Sunday, October 01, 2023

MY GARDEN PATH: Enjoy the fall days

by ELAINE CERNY/Special to The Press
| September 18, 2022 1:00 AM

I hate to say it, but our “garden season” has just about run its course for this year. I hope you were able to grow something that liked the heat as we certainly had our share of that stuff.

With some luck, maybe we'll get to enjoy a nice long Indian summer. Keep your fingers crossed. You might hear the term used to refer to any period of unseasonably warm weather in autumn, traditionally, “Indian summer” referred to something more specific. Here are the criteria for a true Indian summer: As well as being warm, the atmosphere during Indian summer is hazy or smoky, there is no wind, the barometer is standing high, and the nights are clear and chilly.

It's getting a bit late, but you might want to try dividing and/or moving some of those perennials. If they make it…great. If they don't, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

By now you're probably sick of eating garden produce. Those ripe tomatoes, green beans and squash sounded a lot more enticing a month or two ago. You can always put them into the freezer. Then they'll sound good in about January.

Now that the little hummers have headed south, be sure to empty and wash up their feeders. Put them away until next spring. It will be here before you know it.

Some of the blooming perennials are just now hitting their peaks. Many colors of phlox are in full bloom. Japanese anemones are putting on a show now, too. I hope you've been able to purchase some spring blooming bulbs and have them safely tucked into a spot where you'll be able to see them out the window about next April.

Be sure to bring any houseplants back indoors. If they've been “summering” outside, their time is running out. I hate to say it, but ol' Jack Frost can't be far off.

Another chore is to water those trees so they'll make it through the winter. Just lie the hose under each one and turn is barely on. Leave it all night. That should do it.

Now is the time to do the final lawn feeding. This will get the grass off to a good start next spring. The final mowing can be short now that the weather has cooled off.

Here's some advice from a ladybug:

Spot new opportunities,

Be well-rounded,

Don't let the small things bug you.

• • •

Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until some time in October for the past 14 years.


Elaine Cerny

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