Image Image Image Image Image
© All Year Garden 2010

WordPress Theme – Aware by © Themewich 

Scroll to Top

To Top

garden maintenance

a time for planting

If you thought February is when the gardener has nothing to do but wait for spring, that would not be correct: February is planting time.

Every year in the middle of winter my otherwise serene living room turns into a wild jungle, and for two blessed months I live inside a miniature greenhouse. It’s not all fun and games, of course, and between the water and dirt spilling on the carpet on my side, and the lack of appropriate lighting and the mold promoted by the excessive humidity of the starting trays on the plants’ side, come April I look forward to moving the little sprouts outdoors, and they do too. For now, however, their presence is nothing short of bliss. Read more…

thoughts for january

Every January is filled with the promise of a bountiful harvest, and this one is no exception. I took a quick stroll through the garden, ignoring the chilly drizzle that has been visiting for the last couple of days. It has been very warm so far, even on the days that usually bring the coldest temperatures of the year.

The wet dirt is dark and shiny, and it surprises me, used as I am to see yellow clay everywhere around the yard. It seems that my efforts to amend the soil during the last few years brought about lasting change. Read more…

hardiness zones

If you’ve been gardening for a while, no doubt you know what hardiness zone your pride and joy grows in. You know what plants need winter protection, what plants need to be moved indoors for winter, and what plants won’t be bothered even by arctic winters.

A few amendments to the general hardiness zone information. Strange as it may seem, the latter is not set in stone. The trend in recent years has been for the zones to shift towards getting warmer. Don’t get excited about it, whether or not your 5B zone has now officially become a zone 6, winter will still be gruesome. Read more…

sun exposure

Even though the three basic sun exposures are full sun, part sun and shade, the latter comes in so many variations, all with their own little quirks, that it deserves a full chapter all to itself.

Full sun exposure means eight hours or more of direct sunlight a day, without any large elements casting shade at any point. Full sun exposure is the beloved of all annuals, vegetables, roses and a good chunk of herbaceous perennials. With very few exceptions, given a chance, a plant will do better in the sunlight. No plant designated for full sun exposure will thrive in any type of shade or part shade. Don’t waste your efforts planting them there. Read more…

all about roses

Whether rose pruning is best done in the fall or spring is a matter of preference. I usually leave it for spring, for some reason I feel the plants will fare better over the winter if they keep the growth from the previous year. If you do choose to prune before winter, do so, keeping in mind that you’ll have to go back to them in spring and clean out any canes that had suffered winter damage.

For the roses which need regular pruning, which do not include most of the once blooming roses and the climbers, keep three or four canes, that are sturdy enough but steel green and not woody, and trim them down to one third of their length. Read more…

how to care for bulbs

When you plant bulbs, whether that happens in fall or spring, don’t forget to mix in a good measure of bone meal into the dirt, to help them set in and give them some food for the first year. Other than that, bulbs don’t need a lot of care.

Because they are usually sprinkled among other perennials, they benefit from the regular feedings and waterings that happen throughout the summer. Don’t cut off their unsightly yellowing leaves after their bloom is spent, they still need them to feed the roots for the following season. Read more…

fall schedule

If only a little late in the season, here are a few things for the fall gardener’s schedule. I haven’t even started most of mine yet, sadly.

Mid-fall is the best time to move, divide or plant spring and summer blooming perennials. Fall perennials can be moved and divided at this time too, if you really feel like you must, but as a rule, this is an activity best left for spring. Read more…

toad lilies

Toad lilies are the last flowers of the year, at least in the garden. They start blooming mid-October, to keep company to the already brown seed heads of the sedums, and they stay in bloom until November, braving the first frosts.

People tend to associate bulbs with spring, and ignore their potential in the garden during summer and fall. I really miss the Casablanca lilies, I don’t even know if they reached the end of their natural life cycle or succumbed to the unforgiving winter, but they all vanished one year, for no apparent reason. Read more…

almost time for bulbs

I really need to pick and plant spring bulbs, it’s been so warm so late into the fall that I almost forgot about them. They can be planted any time before winter, as long as the ground is not frozen. I have some pretty daffodils that I planted in the middle of December as proof of that.

There are a few good gardening practice rules that ensure the success of bulbs, even though they’re pretty forgiving plants and will do well anyway. Read more…

rainwater harvesting

Harvesting the rain doesn’t stop at installing rain barrels, it involves the entire garden and its principal goal is to keep the water from running off the plot onto paved areas, only to eventually end up in the storm drains.

Careful planning can create places for the rain water to slow down enough to percolate into the soil, as well as ways to move it through the landscape and places for it to settle in. Depressed spots are not desirable features, since nobody wants to end up with a lawn full of puddles, so the water catchment area needs to blend naturally into the design and be populated with rain garden plants. Read more…