SG591: Goodnight Garden – A Punch List for the Final Week in the Garden

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In most parts of the country, winter is making an early entrance. In Minnesota, snow and sleet arrived four full days before Halloween. Snow events and freezing temperatures bring gardening to a hard stop. This week, we’re saying goodnight to our 2017 gardens and I’m sharing my final punch list to inspire your to have a fantastic finale in your garden. One of the best ways to set your 2018 Garden up for success is to make sure your final visits are strategic and productive.  

 

My Final Punch List for my 2017 Garden

  • Take Pictures of the Garden - Capture the final days

It’s time to reflect on changes that we might make.  With fewer leaves and plant mass, it’s a great time to check to see If the garden looks a bit short on structure.

 

  • Make Your Christmas List

Things like Garden Gloves, Hand Tools, and Nursery Gift Certificates will be appreciated in the Spring.

 

  • Gather Pots and Containers into One Area

It’s so much easier to see a container that doesn’t fit with your theme when you retire them in one spot.  Sore thumbs need to go. Consider getting an iron baker’s rack off of Craigslist for outdoor container storage. They work wonderfully.

 

  • Cleanup Beds

Once you’ve finished clearing and cutting back borders, it is a good time to evaluate your beds.  What was not life giving? What was a flop? What has outlived its welcome?  It’s much easier to say goodbye now with the discerning eyes of a fall gardener than with the enthusiastic eyes of a spring gardener.  Cut back iris to eliminate iris borer and cut back spring flowers (I’m talking to you, peony).

 

  • Net over water features

This is an ingenious way to proactively deal with falling autumn leaves and debris.  I can’t wait to gleefully remove it in the spring. Easy cleanup - wonderful hack!

 

  • Make some Bug Hotels ala cinnamon stick bundles   

Tie them with twine and tuck around the garden.  They’ll last for a few years.

 

  • Goodnight Herbs

 

  • Clean off the Trellis

Many climbers die back in autumn and you can remove plants now to make spring a snap.  Plus, you can see the trellis more clearly. Does it need some TLC?

 

  • Make Clean Paths a Priority

In addition to your beds, don’t forget to topdress your paths.  It's so cleansing to weed the pathways and sweep the patio.

 

  • Tidy up areas seen from windows or inside the house - decks, porches, etc.

 

  • Polyurethane Ironwork

 

  • Tidy Up Outdoor Tools

 

  • Create a Ready Houseplant Outdoors Vacation Spot

 

  • Evaluate Garden Furniture & Toss out broken bird baths, feeders, NOW

  • Wash and store Outdoor cushions and curtains now

  • Take a Final Garden Glove Inventory - Wash and Store the keepers

 

  • Position Birdfeeders and Situate a Heated Dog Dish for Water

 

  • Order seed catalogs

 

  • Call Contractors For First in Line Project Status for Spring

 

  • Go on a Farmers Market Buying Splurge

 

  • Shop for End of Year Seed Packet Bargains

 

  • Plant No-Fail Spring Bulbs

Allium (Allium Millenium is the 2018 Plant of the Year) and Daffodils

 

  • Line Display Birdbaths, Fountains or Large Containers with Fur

Fur is a great foundational layer for holiday arrangements.

 

  • Cozy Up Containers with Sweaters/Furs/Plaids

 

  • Create Indoor Succulent Bowls

 

  • Create Wow Terrariums - Fern and Jack + the Beanstalk

 

  • Prep Holiday and Spring Pots and Displays Now

 

 

Thanks for Listening!

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Good Night Garden

 

In the great green garden

There was a fountain

And a little blue shed

And a painting of-

Madame Monet by the flower bed

And there were three hundred ants on the peony plants

And two little vines

And a cactus with spines

And thriller in a pot

And a greenhouse hot

And a rake and a hoe and an old screened gazebo

And a quiet old gardener who was whispering “grow”

Goodnight garden

Goodnight fence

Goodnight deer jumping over the fence

Goodnight climber

with the jasmine scent

Goodnight birdbath

Goodnight stone path

Goodnight daffodil

And goodnight cranesbill

Goodnight sweet hops

And goodnight carrot tops

Goodnight little seeds

And goodnight weeds

Goodnight arbor

And goodnight trees.

Goodnight flowers.

Goodnight bees.

And goodnight perennials buried in leaves.

Goodnight lilies

Goodnight roses fair,

Good night gardens everywhere.

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
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