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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 11, 2016 9:31 AM CST
I would find it helpful to know what plants you leave standing over winter, which ones you cut back lightly, and which ones you cut to the ground. It's always a bit of a mystery to me. I'm trying to keep better notes of what I do each fall and how that works out, but my records are not very complete. Here's a start, and not all of my practices are perhaps the best. I'd welcome any discussions of how folks do things differently.

Leave standing: rudbeckia, aster, joe pye, grasses, sedum, hydrangea, peony, ferns

Cut back to 6" or less: most herbs and perennials (except as noted below)

Cut to ground: anything that shows some late summer basal growth

Just let melt: lily-of-valley, heuchera, hosta

After cleaning up as best I can figure out, I usually winter mulch with shredded leaves (if the weather cooperates, some years it is just too wet to get this done), using about 12" bamboo sticks to mark where plants are sleeping. It all looks nice and tidy until the chickens decide there are surely bugs under all those leaves... So, an added chore is to re-rake the leaves back into the beds now and again.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Alice
Camano Island, WA (Zone 8b)
Ali
Sep 11, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Hi Deb,
I was at our little plant swap earlier this year. The plants you shared are doing great!! Thank you so much. I need to take some pictures.

Anyway, here is my fall cleanup plan:
1. Look out window or walk in yard in late September.
2. It looks pretty darned bad.
3. Decide it needs cleaning up in a couple of weeks.
4. ...the rains start...
5. Now it is April and I have to go out to cut the old stuff back so I can see the new stuff coming in.

I wish I were as disciplined as you. Your gardens are AWESOME!!!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 11, 2016 10:27 AM CST
Ha ha, Ali! That is often the reality, isn't it?

I worked on one bed yesterday and couldn't decide if I should cut back the melissa or let it stand. At the moment, it is kind of propping up the crocosmia foliage which is quickly turning brown. Perhaps I'll whack them both down together when they get really unkempt looking.

I find very few garden resources that address fall clean-up. I suppose it may be vastly different depending on your winters. I know those who are covered with snow all winter address things much differently than those of us who are just sopping wet most of the winter.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Sep 14, 2016 12:23 AM CST
I am fussing with moving volunteers when I should cut back some Daylilies. I have to figure out how I am going to protect a favorite corner near the front door stuffed with sedums, as well as many sedum/succulent planters I would like to protect and enjoy again next year. I have a huge clematis to tangle with and chop down. I have a fair number of Blue fescues that I will lop off near the soil line. There are weeds to tend as the vacant lot next to me is sort of the gift that keeps on giving. The few perennials I have left will get cut way back. Garden tools will have to be cleaned and put up for the winter. Working full time, makes me divide chores up in to two day frenzies so I just do as much as I can, and I don't let the weather keep me inside too much just yet. It is common to find us out until dusk has become night this time of year. I usually get to almost everything, but there are always a couple things left. I am not too bad at getting settled in for fall in the yard, my big down fall is knowing what to do first in the spring.


[Last edited by lauriebasler - Sep 16, 2016 2:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 15, 2016 12:28 AM CST
Deb ... I really like the concept of this thread. I am still more of a rose gardener than a gardener. Even tho' I have been trying to learn how to garden with other plants, most of them are still a mystery to me and it is still all trial and lots of error. I have far more questions than knowledge to share.

I live at the southern end of the Klamath Mountains, so I guess I fit in the Pacfic Northwest area, but I don't have the coastal influence in my mountain climate.

Last week, I found myself wondering again which plants I should be cutting back and which ones I should be leaving alone. I am so pleased you started this thread. I hope you don't mind my joining you and burying you with my questions.

When I bought my house in '04, I inherited 4 peonies and my initial research said to prune them down in fall. Three of them are 'Festiva Maxima' and the other has the same plant habit and bloom form, so I am guessing it is in the same class or group. They appear to be going dormant and haven't objected to that treatment. Should I be cutting them back ? or are they going dormant because I am growing them in a colder climate than your coastal climate ?

I also regularly cut back:

salvias,
rudbeckias
coreopsis
California poppies
lamb's ear
alliums

and I hack anything I hope won't come back next spring. They always do ... like my mahonia. I really do not like that plant. I think it should be called the "eternity plant" because I can't kill it. I try at every opportunity.

I am cleaning out the vinca and blackberries that have invaded under the dogwood tree, too.

I was wondering if I should give my wooly thyme a haircut and my snow in summer a trim. I do get a couple of sloppy wet snow storms at my elevation. Usually I wait until spring for that, but should I be doing that in fall ?

I didn't get to my santolinas after they bloomed. Should I give them a trim before winter ? I know they will get some snow damage. Would a trim reduce the amount of damage ?

Should I cut my butterfly bushes back. It's going to be a challenge to reach them, but I've never known when to go after them.

As for my heucheras. I need to move them because the are getting sun scorched where they are currently sited. I thought I would divide them and move them this fall instead of waiting until spring when it seems like I am too busy to get to them. What do you think ?

I know I left some things out, but that's enough for tonight ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 15, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Lyn, of course you are welcome to join in. I think anyone in our rather large temperate region can share info and we can each then adjust for our own micro-climates. I worked yesterday at clean-up and came in to the house several times to reference what I should be doing with different plants (usually with little success). Re the plants you reference, here's what I do differently (not saying that is right or wrong, just saying):

Peonies: I let these stand. They get pretty fall foliage, then kind of lay down for winter. When the first red shoots appear in spring, I then cut everything back to the ground.

Rudbeckias: I let these stand. They turn kind of black but seem to hold up to winter weather and provide food for the birds.

Lamb's ear: I cut any flowering stalks down to the ground and kind of rake them to clear out dead leaves. As a side note, in the spring when they send up their flowering stalks, I cut those back to the ground by about half (or more). This results in a thicker set of low leaves yet still gives me flowers. My son (landscape snob) calls this a weed, but I think it is quite lovely.

Mahonia: I love native plants so embrace this. I have one that has a serious leaning problem and will likely cut it to the ground this fall to see if I can correct that (it is a tall variety). I also have a real pretty cultivar 'Charity' that grows quite well in a stand of Douglas fir and has a buttery color to it.

Salvias: I will likely cut these back to about 6" and see how they do. I unfortunately have this planted right next to some sort of hyssop and they are so similar I keep forgetting which is which. Need to move one of them. Somewhere.

Santolinas: I don't have any luck with these. They never over-winter for me.

Butterfly bush: Same. Can't get one to grow. My neighbor has a nice full one, so it must just be me. I've tried several varieties, all sterile as they have become quite invasive in my region (I see them growing up in the hills along the shoulder of the road and in areas that have been logged).

Blackberries: sigh. I snip back whatever is growing into paths and roads but otherwise mostly let them be. If they are growing where I really don't want them (inside my chicken yard), I cut them back to the ground and just continue to wage war on new shoots. That kind of works, if done diligently. Funny, my son's GF loves blackberries and insisted they let one small (hah) clump grow at the corner of their suburban yard around a fir. So far they have been able to keep it corraled, but it's only been one season...

Heucheras: My garden friend Julia advises dividing these when they become top heavy - off with their heads! I'm guessing you could likely move them in the fall as well, if they are unhappy where they are. I'll call her in @SpringColor ?

Bloody dock: I have the same problem with this that you are having with your heucheras - severe sun scald. Per research, they can take full sun, but I think I need to move mine to at least part shade. They have totally melted into the ground with just little black nubbins sticking out. Same quandary - move now or wait until spring?

Other perennials I cut back to about 6-8" (below their seed heads): pennyroyal, agrimony, hyssop, horehound, euphorbia.

Cut back to basal growth: fleabane

Southernwood? I struggle with all artemesias, I think they want more alkaline soil than I have, or perhaps sharper drainage, or both. Anyway, I love southernwood for it's crisp fragrance and this is one I do try to nurture. It tends to get both woody and sprawly for me. I cut it back lightly yesterday to control the sprawl, and read that someone shears this back to 3" in early spring. Has anyone tried that in the PNW? I may give this a whirl next spring and see how it responds. I would like to keep it as a fairly compact/short shrub.

Hopefully more folks will jump in with their thoughts and experiences.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 15, 2016 11:02 AM CST
Deb ... as I am inland and don't have the coastal influence, I can't say I have a temperate climate. I wish I did. It's not the cold temps that are hard on plants in my garden, except for a few sloppy snow storms. I am at a low enough elevation that snow doesn't stick for more than a few days, but it is my high summer temps that determines what I can or cannot grow.

For about three or four months my summer temps are in the high 90s to low 100s daily with low humidity. I do have good drainage and that's why I can grow things like the santolinas and lavenders with no problems.

I don't know many of the plants you mentioned ... bloody dock, fleabane, pennyroyal, agrimony, hyssop, horehound, euphorbia, artemesias .. can they take the heat ? and I don't know how to use them.

I do want to learn how to use a lot more plants in my garden. I really never wanted a mono garden. We have one small garden center at the hardware store up here and one small over priced nursery up here with a limited selection of plants, so my learning curve has been slow.

Oh, well, that is part of living in a small mountain town.

Re: Lamb's ear ... I inherited mine and I found if I cut it back in fall, I had less gloppy stuff to clean up in spring from snow damage. Then I cleaned that up in spring, let it bloom and dead headed it and got a second bloom flush which was great for the pollenators. They are planted in a straight tier above the street bed and I'd love to thin them and plant something else in with them to make that tier look more interesting throughout the year. I am open to suggestions. That part of the garden gets intense morning, mid-afternoon sun, then afternoon shade.

The only reason I dislike the mahonia is that Mrs. J sited it in the wrong place. She put it next to the stairs going down the side of the house to the street. There are so many other plants that I think would look so much better there, but I can't get rid of that mahonia. It's under a pink dogwood that I would love to make a real shade garden.

Actually, the area under the dogwood is the place where I think I can find the most shade for my heucheras. If I had another addiction besides roses, I think heucheras would grab me by the throat. I love the foliage contrast. I just don't have enough shade in my garden.

From what I have read the darker colored heucheras can take more sunlight than the lighter colored ones, but not up here. Most of the darker colored heuchers have h.villosa in their lineage which is native to the humid southeast US. So full sun down there is different than full sun where we live. The heucheras that primarily have h. micrantha in their lineage can handle our full sun much better. (That's the rose nut in me ... looking up the lineage of plants ... Whistling )

My butterfly bushes are on a steep slope. I am going to have to take apart my deer fence to get in and prune them. Not a fun task. The same with the blackberries. That's where the blackberries and vinca invading under the dogwood came from. I'll probably tie myself to the tree so I don't go rolling down the slope before I go after them.

I never let the blackberries take hold. They are a true fire danger, so I won't let them grow any where near the house. I can go down to the river to pick berries for the freezer.

I tore out a whole bed of thyme, yesterday. It had so many weeds growing in it, I thought it would be easier to start over than to try and clean it up. I wonder if there is a ground cover that is dense enough to keep the weeds out. I'd like to use more green mulch rather than having to haul mulch materials around.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 15, 2016 12:32 PM CST
Lyn, I let my sister know about this thread - she lives on the sunny side of Washington which sounds similar to your region - cold winters and hot summers. She's a zone or two below us, likely due to her elevation. Hopefully she'll jump in with her experiences.

Siting of plants can really make or break one's affection (or lack of), can't it? I planted a tall mahonia on the north side of our front porch, specifically to discourage people (and little kids) from venturing too close to the edge (I didn't want a railing). That has worked fairly well (it is quite prickly), although it is now pretty mature and rather encroaching.

Most of the plants I referenced in my previous post are in my herb garden, and are perhaps not as well known as flowering perennials.

Good visual of you either (a) tied to your tree, or (b) rolling down the hill. Got a laugh out of that!

Thyme: I've tried numerous varieties of thyme, and have settled into Red Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox 'Coccineus Group') as my go-to thyme. Virtually all the others have either gotten woody and scraggly, or died out in the center. Even the generic cooking thyme English Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) only does well for a couple seasons for me. I've had much better luck using Smooth Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra) for a more reliable and evergreen groundcover.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener
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lauribob
Sep 15, 2016 4:31 PM CST
Hey Lyn, It does sound like your climate is somewhat similar to mine. We're on the east side of the Cascades at about 1600 feet so it's zone 5 here compared to your zone 8. Much colder winters for us, but we do get the heat in the summer.

I grow a little bit of everything here with varying degrees of success. I do love peonies, with their gorgeous blooms and lovely fall color. I let them flop for the winter which gives them a bit of extra mulch. I've never seen a dogwood tree around here - must be too cold for those. I seem to do really well with artemesias - they seem to like our alkaline soil and it seems to me like you can cut them back any time they start looking ratty. Powis Castle is one of my favorites and I like the silver foliage that many of the artemesias have.

I don't do a major fall clean up, but instead run our lawnmower over the millions of cottonwood leaves and pile them in my flower beds for the winter. We frequently get really cold weather prior to getting a decent snow cover, and the extra mulch helps.

Other plants that do well here are daylilies, irises, spirea, some of the hardier hydrangeas, mountain bluet, russian sage, smokebush, sumac, clematis, veronica, various grasses and scads of other things. These are the ones that popped into my head as being easy keepers. We're blessed with an abundance of water here for irrigation, and so can grow things that some of our neighbors up higher on the hills cannot. We are also in wildfire country so it's important to keep a green zone around our house.

I live in a small town also with limited varieties of plants for sale locally. I either trek to a larger city or go over to the coast where they have nurseries to die for, although I do have to be very careful and read the tags for zone information when I'm on the other side of the mountains. Even the larger town 90 miles away sells a lot of stuff that won't grow here.

I've never been too much of a planner - more of a plunker so my gardens aren't really something from a magazine. I just move stuff if it doesn't work out. I've planted a number of trees over the years as well, which gives us more shade and changes things up a bit as they grow.

Best of luck with your evolving garden!

More costumes, less uniforms!
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 15, 2016 11:42 PM CST
Hi Deb ...

My garden is still pretty much a mono garden of roses. I didn't do much planting during the drought. It just didn't make sense.

I started with lousy soil and spent years hauling back leaves and shredding them and adding them to the soil to improve the soil. (Of course, I also spent a lot of time making my novice mistakes. This is my first in ground garden.) I thought I had made significant progress with the soil until this spring. I went from having soil that I couldn't dig a hole in with a pick to soil that had lots of worms and I could dig in with a trowel. Since we got a lot of rain last winter, this would be the year I would be adding different plants. Mother Nature had a surprise waiting for me. Since my house and garden are located on a water shed, all of that beautiful soil I built up washed down through the base soil and disappear and now I am back to my original lousy soil. The roses are mature and are doing fine.

I don't have it in me to haul that much organic material back to the garden again, so the next phase of the garden is to plant things that like lousy soil that drains very well and that like heat. It's almost like starting over. The only difference is that I am not a total novice like I was when I started.

>>>Siting of plants can really make or break one's affection (or lack of), can't it?

It sure does ... Smiling

As for thyme ... I think that plants like that which die off in the middle need a more arid climate during the growing season. I don't have any problems with it. The bed that was invaded by weeds has a weed that looks very much like the wooly thyme and I didn't catch it soon enough. It's gone to seed, so I am going to pull everything and just mulch that bed and not plant anything and then clear it again next year until I get that weed gone.

I tried to find information about heat tolerance for smooth rupturewort, but couldn't find any information. Your photos look beautiful.

I'll leave the rudbeckias and peonies alone this fall ... Smiling thank you.

Lauri ... thank you for your input. I am at 2200 ft, but don't get much snow at my elevation. Most of the time it doesn't stick more than a few days. There have been a few exceptions. I was pleased to read that you are growing clematis. Do you know what heat zone you are in ? Do you get a lot of direct sun. I don't have much shade on my property, so finding any shade is like finding gold.

I don't have room to plant trees as half of my back yard is taken up by a slope covered with junipers. Yes, I know they are a fire hazard, but they were here when I bought the house and their roots are probably what is keeping that slope stable. I am not touching them ... Smiling

Getting to a nursery on the coast or down in the valley will continue to be difficult for the next year because of major highway construction going both ways on highway 299.

I just realized this is the first fall I've really had time to work in the garden. Usually I am stacking wood. I am having a furnace installed at the end of the month, so no wood chores this year ... Hurray!

Thank you for the information.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener
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lauribob
Sep 16, 2016 11:58 AM CST
It looks like I'm in heat zone 6 according to the map. We have a lot of direct sun exposure here with the only shade in my yard provided by the house or trees we've planted in the 25 years we've lived here.

You might try mail ordering plants that catch your eye. I buy things online with reservations. I will buy bulbs and things that are really hard to kill like daylilies, iris, or sedums. I don't usually buy any shrubs online because they are so tiny. Just a thought. You can check the green pages to find reliable suppliers.

You would likely do really well with succulents down there. I'm much more limited in my choices because of the cold winters and snow cover that stays for months. There are some really beautiful succulents that I am fated to just lust after, but you could probably grow with your more temperate climate.

Yay for your new furnace! We have an efficient heat pump and rarely burn wood at all anymore. I don't miss cutting, splitting, or stacking wood, the older we get. The small amount we burn these days, we buy split and delivered. (still have to stack it though)
More costumes, less uniforms!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 16, 2016 2:04 PM CST
Ha ha on the wood for heat issue. Gary just got back from dealing with some blow-downs and found that (a) his chain saw is not functioning properly and (b) neither is his body. I wish we would have gone with a heat pump rather than wood/electric furnace our last go-round -- but can't go backward. We're thinking of buying split wood from one of our friend's enterprising young sons, and paying him extra to stack it!

Lyn, sounds like mail order may be in your future and I'd sure pay attention to the recommendations found on this site under the Green Page tab, or alternatively on the old Dave's Garden site under Watchdog. This site only allows recommendations (positive reviews) whereas the DG site allows positive, neutral, and negative reviews. I'd also try to mail order from nurseries that grow their own stock in your neck of the woods, which just seems to give you a better chance of survival.

The good thing is you have all winter to check out nurseries, look over their web sites, and figure out what you might like to plant. I like to roll through the multi-plant photos for ideas and to see how things look together. Since you have a large rose population, you may want to open up some of your roses in the database and see if any multi-plant photos are associated with them (near the bottom of the screen). It's fun to see what others have come up with.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Sep 16, 2016 3:58 PM CST
The reason I decided to get a furnace is that my older body started to object to stacking wood and splitting wood down so that I didn't just have big chunks of wood for my fires. Also, my reliable wood guy died a few years ago and I've had a hard time finding another wood guy to replace him. It just wasn't worth the hassle any more. I am getting what is called a mini-split system which is a heat pump, but a bit more sophisticated than the old ones. I think I am going to like it.

I've been researching alpine plants /rock garden plants, xeroscape plants and native California plants. Anything that can handle a lot of high temps and grow in poor soil. My summer temps are in the high 90s to low 100s for 3 to 4 months. That's hard on a lot of plants. Everything has to be established before the heat hits, so spring is usually a marathon and I am getting kind of tired of running that race, so I need to plan better.

I am going to remove most of my smaller roses so that roses don't dominate all of the beds. That way, I can have beds with differing watering requirements. I think that will allow more versatility in the garden. I am also going to give away any rose that just isn't doing it's best in this garden. I know enough about roses that I have chosen good roses for this climate, but with my soil, some of them just can't thrive. It's time to let them go to a better home. That will give me space to try something else.

In a way, it's kind of nice that I have to start over.

Thanks for the support.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 17, 2016 11:19 AM CST
Rain today. I did get over half of my herb garden ready for a leaf mulch (leaves have not yet fallen), and hopefully will be able to finish that daunting task in the next few weeks.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 1, 2016 1:16 PM CST
I was able to do some, but not all, leaf mulching this past week while the weather held. The leaves are slowly dropping, and I'm able to pick up 2-3 shredded loads per day in the riding mower, but the bulk of the trees are still in pretty full leaf. I think we're in for a colorful fall.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower Organic Gardener
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lauribob
Oct 3, 2016 11:56 AM CST
Our leaves are shaping up to be perfectly stunning this fall as well. My virginia creeper is redder than it has been in several years! Cottonwoods & willows are yellowing up and dogbane is bright yellow, peonies are gorgeous. Oh yeah, this was supposed to be about fall maintenance. Haven't had too much time to do any of that yet. We did get frost again last night, but the tomatoes were mostly covered and the sprinklers set to go off at dawn in the vegetable garden. We dodged another bullet!
More costumes, less uniforms!
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Oct 4, 2016 9:52 PM CST
How are you shredding leaves? I should be doing this.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Oct 5, 2016 7:18 AM CST
We have a shredder/grinder but some people just run their lawn mower over the leaves to nicely shred them. Thumbs up
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 5, 2016 8:38 AM CST
I use my riding mower w/catchers and run it along the pasture roads under our aspen grove and big leaf maples. Then I can just roll the mower to each bed and spread the shredded leaves about 4" thick. The chickens do a fair amount of scattering when I let them loose, but it is easy enough to rake the leaves back into place and eventually they kind of sog down. I sometimes mark perennials I know will disappear totally with a 6" bamboo stick so I can clear the crown in the early spring.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Oct 5, 2016 4:52 PM CST
I don't have any trees on my property and not much lawn. I don't own a lawn mower. I just use a weed eater to cut the grass that is the cover crop under my maple tree.

I go to a friends house before leaf drop and bag the old leaves that have been decomposing all year and bring them home. I fill an old garbage can about half full .. maybe a little less ... and use an old weed eater to shred them. It's kind of like putting them into a blender ... Hilarious! I just shred them enough so that they will stay put when I put them down and not blow away with the wind.

I bag my maple leaves and let them decompose all winter and by spring, they are black gold.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"