I leave my plants with seed heads to clean up in the spring so that birds can feed on the seeds all winter and the dropped seeds spread desired plants.
I concentrate on building soil. Getting humus into the soil is important for clay and sandy soils. I garden in Spokane on an ancient swamp and I need more sand and fresh layers of carbon in the form of dried leaves, and especially Mullein leaves. They make outstanding mulching leaves. I like to put 2-4 inches of mulch around the plants and cover the plants with about 4 inches of pine needles or straw.
Squirrels ate my 300 daffodil bulbs several years ago and I don't plant many bulbs as a result. There are a few plants that wild animals don't bother, ie. Grape hyacinth, Achillea, Helleborus, Foxgloves, Lavender, Aster, Solidago, Clematis, Asclepius, Columbine, Echinacea, Monarda. Some of these plants currently grow in my Spokane garden and I will take cuttings and plant them this autumn in the terraces.
I will be planting seeds at the Newport garden greenhouse this winter. I have been collecting seeds that I want to move north. Laura has already sowed clover in the bare soil disturbed by our fire prevention efforts. She also has created another long hugelkultur and filled it with tree trunks and slash. These will take acidic plants.
I hope each one of you have as much fun in your garden as I. Getting dirt under my fingernails, clothes all coated with sand, and sweat running down my back keeps me healthy.
I'm glad you're full of plans, Joan, good for you! I'm working on making compost, going through my notes to see what I can grow next year, and I try to prevent the spiders from invading my rooms. They're ok in the garden, but NOT in the house.
I agree, Plinius, I don't like spiders in my house and have the outside foundation and my basement sprayed by my favorite spray company. I have Black Widow spiders, as is common in Spokane.
Composting is a craft, an art, a science, and an adventure. I love what it does for my garden.
Do you have any favorites that you plan to use again next year?
Spiders here are not dangerous to people, but I don't like them anyway.
Next year I'll try to grow more vegetables - for once the hollyhocks took over a lot of my garden, and you know it's centimetre work up here! But the herbs and nasturturiums were a big success, especially in the many salads I made. I forgot to plant garlic last october, but will do it this year. I'm still waiting for my harvest of FOUR tomatoes and FOUR tayberries!
We have one other spider that is toxic, the Brown Recluse.
Laura had a Brown Recluse spider bite when we lived in Texas. We finally had to have the skin removed from her ankle to stop the necrotic tissue from spreading.
Great job, Chris. Herbs, nasturtiums, four tomatoes and four tayberries are better than nothing and taste so precious when eaten. Next year, you may have a more bountiful crop, but not any better tasting, I am sure.
Daniel, with Borage, I just cut a stem or pull the plant and throw it where I want it to grow in my garden next year. I don't know how to collect their seeds, although I am sure it can be done.
Deer certainly have voracious appetites and maybe acquired tastes. Why would your deer like Muscari and not narcissus and mine the opposite? Very Interesting.
You do so much more work in your garden than I in mine, Daniel. Since 2013, I neglected my garden, just sat in it and healed. You worked and I am sure you had as much fatigue as I. I discovered I had a good scaffolding of perennial trees, shrubs and foods, that it took care of itself. The heavy mulching helped keep the weeds down and moisture in.
Your garlic have proliferated and this year's harvest was four dozen heads. I'm taking some to plant in Laura's garden and sharing the rest, telling of their historical roots.
Daniel, thank you for the offer of Egyptian Walking Onions. It seems they love my soil and are so prolific I can't give any more away.
Yes, I agree, they have a stronger flavor and like Ning, I like them. Not in every dish, but in those robust dishes that some like and some hate.
I know that puttering is a process of healing and you inspire me as you reported on what you are up to. I very much want to see your gardens some day. I want to soak up some of your spirit and energy.
I hope you have some fresh vegetables under lights this winter. Your light arrangement looks perfect for high intensity and candle power. You provided clear instructions on making a light source in a previous post.