In the evenings
I scrape my fingernails clean,
hunt through old catalogues for new seed,
oil work boots and shears.
This garden is no metaphor —
more a task that swallows you into itself,
earth using, as always, everything it can.
– Jan Hirshfield, “November, Remembering Voltaire”
For the lawn:
- Service mowers and sharpen blades.
- Check your lawn for any problems and treat them when necessary. Water sparingly from now through early spring, making sure that soil dries out between waterings.
In the garden:
- Check your vegetables in storage and remove any diseased or rotting ones.
- Place a cold frame over your winter vegetables.
- Cover rhubarb and asparagus beds with composted manure and straw.
- Tie up any loose evergreen shrub branches to protect them from ice and snow damage.
- Avoid heavy mulching around the bases of trees and shrubs, as the mulch provides cover for small rodents.
- Continue fall cleanup: Remove any fallen fruit from your yard and prune all dead or diseased branches. Till any crop debris into your vegetable garden; be sure to dispose of any diseased materials.
- Remove old and dead plants to help eliminate weeds, diseases, and pests in your garden.
- Try seeding some herbs indoors and place near a sunny window. Chives, sage, and parsley may be good choices.
- Grow amaryllis for the holidays! Plant the lower half of the bulb below the soil line in light potting soil. Water sparingly. Place the plant in bright light at 50 to 70 degrees. Once you see the stalk, rotate the pot twice a week and water to keep the soil barely moist.
To see more work by Pacific Northwest artist David Ridgway, visit davidridgway.net