Gardening Articles

Fall Work In The Garden

Because the growth of grass on the lawn is not as luxuriant and rapid in fall as it is in midsummer, is no reason why the lawn should be neglected after summer is over. It should be mowed whenever the grass gets too

tall to look well, clear up to the end of the season. The neat and attractive appearance of the home-grounds depends more upon the lawn than anything else about them. It is a good plan to fertilize it well in fall, thus enabling the roots of the sward to store up nutriment for the coming season. Fine bonemeal is as good for this purpose as anything I know of except barnyard manure, and it is superior to that in one respect--it does not contain the seeds of weeds. Go over the garden before the end of the season and gather up all plants that have completed their work. If we neglect to give attention to the beds now that the flowering-period is over, a general appearance of untidiness will soon dominate everything. Much of the depressing effect of late fall is due to this lack of attention. The prompt removal of all unsightly objects will keep the grounds looking _clean_ after the season has passed its prime, and we all know what the Good Book's estimate of cleanliness is. Seedlings of such perennials as Hollyhock, Delphinium, and other plants of similar character, ought to be transplanted to the places they are to occupy next season by the last of September. If care is taken not to disturb their roots when you lift them they will receive no check. If you give your Hybrid Perpetual Roses a good, sharp cutting-back early in September, and manure the soil about them well, you may reasonably expect a few fine flowers from them later on. And what is more delightful than a perfect Rose gathered from your own garden just at the edge of winter? Perennials can be divided and reset, if necessary, immediately after they have ripened off the growth of the present year. If this work is done now, there will be just so much less to do in spring. Before the coming of cold weather all tools used in gardening operations should be gathered up and stored under cover. If any repairs are needed, make note of them, and see that the work is done in winter, so that everything needed in spring may be in readiness for use. It is a good plan to give all wood-work a coat of paint at the time it is stored away, and to go over the metal part of every tool with a wash of vaseline to prevent rust. Have a general house-cleaning before winter sets in. Cut away the stalks of the perennials. Pull up all annuals. Rake up the leaves, and add everything of this kind to the compost heap. All garden refuse should find its way there, to be transmuted by the alchemy of sun and rain, and the disintegrating forces of nature into that most valuable of soil constituents--humus. Let nothing that has any value in it be wasted. After hard frosts have killed the tops of Dahlias, Cannas, Caladiums and Gladioluses, their roots should be dug, on some warm and sunny day, and prepared for storage in the cellar or closet. Spread them out in the sunshine, and leave them there until the soil that was dug with them is dry enough to crumble away from them. At night cover with something to keep out the cold, and expose them to the curative effects of the sun next day. It may be necessary to do this several days in succession. The great amount of moisture which they contain when first dug should be given a chance to evaporate to a considerable extent before it will be safe to put them away for the winter. Cut off the old stalks close to the root before storing. While clearing the beds of dead plants and leaves be on the lookout for insects of various kinds. The cut-worm may still be in evidence, and may be found among the rubbish which you gather up. And if found, destroy it on the spot. This precaution will go far toward safeguarding plants in spring, many of which are annually injured by the depredations of this pest. When you are sure that cold weather is at hand, cover the bulb-bed with coarse manure or litter, hay, or straw, as advised in the chapter on The Bulb Garden. And give your Roses the protection advised in the chapter on The Rose. Cover Pansies lightly with leaves or evergreen branches. If you have mulch enough, apply some to your hardy plants, and next spring note the difference between them and the plants which were not given any protection.

Previous: Summer Work In The Garden
Next: The Lawn: How To Make It And How To Take Care Of It

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