Autumn Gardening – A Time For Getting Dirty
There are many things about gardening that involve getting your hands dirty such as weeding and planting. Autumn is a time of year in which the gardening tasks seem to involve particularly dirty tasks; such as planting perennials, making fallen leaves into compost or cultivating. The dirty tasks of autumn gardening tend to serve two purposes readying the garden for spring and gathering the harvest.
Many of autumn’s garden tasks are things gardeners do that are a culmination of all of the efforts made all year, such as picking produce, gathering decayed plant material or leaving seeded plants for the birds. In autumn gardeners reap the rewards of a garden well tended. They also prepare for the warm days of spring by digging and storing any tender summer bulbs, planting trees, shrubs and bulbs before the ground freezes.
Some of the autumn gardening tasks revolve around cleaning up the garden such as removing decayed plant material, sweeping leaves from walkways and near walls or other structures. Lawns that surround the garden will need to be mowed one last time before the snow flies and the soil will need to be cultivated and mulched for the winter.
Raking leaves is a particularly dirty task, as it requires manual labor often lasting for hours as leaves are swept from the garden, the paths that may wind around and through it and along side it. Leaves will be gathered and then turned into compost. The task always involves a certain amount of perspiration. The colorful leaves add their own beauty to the garden as they lay among the rows of spent greenery.
Making compost from raked leaves, decaying plants and grass clippings is a natural ending to a season of organic gardening. The leaves, plants and grass once serving a purpose of growth are able to complete the cycle through the decaying process by providing a compost rich in much needed mulch and natural fertilizer for the new garden. Keep in mind that only un-diseased vegetable matter should be used in the compose pile.
Autumn is also the time to prepare for your new spring garden by preparing beds or digging new beds. This is also the time to divide perennials, plant bulbs and move plants to a new location if it is necessary.
Flower beds can be edged during the autumn and also any garden construction work should be done during this time of year as spring is generally to wet and muddy to do much construction and the clearer weather allows for more consistent time to work. Now is the time to really take a good look at your garden design for not only function but eye appeal too. Making small or big changes in the fall is when there is the least amount of disruption to growing.
Autumn is a definite time to get down and dirty in your garden as the tasks of cleaning, composting, harvesting, digging, planting and harvesting all keep the gardener busy while improving the results that are yielded by the garden.