so much. I think they got whiteflies too, but they are on the top side of the leaves, not the underside.
Thanks to you I really have the gardening bug, I'm loving it. I applied to the Master Gardener program and waiting to see if I get accepted. There were about 35 people, and they can only take 15. I should know by tomorrow, (Friday), keep your fingers crossed for me please. And again, thanks for the inspiration.
Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tootsie, I'm glad that you got that kick in the pants. Hope that it proves to be good therapy for. I've missed you. Although we've had a heat spell this past week and my flowers are lush and beautiful, I know that tomorrow is the first day of fall. I printed your tips on what to do. What a great idea to photograph what you like and what you don't like! This information came just in time! I so appreciate this because I know your days are complicated, to say the least. Fieldstone/Pam