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Thread: Before and After the first frost - What Do You Do?

  1. #1
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    Before and After the first frost - What Do You Do?

    We have had our first frost in the Northern Highland of Wisconsin. One hears geese on the wing.

    Outdoor potted coleus, Italian parsley, and rosemary have been brought in to the sun porch for the winter season. They join African Violets that are blooming like crazy.

    Perennials such as black-eyed susan, purple coneflower, beebalm, and lupine have been harvested for seed. I will trade seed with a few like-minded gardeners. Then in perennial beds I will rake off the mulch, seed, and replace the mulch. I will collect fallen pine needles, where I can, for added mulch.

    Garlic for planting on Columbus Day is either in transit or in a paper bag waiting to be planted. This year I will plant "Killarney Red" and "Zemo" varieties of garlic.

    I have cut up and composted climbing beans (I felt so sad to dispose of their remains Ö I loved those beans in life), and I have put away their wooden trellises until next year.

    Apple cider presses are turning! I am sippin' soidah as I type! I do not have an apple tree, but I have a dear friend who owns several trees. She brought a bushel basket of McIntosh apples over.

    I stopped by an orchard near Bayfield and bought half a peck of pears. As they ripen in brown paper bags, I am so grateful for having teeth.

    Fruit!

  2. #2
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    Before - weatherstrip, cut down dead flowers and ornamental grasses, remove non-frost hardy vegetables, start shifting clothes between the in season and out of season sections of he closet, remove air conditioners, turn off and drain the exterior water spigot, and some years replace the car battery (done today).

    After, feast on fried green tomatoes saved from the frost, rake leaves, check the tires on the car and replace if needed, harvest then remove frost-hardy veggies before the first snow. Burn accumulated paper trash with risk of ID theft in the fireplace at my parents'. Local trips to outdoor spots are nice because the frost has killed off the mosquitoes. If your zoning allows it bonfires are perfect. I have a friend who hosts these.

  3. #3
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    Luckily it is still summer here with highs of 74.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    No frost in the forecast for a couple of weeks yet but I am starting tomorrow with the clean up.

    I have arranged for my handyman to come and clean my eavestroughs. Have to do that each fall before frost makes the roof too slippery.

    I have been away for almost 2 weeks so lots of gardening chores to catch up. I did mow the lawn but need to fall dress it.

    I must dead head the hostas, echinacea, etc, clean up the climbing beans that are drying on the vine saving the seed (they were so good this year), pull the weeds in the lawn since we cannot use garden herbicides, empty the rain barrels and store, change the oil in the snowblower and raise the clearance level to avoid damaging the driveway sealer, put away my water garden, start the applesauce canning which is usually a dozen jars, plan my Hallowee'n decorations in my entryway and prepare for our family Thanksgiving weekend. That is enough to think about for now or I will feel overwhelmed.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  5. #5
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Clean leaves out of pond...repeat...repeat...repeat....
    Trim back things. Store seeds. Sow native wildflower seeds in new butterfly berm.
    Get and spread another load of mulch.
    Cardboard and mulch an area I'll be working on next year.
    Say goodbye to the lush ferns and plants on the porch that I can't (won't) fit in the house for winter (ferns shed too much for me and with covered porches front and back not enough light anyway).
    clean leaves out of pond again...repeat.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  6. #6
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    Our fruit trees are dropping fruit and leaves like crazy. I am cleaning them up every day. Saturday we are having a barbecue with a singer in the afternoon. We have 2 patios plus a big backyard so people can dance too. This is a first for us as far as live entertainment so should be fun.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am planting like crazy, and hope to get all rooted plants in the ground within the next ten days. Not sure about new trees, tho, may buy those later.

    Then, I am re-locating many important lily bulbs as well as digging others to give away.

    edited to add I have to re-do work at the commu ity garden today. The little workers were set a task of planting day lilies and did an unacceptable job. They needed more direction than they got.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 10-1-18 at 5:06pm.

  8. #8
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    I do all my cleanup in the spring. I'll harvest the garden until it's all frozen off outside.

    That said I've been consdering green manure this year. As poor as my harvest has been, I'm not excited about pulling everything out too early.....conundrum.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    I do all my cleanup in the spring. I'll harvest the garden until it's all frozen off outside.

    That said I've been consdering green manure this year. As poor as my harvest has been, I'm not excited about pulling everything out too early.....conundrum.
    Do you mean that you want to dump fresh when you were on your garden right now and let it get soft over the winter?


    I have three Lily beds that are completely worn out. One of them has grown the same liliessince the year 2001. I remember that specifically because that spring I planted the lilies, found this website, and went to Switzerland on a big family reunion.

    Lilies can be heavy feeders and these guys just have not performed well in several years. I think Iím going to take them all up, put them in an entirely different bed, and plant Iris where lilies have lived for the past 17 years

  10. #10
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    I do nothing. Sometimes we have 1-2 nights of frost in Dec or Jan. Sometimes we donít.

    This question reminds me of my years in Ohio ...

    Today our temp is below 80 for the first time in over 4 months.

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