In our climate you have to use every fine day in October to keep up with your garden. We have just had a dry week and I have been outside every day tidying up for winter. I have postponed inside jobs, though there is rain forecast every day this week, so they will be done sooner or later.
I have had a large number of tree leaves to turn into compost, so I had to empty my three leaf mould bins. I moved about two cubic yards of leaf mould onto the rose bed. I need to put down chicken manure pellets and fish, blood and bone on there as well. It is the organic matter that is important though, to keep the soil pH on the acid side and to encourage worms.
It is three years since I last mulched the rose bed. Last time I used wood chips, but I have other places for the wood chip this year.
I take all my neighbour’s leaves as well as my own and two of my three leaf mould bins are full again. They will settle and compress down to one third the volume by next autumn.
I have wood chips from last autumn and earlier this year that are seasoned enough to go down on the ground. I chip every twig, rose trimming and branch I can get hold of. The shade bed in front of the house got a three inch layer, as did my autumn corner bed. This bed is phenomenal in October with Michaelmas Daisies and large Autumn Glory sedums.
I had enough wood chip left over to mulch one of my shrub beds with a three inch layer, too. The other shrub beds will be mulched next year.
I had to use all my wood-chip mulch to make room for some more. I have corners of the garden stacked with branches ready to chip on the next fine day, but I had run out of stacking space.
After I had moved all the wood chips I had to tidy my yard (old 20ft square dog run), which meant scraping up all the spilt compost and putting it all into the compost bin. The central space is now ready to be used for one large wood chip maturing pile.
The pots with cuttings in that had not grown were all emptied into the compost bin and stacked at one side of the yard.
Michaelmas daises have a fantastic colour whether it is grey and wet or bright and sunny. They represent autumn in the garden to me.
I still have many jobs to do, including moving six tones of pebbles to build paths, reconstructing my rose bed and taking cuttings of my Rosa Rugosa. Every time I go out I saw up some more wood for the living room fire. I have a large store of branches from last autumn to saw up. These need to be sawn to make room for this year’s hedge cuttings.
A gardener’s jobs are never done; I love it though.