by: Ingrid Justick
Vol. 25, No. 4
This is an excellent time to step back and take a look at how your organic garden did grow this season. Do your plants look as healthy as you expected them to be? Take photographs of your plants each year. This winter, when you are planning next year’s garden, reach for the photos and you will be quite surprised on how much you accomplished.
Most trees, lawns and spring-blooming shrubs grow better if you plant them in the fall in well-prepared organic soil. Top growth is less active, ground water more plentiful and tiny roots become strong, storing energy for the spring show of flowers and foliage.
Now is an excellent time to plant fall-flowering perennials: graceful Japanese anemones, sweet autumn clematis, along with other cool weather plants such as asters, kale and pansies. Fragrant witch hazel will bloom even when snow is on the ground. Do not forget to plant your bulbs into the ground. They will announce spring’s arrival.
Autumn is the perfect time to prepare your organic spring vegetable garden. Clean your vegetable beds and turn the soil adding plenty of compost. Scatter spinach seeds that will mature and flourish in cool weather. These hardy greens grow throughout the fall, lie dormant under the snow and then start growing again in spring. Plant some Egyptian onions; they are perennial and you can harvest the green tips all winter.
Herbs are among fall’s most rewarding plants. Cut them back and freeze or dry the clippings for winter enjoyment. Place organic leaf mulch around your perennial herbs, to protect from frost damage.
Before moving your potted plants indoors, wash them well with an all-purpose natural spray that will eliminate most pests: mix two teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent with one cup of vegetable oil. Shake vigorously to emulsify then add one quart of water. Be certain to spray the undersides of leaves, too. Mealybugs and scales grow a tough coat of arms, so use a cotton swab and dab each bug mass with rubbing alcohol. Then once a month scrub leaves gently with soapy water to remove dust particles from the breathing holes.
It is time to relax from our summer labors while we are anxiously awaiting the end of winter and the first sign of spring to start our organic gardens — all over again.
You must heal any wounds you give the Earth
and you must feed her to replace what you take from her.
Only if you repay your debts will she continue to provide.
For environmentally friendly information: call 732-922-2935.
Printing compliments of The Atlantic Club