Ear to the Ground: The Insider Dirt to Gardening in Upstate NY

From the Publisher: September-October 2018

by janem on September 5, 2018

Fall is arguably the most productive season in the ornamental garden. After the sweltering heat of summer has passed, yard work is a lot more inviting, for one thing. Looming deadlines also play a roll: first frost, killing frost, first snow, deep frost. Trees, shrubs, and perennials planted now (mostly) can gain enough root growth to give them a meaningful boost in the spring. Fall is for planting!

THINGS TO TRY

Cyclamen hederifolium, Cornell Botanic Gardens, fall

Hardy cyclamen
I’ve never had luck with these little darlings, which is why I am such a sucker for them in other people’s gardens. There are both spring—and fall—blooming types, and the flowers range from white to deep pink, while the glossy leaves are frequently intricately marked.

Crafty fly repellent sneak peek

Cathy’s craft
Not in the mood for flies? Me neither. Check out our resident crafter’s cute solution on page 26. Cathy is concerned that she might get in trouble for drilling holes in pennies, so if you work for the treasury, please don’t blow her in. Cathy’s craft is part of our issue theme—Pests.

Lasagna mulching
If you know you want to install or enlarge a bed but don’t think you can get around to planting it this fall, layer some organic material to kill off grass and weeds and prepare the soil for next year. You can start with cardboard, thick sections of newspaper…anything like that, and add on top whatever compost you have around, shredded leaves, straw from this year’s vegetable garden, even commercial bark mulch, if you like (shredded is good). Keep it on the moist side—this keeps stuff from flying away and aids in decomposition.

Happy gardening and as always, thanks for reading!

—Jane Milliman, Publisher

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