For me, Autumn is the season of hunkering down. It’s always a busy time at work, implementing large changes to the website I work on for the new season, and trying to take care of my body and the garden at the same time.
It’s a challenge. I live in a place where there’s a rainy and a dry season, and the rainy season is approaching fast. No matter how many years I’ve lived through it, it’s always a surprise how fast the garden changes once the rains come. I always have a list of things to do before it rains, and because this is always such a busy time, I often run out of time before many of them get done.
Here’s my personal list:
- Create a brick path for traipsing around in the rain.
- Create a sandbox for the cats.
- Compost or cover plant material that will sprout when wet.
- Sow cover crops.
- Harvest the last of the tomatoes.
- Get the tools into a dry place.
- Pull blackberries and morning glory.
- Start cold-weather seedlings.
- Get natives in the ground so they can be established.
Recently someone “weeded” my front yard, which was a native garden that was dried out and looking pretty ragged, as native gardens tend to look in September in California. I had just started to water again, in the hopes that the Penstemon and monkey-flower that was planted there would come back, but to my surprise, everything was suddenly pulled out. Dave came home to the irrigation going into the street, cause the plants were no longer there. Now the borage and pellitory are taking over, so I need to find some native starts and re-establish them.
I’m thinking of trying to plant a Romneya, or Matilja Poppy, or as I like to say fried-egg plant in the back, hoping it won’t go too crazy.
One thing I’m looking forward to doing is opening up the compost to the rain, to give it a good soaking without paying for water. I usually have a sheet mulching party this time of year, but I’ll have to skip it this year. I have to admit that I’ve been wanting to do the first 2 things on my list for years, and they haven’t happened yet, but a girl can dream.
I know there are many important things I’m forgetting.
What do you do to get your garden in shape before the deluge?