Taking stock

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Taking stock

  1. 1. Taking Stock New gardeners may not know how to look at their yards in the fall and, as a result, will probably not know what they “see” when they take stock. Besides feeling overwhelmed by all the dead plants and wild new tree growth, new gardeners may simply not know where to begin or what to do. This slideshow aims to show new gardeners one person’s effort to take stock and plan out fall garden prep.
  2. 2. Start small. Walk around your yard and collect any non-organic and non-recyclable debris. This debris should be discarded separately from organic and recyclable debris, so it makes sense to collect this debris and throw it out first; then, you won’t have to carry three different types of trash receptacles with you as you move around your yard.
  3. 3. Next, look for simple tasks. You might want to tackle tasks like repairing broken fencing or replacing bluestone, tasks that do not require a lot of effort and can be completed quickly.
  4. 4. Cutting back. Most flowers and green foliage can be cut back, that means trimmed to just above the soil level. Daisies are one example of flowering plants that should be cut back in the fall.
  5. 5. Hostas should also be cut back.
  6. 6. Lilies of the field can be cut back because, like hostas and daisies, they will reappear next spring.
  7. 7. Day lilies should be cut back, and doing so can lead to more flowering the following year.
  8. 8. Any annuals can be cut back, too, as they only flower for one season.
  9. 9. Vines should be cut back because the leaves will drop off during the winter and because they grow back much heartier next spring when they are trimmed.
  10. 10. Humus pile and composting. Collect organic debris as you move around your yard cutting back flowers and green foliage. When you have completed the cutting back, add the plant “tops” to your humus pile for composting.
  11. 11. Some foliage should not be cut back. Grasses are one example.
  12. 12. If you mistakenly cut back grasses, it can take a number of years for them to grow back. These grasses are still struggling two years later.
  13. 13. Another example of a plant that should not be cut back.
  14. 14. Cutting back these white plants can diminish a lush area; only the most robust plants will survive cutting back after a winter.
  15. 15. Ferns should also not be cut back.
  16. 16. Trimming trees. Fall can be a great time to trim and to shape bushes and trees. This tree was damaged during Superstorm Sandy and so has needed attention to come back. It’s struggling; however, trimming can help the tree develop fullness.
  17. 17. Some trees, like this philodendron benefit from trimming, as it helps to stave off disease. Diseased trees can grow oddly and may not flower evenly.
  18. 18. Some trees need to fill in, which might take a few years; after they do, trimming can help to shape the tree and to structure future growth.
  19. 19. This tree needs only minor trimming, mostly for shaping, as the tree is healthy and full.
  20. 20. These three trees need quite a lot of trimming and shaping. In cases like this, it might be best to wait until the summer to do that work, as a gardener might not complete the trimming by the first frost. Gardeners should not trim trees after the first frost; doing so will interfere with new growth.
  21. 21. This tree, too, only requires trimming for shaping. In the past, this tree grew out of control, making it impossible to open the gate, and it had to be significantly cut back. At present, though, the tree is healthy and, with regular trimming, full and well-shaped.
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