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What a Mess

April 15th, 2015

I rarely clean up the gardens in the fall, I like to leave the plant material for insects and the seeds for the birds. That means I have extra work to finish up in the spring before I start planting. The soil in the potager is thawed, I should take a thermometer out there and check the temperature. There’s a nice flat of lettuces under the grow lights that are perfect for planting, they just need hardening off.
potager 1
potager 2
There are plants that need cut back, pine boughs that need removed from hydrangeas, leaves that need raking, and lots of chicken holes to fill in.
potager 3
potager 4
I noticed the chives, tarragon, and thyme are waking up. The catnip is also coming up nicely, the cats have already been enjoying it as snacks in the afternoons.
potager 5
potager 6
The weather looks to be beautiful this week. I need to put up a fence to keep the chickens out and then get to work clearing out, raking, and adding compost to this garden. Soon enough it will be lush with growth.

Do you clean out the garden in fall or wait until spring?

6 Comments to “What a Mess”
  1. Nebraska Dave on April 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Susy, I like to clean up the garden in the fall but this year it’s mostly been in the Spring. Weeds are prolific and will take over Terra Nova Gardens very quickly. I still am fighting those wild grape vines that continue to sprout up through out the garden. Nettles and scrub brush are contenders for garden space as well. I really have to stay on top of all that wild stuff or it will get out of control fast.

    The weather here in Nebraska has settled into a nice Spring cycle with day time temps in the 60s and 70s with night time temps in the 50s. We can still get a hard frost until the middle of May so the warm weather plants are not being put out in the garden just yet. I have four large tomato plants in five gallon buckets which go outside during the day and inside during the night. Perhaps I can get a tomato or two in early July. I’m going plant some cabbage this week and have many backups in case they get froze out.

    Have a great Spring day in the garden.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  2. Margie on April 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

    That is the first time I have heard you mention hydrangeas in Maine. I’d love to hear about how yours do up there and what you have done with them. I love the flowers but haven’t planted them in my garden yet.

    Reply to Margie's comment

  3. Misti on April 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

    We should have cleaned ours up about four months ago but here we are now, trying to get on top of it before insane summer growth. It’s already a bit insane….oh well.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  4. Robin Follette on April 15, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    I try to clean up in the fall but it doesn’t always happen.

    When I left the house this morning the garden was covered with snow. When I got home 10 hours later most of the snow was gone. The ducks can swim in part of the garden now but it’s a start!

    Reply to Robin Follette's comment

  5. KimH on April 15, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I dont have a lot to do here.. but I tend to do more clean up in the fall than I need in the spring.

    This year I left a good amount of leaves in my back yard sanctuary.. its not really even a yard… just a tree, a patio, and a bunch of plants around the patio.. Sometimes I remove the leaves but I personally like leaving them. In my herb bed, I pulled out a lot of stuff last year and I have a good bit more to do this year..

    Last fall I bundled up my Chicago Hardy Fig with leaves & corn stalks and just unwrapped & spread the leaves in the bed where the fig tree lives.. The corn stalks I plan to take to my garden at the community garden and use to make tee pees for climbing things..

    At the community garden, I leave all plant material there & toss in some green manure seeds… they till it all in before the first snow flies and again right before the gardens open..

    Reply to KimH's comment

  6. Mich on April 16, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I usually try and do abit of clearing up in the autumn & in the spring, but due to back issues I have all the clearing up to do now. Eek… And need to do it in segments as still suffering with the back. Grr.

    Reply to Mich's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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