My September 2019 Garden Report

September 2019 marks an important milestone in my garden writing life. For the first time in decades, I’m slowly down in a major way to post once a month here.

Did I Post On Facebook I Was Retiring ?

I said I was slowing down on garden writing but picking up the slack with other non-garden writing projects. I’ll never really retire but there are other things I want to write about that do not fit into a gardening blog. And those things are challenging me to take a crack at them.

So yes, I’m slowing down on garden writing but increasing my pace on other genres of writing.

The Garden Reports

I note there are already a ton of posts on this site about a wide range of garden topics (try using the search box).

My intent is to pass along hints and tips as I write a monthly garden report on a wide variety of garden thoughts. (I tend to dictate the random thoughts into my phone and transcribe them later for post ideas and content.)

How Is The September Garden?

Well, the dry stone wall to enclose the front garden is coming along nicely. My plan is to run out of stone this fall as I hit the far end and buy another truckload next spring to finish it off around the corner (and give me some stone for another much smaller project. Or, equally likely is to give the unused stone away so I’m not tempted to keep going.)

I note I’m not a professional by any stretch of the imagination but simply somebody who is enjoying building *one* big stone wall and then spending the rest of his gardening career wishing he’d made it bigger so he could get more plants in it.

The problem with enlarging it is moving all those tons of rock again to make a bigger garden. (Not going to happen!) But like many of you, I’m admitting there are limits to the size of garden I want to maintain and this is it. And I don’t see any other big dry-stone walls in my creative future. (Been there – done that – move forward.)

I’m planting the top layer of the stone wall and over the next few years will – once again – begin collecting appropriate plants.

How Will I Deal With All The New Plants When I Run Out Of Room?

After the garden is filled, new plants will have to fight for a space. As I tire of the older plants or change focus or lose sunlight or any number of things, the plantings will change.

I Killed The Shade Garden

The shade garden plants are all moved to the northern side of the front trees or under shrubs and this should give them enough shade to grow nicely. Given I’ll water this garden more and the soil is better than under several cedars and maples, I think they’ll grow far better.

Sun lovers go to the South of the trees and other sunnier spots in the garden. Eventually, the entire garden will be shaded by these trees and that’s fine by me.

I filled the space with a green/gold Vinca that’s quite lovely. I took divisions and expect in a few years it will a gorgeous shade garden requiring very little maintenance other than a 2 to 3 times a season weeding.

The Vegetable Garden

I wrote about our vegetable garden move here. And nothing has changed in this garden and won’t (other than a lot of manure added to it from a neighbor – who has horses and a B&B. ) until next spring when the serious rebuilding, bed shaping and fencing is installed.

Let Me Pass Along A Timetable for Fall Propagation and Moving

This was optimal for a USDA zone 4 transplanting. You can add a week for every zone warmer than 4.

  • Perennials – I move all my perennials in September. Add a week in October for every zone warmer than 4. Same for two plant classes below.
  • Evergreens: I move them in October.
  • Shrubs and Trees: I move them when the leaves turn to fall colours right up until a hard freeze.

This information comes from my nursery when a percentage point or two in survival rate meant paying the mortgage and having something left over or not.

Can you move plants outside of these dates? Absolutely and you’ll likely be successful. There’s no hard and fast rule. See above why I moved those plants when I did.

Thanks for reading. See you again at the end of October.

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