Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

As Growing Season Ends, a Look Back at Its Lessons

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

As Growing Season Ends, a Look Back at Its Lessons

Article excerpt

Autumn is the time when All Hallow's Eve rears its terrifying head, when temperatures really begin to drop and when the garden tools get packed back into the shed for the winter.

It's also a time for reflection on lessons learned during the growing season.

What went right? What went wrong? What to do different next year?

Here is just a little of what I learned in my garden this year:

* When you put wildflower seed down next to your garage or borderline, alert your neighbor(s): This summer in an area that was recently excavated, we decided to just toss down some cheap seed we got at a department store. Things were going well. There was little maintenance and nice green coverage. Then just as the flowers were ready to bloom in mid-August, my neighbor decided to cut all the plants down. He said he thought they were weeds. Memo to myself: Not everyone knows that wildflowers are not weeds.

* A wheelbarrow works better without a flat tire: Three years ago, my wheelbarrow had an unfortunate run-in with a nail. This year, I finally got around to fixing it. What took me so long? I have no idea. Carting tools and plants around the yard for the last couple of years has been a literal pain in the back. Next time it gets a flat, it gets fixed - pronto.

* Deer love eating dahlias: Yes, I know that isn't much of a surprise - deer will eat just about anything. But do they have to wait until the buds are just ready to bloom? I was pretty diligent with the spray deterrent on the plants early on in the season. Yet, a day before I was about to make my early September round, the deer went "all-you-can-eat-buffet" on my dinner-plate-sized dahlia buds.

* Hydrate before you do garden work: During the master gardener plant sale this spring, I ended up in the emergency room. Work began early at the sale and I did not have time for breakfast. …

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