October Gardening 2015

by Jane Ahrens

From Mélie’s Garden

Fall has officially arrived, now that the Autumnal Equinox and the “Super Moon” lunar eclipse have passed. Often this is hard to tell on Fishers Island because the fall here is full of “Indian Summer” days and the first frost sometimes isn’t until early November. Never the less, the days are starting to get shorter and the plants in our gardens recognize that change and start preparing for winter.

At this time of year, I walk around my garden with a note pad and write down what I want to remember for next year. What plants worked and which didn’t and what to add to make the flowerbeds more interesting. A garden is always evolving as plants mature or run out of steam. I also write down the vegetables that did well and if was it better to put in seedlings or start certain things from seed. I note the tomato varieties that we liked and which Dahlias were the prettiest, so I can order them again. I find it very helpful to have these notes when spring arrives, so I know what changes I want to make.

In preparing a garden for winter, it is important to weed all beds as you are cutting back the plants. Be particularly careful of getting rid of invasive vines like Hedge Bindweed and Black Swallow-Wart. Do not put these vines in the compost, they should be placed in black plastic bags and thrown in the garbage. This is especially important if they have any seedpods!

Plants can be transplanted up to November 1st, which will allow roots to get established before a hard frost in four to six weeks. Transplant into good soil and be especially mindful of watering due to the drought we have had this year. New bulbs can be planted up to mid-November.

And finally, houseplants that have summered outside need a good spray of insecticidal soap before coming into the house. Plants can winter over inside in temperatures down to 50 degrees. Let the plants rest by not fertilizing them until there are ten hours of daylight and the growing season begins again.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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