2017 has been a wonderful gardening year in Southeast New Hampshire. Compared to the past couple of years where we experienced significant drought and high heat; this year brought ample rainfall and fairly moderate temperatures throughout the summer. We did begin to eperience a lower than average rainfall in the autumn. Temperatures have remained above normal and some recent storms have begun to make up for the water deficit.
This has meant that the person who takes care of your gardens and yard has had plenty of work to do during this long, beautiful growing season! Many annual plants have survived and thrived far beyond their average lifespan.
But what’s a gardener to do when annuals continue to look beautiful well past their expected life? Unfortunately, there has to be a point in time when gardens have to move on to the next season; even when it seems that the next season has yet to arrive. Professional caretakers and home gardeners alike need to start preparing for the imminent arrival of cooler weather. Winterize planters and gardens before the weather turns too cool to do so!
This can mean making the rough decisions to tear out vegetables that are still producing in order to plant a cover crop. Empty planters to ready them for winter greens or for storage. Mulch garden beds to protect earthworms, soil microbes and spring bulbs. Muching also prevents weed seeds from sprouting the folllowing spring.
It is hard to see plants that are still flowering or looking green and healthy head to the compost pile before that first hard frost, but it is a necessary evil in the planting cycle of this area. We know from seasons past that the temperatures can take a turn quickly and cause outdoor work to come to a screeching halt.
So as your gardener closes out his or her season, be sure to give them an extra thank you. They have put in alot of hard work making your corner of the world a greener space and giving a little help to our local pollinators.
– until next year!