The summer of 2013 has passed. We are now in the midst of autumn. The gardening year has pretty much drawn to a close.
Here at Horizon House, that means that the outside beds are being put to sleep, more or less. It is a different process from northern New England. In the north east, gardens are cleaned up, mulched, and put to bed for the winter. Gardeners are busy raking leaves so the leaves don’t kill the lawns. I used to mow the lawn with the leaves on it the last few times and put the chopped, mixed grass and leaves into the compost. It made for a heavenly mix with the combined green grass clippings and the lovely dried leaves. I also turned the smoldering summer’s compost into it. I tossed in some soil, and voila…compost ready in the spring! It was a grand mix!
Here in Seattle with the more moderate climate, there are many plants that continue to grow and bloom and behave quite differently without a snow cover. Now isn’t that nice?
Many things do however remain the same, snow or not. Temperatures can plunge and an occasional snow-storm can interrupt the moderate climate. This means that the gardeners should be prepared so their plants do not suffer from the indiscretions of winter. Mulching your plants is still a good idea. It will help protect the soil from erosion during any strong rainstorms. It will allow your plants to remain hydrated during times of dryness. It will also protect your garden from frosts that certainly are a presence to be dealt with!
Although it rains a lot here in Washington, often the moisture is not able to penetrate very far into the soil. It either rains VERY lightly, or it deluges and runs off, right into the gutter. This is a good reason for gardeners to consider planting a “Rain Garden”.
If you don’t know what a “Rain Garden” is, I have posted a few different links from Universities across the nation. Their Extension Services are anxious to have gardeners utilize this process. It is a wonderful way for gardeners to be involved in water retention and cleansing. Check these out!
Obviously these gardens do not lend themselves at all to container gardens, or raised beds with concrete bottoms, but as gardeners you should know what they are, and how they benefit our land.
I think it will now be time to get back to talking about “Indoor Gardening”! Stay tuned…