Sunday, November 03, 2013

Fall Garden Chores.

No photos today.  Doesn't look like much.

I mowed the little orchard, until rain started.  I used the grass catcher, and collected grass clippings to mulch around the Buddleias and some of the fruit trees.  I try not to use too thick a layer.  Maybe 2 inches thick.  I extended the mulched areas a little.  It will break down quickly in the rainy weather.  It's a start.

Antique botanical sketch of mint.

I wanted to remove the rest of the culinary herbs from the bearded iris beds.  It was a nice idea.  If there was more room, I think it would be a great idea.  But with the small space, the herbs encroach too much on the bearded irises.  The herbs did not go to waste.  I moved them to the mulch rings around the fruit trees.  There the herb flowers will benefit pollinating nectar collecting bees.  And I can use them in the kitchen as needed.  I cut some tall mint.  It will be in the garage drying.  If it dries well, I can use it for mint tea (tisane).

Antique botanical sketch of Thyme

Among the herbs I moved, traditional thyme, French thyme, Lemon thyme; a short variety of Catmint - short but still encroaching on the bearded irises - and violets.  Most of these should provide bee forage.  I'm not sure about the violets.

Antique botanical sketch of violets

Violets are not considered a culinary herb, although some people candy the flowers.   I'm trying them because they are compact, make a mat that is difficult for weeds to penetrate, might be difficult for moles, too.  The roots are shallow, so I think not competing with the fruit trees.  They too were competing with bearded irises.  Not much, but shading the rhizomes.  So I moved them too.

I also planted in-ground, a 2-gallon size Lavatera.  I've gave it TLC all summer.  I have to plan for decreased energy, meaning fewer plants that need extra care.  With my illness, fatigue is a growing challenge.  It will have the rest of fall, winter and spring to establish roots before leaves and new branches grow.

I also did some minor shaping pruning for several fruit trees.  For the most part, that meant cutting the tips from branches, so they will branch out lower and more compact.  Peaches, Plums, Tart Cherries, Apricot seedling. 

Not much left for winterizing the orchard.  Much less work than last year.  I have a plum tree to move from Vancouver.  A jujube will need to move to the bee garden, to make room.  Late winter, add one peach and one jujube.  Get some compost to mulch the trees that I haven't so far.  That's about it.

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