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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Clean Up in the Garden

 It's been wet and cold for seemingly forever, but just recently we had a couple of nice days over the weekend, so I felt compelled to get outside in the garden and get started on some clean up.

I've been avoided pulling out the dead zinnias in the island beds, hoping that they would provide seed for the local birds.  But the birds don't seem to venture into the middle of the garden much, so the dead zinnias were just an eyesore.

I got them out of one bed, shaking them out and scattering seed as I did.  I also collected some seed, and have a bunch more in the other bed, so if anyone is interested in some orange Zinnia Profusion seed, let me know and I can send some :-)   

Haven't started on the other bed yet.  It has more problems than just dead zinnias.  It's overrun with bermuda grass which will be a pain to pull out.  However, while I was morosely poking around in it, I discovered a pleasant surprise....

... underneath last year's daylily leaves, new daylilies starting to peek out of the ground!

There are quite a lot of them, so I think that, although late summer is the best time to divide them, I'm going to divide them up this spring and move the extras to the newer of the two island beds.

I didn't take proper care of the compost bin last year, so while I was able to get some good compost out of it, most of it hadn't actually composted.  

I pulled a bunch of dry leaves and branches out for my husband to run through our new chipper/shredder and then I will layer that with some leftover potting soil, wet it down and add some compost starter and see if I can take better care of it this year.  

The small amount of compost I was able to use, I put on the small vegetable bed and dug it in.  Next weekend, weather permitting, I'll go ahead and buy some bags of composted cow manure, or something similar, and add to both veggie beds.

Then we'll have to turn our attention to a drainage problem we have noticed.  More about that in another post.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.