The year of gardening 2022 seems to be the end, but it can actually be understood as the beginning of the next year. Gardening is a cyclical process. What we are doing now is to benefit the garden and start next year.
Gardeners debate among themselves whether the remains of wild animals and arthropods are left for food and shelter (seeds, stems, debris) during the winter, or whether a preservative cleanup approach prevails. You have to.
Whether the cleanup is selective or extensive, composting all the resulting organic waste is the answer. Not only is this eco-friendly, it’s also good for your soil and garden.
winter break and repair
A short day helps processes that have been going on longer than humans can imagine. For all trees and plants, what is currently happening in the season of cold temperatures and low photons is rest and repair, without the stress of responding to light-driven cues for photosynthesis and above-ground growth.
In deciduous trees and shrubs, nutrients present in the leaves have retreated into the root zone. The xylem and phloem vascular processes become like a barely ticking dormant system, only enough to sustain next year’s buds.
For evergreens, however, there is no suspended animation. Circulation, limited photosynthesis, and transpiration continue. Freeze/thaw cycles in oceanic climates and dry winter winds can induce a large amount of water loss called “winter kill”. Although with deep watering, mulch applied to the root zone, sufficient rainfall, and anti-drying applications, evergreens can manage the up-and-down type of winters that are increasingly experienced here. , especially if the planting was recently installed.
Speaking of evergreens, this is a good time to examine your rhododendron pruning needs. Mature plants may grow outward in patterns that are commonly prone to tearing and breaking under heavy snow and ice loads. Center the mass.
As Allen Farm’s Mitchell Posin says, the term “soil biology” is often misused. What is usually intended is more appropriately called a “soil biome”, i.e. soil life forms.
“Soil biology” is the study of soil. Its structure, function and biome. We used to call dirt “dirt”. This is a word that means dirt, dirt, obscenity. A wise man noticed that there was more going on in the ground beneath our feet and began to look more closely. Thus was discovered the soil biome, the living component of soil that allows all plants to grow.
Soil is home to billions of organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, many of which are still unknown, that enable all life on Earth and enable plant health. soil biome. For food gardens as well as ornamental gardens and lawns, now is the time to focus on soil biomes and, incidentally, to become a backyard soil biologist.
A soil test is always recommended to get more information about what is happening underground.Find a test lab at bit.ly/soiltesting_MVTIdentify the intended use of the sample you are submitting: lawn, orchard, ornamental, or vegetable garden. While waiting for results, you have several options for feeding and building your soil biome. Plant a cover crop. Mulch the surface. Apply aged animal manure. Or top dress with a thin layer of compost.
Winter Cover Crop: Use ‘winter soil builder mix’ or winter rye. Mulch materials include straw, grass clippings, leaf and pine needle mulch, compost, and cardboard. Some of these can introduce weeds into your garden, but their high organic matter content makes them much easier to weed in the future.
I always try to insert the term “soil food” when referring to fertilizers. This is to emphasize that you are nourishing the soil to make it healthy to allow for plant growth, rather than forcibly applying chemical “jet fuel” fertilizers. Please use the slow-release organic “soil food” fertilizer that is gentle on children, pets and water quality (vineyardconservation.org/vineyard-lawns).
container, transportation, citrus
For container plants such as camellias, hibiscus, fuchsias, holiday cacti, and citrus, summer vacations outdoors are coming to an end as they return indoors for winter.
A friend and I were sympathetic outside the grocery store over how difficult it was to bring these big babies indoors. I tried. It is not sold, but there is a possibility compared to the dolly. My husband built dolly for many of our big guys.
Maintaining container citrus is both fun and a challenge for those with the space and desire.The plants are handsome and practical. The scent of flowers is the joy of winter days. Fruit is always welcome and a small victory when the conditions are right to produce it.
These citruses don’t stay petite to put on your kitchen counter, but Logee’s latest catalog features a hanging container plant citrus, sweet orange ‘Cipo’. It has been described as having a weeping habit that reliably bears fruit each year, giving a cascading pattern that forms flowers and fruits at the ends of subsequent branches.
However, with citrus, effort comes with joy. They are dutched before they are let inside. It is a favorite habitat for whiteflies, aphids and scale insects, so regular control is required. Fungal gnats and pickling weevil may live in the soil of the container. I use insecticidal soap and gardening oil, which are pretty good at controlling these insects, but not getting rid of them.
in the garden
Informal protection can be devised for plants that might survive the winter with very little help. Hay bales, old storm windows, and a brick turret that protects my favorite Mid-Island Repair Rosemary plants can attract plants.
Prune evergreen trees such as yew, ivy, boxwood, and holly. Stick it in a bowl with a pin holder. Please refill water. Use as a centerpiece. Some are rooted. Hey, more plants.