The Irresistable Fall Clean-Up

Some folks speak of the concept of letting a garden sort of progress naturally through the seasons, dying leaves and seeds falling where they may. I’m not opposed to letting nature take it’s course. In fact, all sorts of “volunteer” squash, lettuces, and flowers graced my yard this year.

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But today was one of those that lure me outdoors with the promise of pleasantly warm sunshine and capture me with a crisp breeze and leaves blowing about. I pluck a single weed, just because I’m passing by, and the next thing I know, I’m reaching for my spade. Then the rake. Then the wheel barrow. There’s that hose that must be coiled up and replaced in the shed for the season. And what about that bit of wood mulch that never quite got spread out?

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I ended up spending a few hours of the afternoon in the garden. This is, reportedly, the time of year when vitamin D levels are highest, so why not insure I get some today? I’ve heard that a storm is on its way. In Colorado, this in no way means that there will be no more sunny days this year, I know. Still, I had that feeling like I should enjoy the opportunity afforded me today. Also, I had to get up from the computer! Did you know that all this sitting isn’t so great for a body? You probably did.

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Taking stock of it all, I observed numerous acorn squash. I remembered that not one of these was planted by me. All of the squash and pumpkins I planted died; the many that are growing in my garden came up as a result of seeds in the compost I spread around in the spring. My friend told me some advice she heard from an experienced squash grower: leave the acorn squash until after the first frost. That way, it will be sweeter when you finally harvest it. I’m going to take this advice, as I’ve never actually grown this type of squash before this year.

It was a good day to dig up a bit more grass, too. If you’re not from around here, you may not understand why I would do such a thing. The recent flood aside,

Colorado flood - taken by my son, Lee Freeman

Colorado flood – taken by my son, Lee Freeman

it’s pretty dry in this part of the world. We citizens of northern Colorado are encouraged to xeriscape wherever possible. That simply means that we plant things that are more or less native to our area, things which don’t need much water. What I like about it for my yard is that I can put in lilies or sedum, surround it with mulch, and never worry about my husband having to mow that bit of yard again. And, it needs much less water than grass.

 

So, these are my random notes from today. It had been a while since I visited this topic of gardening, and I didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten about it, or become so wrapped up in all this nutrition stuff that I no longer cared about it.

The last hopeful little pumpkin is trying to make it to maturity before the first freeze.

The last hopeful little pumpkin is trying to make it to maturity before the first freeze.

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