Tag Archives: Houseplants

Autumn joys and chores

Sitting outside in the balmy weather, I watched as leaves fell like a magical golden shower.  There was a specific sound too,  like hundreds of whisperings being carried past me by the wind.  Truly one of those quiet moments that happen so unexpectedly in the garden.  I had to shake myself to focus on the myriad of chores that come with the season.

Enlarging and widening perennial and shrub beds.  See a super easy way to get started here.  In shrub and perennial beds specially, this allows more room to accommodate for naturally growing shrubs.  It is also a very good thing to make your beds larger and diminish the amount of lawn.  Wildlife benefit from a variety of plants and rely on the food and shelter they provide.  I call large beds like these, ‘wildlife corridors’ as they are the highways that allow species to move thru the garden in the safety of cover from predators.

Houseplants are now ready to come back inside.  Here are some steps to follow before you bring them in.  I will add, it is better to bring them in before the heat is turned on inside.  This will reduce the shock of the change in their environment.

Recycle those leaves!  What a great resource nature provides, free!  If you have a large garden, these bounty can save you on compost, mulch, and plants. With a mulching mower, my husband runs over most of the leaves in the lawn.  I then collect all that is left and place then in my compost pile.  They are a good amendment for the soil, can be used as leaf mulch, or after they are shredded, can be left on the shrub beds for the winter just as nature intended.  By spring add mulch right on top for a more uniform neat look.  I have been doing this for some time as I write about it here

 

“A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.”  ~Hal Borland

 

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Time to Bring Houseplants Inside.

Many of us take our houseplants outside during the summer to ‘vacation’ in the fresh air and abundant  summer light.  If you have not already brought them in, remember to give them a bath to avoid inviting unwanted guests into your home. Although we can not readily see them, the soil is teeming with insects, eggs and larvae, deposited there by assorted critters to continue their life cycle and overwinter.

Start by bringing  plants closer to the house.  Clean any leaves and other debris from the top of the soil.  Also clean the plant by removing dead or yellowed leaves.  I use this opportunity to cut excess growth and shape the plant. Check carefully for critters,  I like to give those that I can see, the opportunity to go elsewhere.  I then use a hose to give the entire plant a good bath and run the water thru the soil.  The use of a garden safe Insecticidal Soap is recommended to control aphids or mites too small to see with the naked eye.  Remember to spray under the leaves where most insects like to hide.  It is important to use an organic product that is safe for children and pets.

It is best to begin a hardening up or adjustment period  – for a week or so –  by bringing plants in during the night and taking them out during the day.  This reduces some of the shock to the plant and avoid leaf loss from stress.

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous…”     Aristotle