Late Fall Update - mulch, missions, and more

Yesterday (Saturday, December 8th) was gorgeous.  It was like a spring day!  Really!  It was near 60, and that felt warmer in the sun gardening.  So, I got a lot of little things done.  
Good thing, today is cold and rainy.

I got the asparagus bed cleaned up and prepared for winter.  
First it takes cutting back the dead stalks.  They have to be totally brown.  You don't actually have to cut them down at all, but it looks better, you can lay down the compost fertilizer easier, and really, do you want to hunt the fresh spears come spring around that mess?  When I first moved here I thought I had a weed patch, and it wasn't until I cut it down I discovered spears ready to harvest!

 You can see where the stalks were cut off last December, they're dried and brown.

 They lift right out, if you want to remove them.  I don't spend a lot of time doing it, just the ones that are sticking up a lot.  I figure the roots may have more room to grow without the dead stalks in their way!

 You can't dig or rake into an asparagus bed, the plants are the roots, and are too shallow to allow digging.  So, dump out a bag of manure, and lightly rake it out.

 I added a layer of those Craigslist leaves I chopped.  Usually I make due with just manure.

The manure was the mystery "manure blend," containing a "blend of steer manure and compost," which is hardly helpful in determining what the "blend" actually is!  Manure IS compost.  I will take a guess that it means whatever is available, and whatever cheapest, whenever they are "blending" a new batch!  Like buying "compost" at a garden center.  You can buy mushroom compost, compost made from city green waste (lawn clippings, etc), even recycled food waste (EcoScraps).  So, "compost" is not a proper term for an ingredient!  But, the "manure blend" was all that was currently available. 

I also bought a bag of fine mulch.  Fine, as in small, not as in "it's really fine, great stuff that mulch!"

Some was spread around the bases of plants for freeze protection, and the rest in paths were the dogs had trod a rut in the pathways.

I broke up old lattice to sizes that will fit in  the garbage can.  Lattice is full of staples, so can't go in the green waste can.  The wood pieces against the fence are from the ill advised dresser drawer beds I tried out earlier this year.  Didn't work.  The wood warps.  The large white pieces are former closet doors. 

The coreopsis temporarily growing in a vegetable bed is now in the new Pollinator Garden.  I wasn't sure it would grow, since it was just a broken off chunk of plant.  But, as you can see by the new green growth on the right of the main plant, it's really going to do well!  I had no idea when I bought one Up Tick coreopsis I'd end up with self-seeded volunteers and plants grown from broken stems.

The Butterfly Garden was cleaned up a bit.  I had to sacrifice the bird's nest fungus to do it.  
There was a thin piece of plywood under the soil I'd forgotten to remove when I filled it with soil last year, and as it affected growth in that section of the bed, it had to be pulled out.

The lemon catnip (Nepeta cataria spp. citriodora 'Lemony') is coming back already!

The peach tree nearly bent to the ground from the weight of fruit this summer.  So, I lopped off a couple of branches from the heavy side.  More have to come off, probably in spring.  It may have to recover a year or two before it produces well again, but it can't go on leaning like it did. 

Frost peach this past summer, leaning over and propped up with a pyramid trellis
It's the season for wreaths, right?  So, having several types of evergreens I tried my hand at making one.  Failure.  I tried a swag, which should have been simple, but no.  I just ended up with a pile of scraps. At least the accessories (ribbon and a feathered cardinal) were only from the Dollar Tree!

Don't tell Santa, but I've been naughty.  I have ordered seeds.  And more seeds.  And yet more seeds.
I'll have to share the envelopes when they get here!  All things I really, really want, and mostly needed soon for Winter Sowing.  Yes, I'm doing it again.

You know what's fun on a boring rainy day?  Read other gardening blogs!  I have very few "favorites" listed, but other bloggers have dozens (far more than I can believe they really follow), so I find one with a long list, and check them out!  

On a completely un-garden related topic...
Look at the adorable clay mission I found for $3.99 (less senior discount - there are perks to being over 60!) at Goodwill!
I don't know 
1) why it wasn't a bit broken
2) why it was on a high shelf above the coffee mugs
3) why it was priced so low! 
I love finds like this.  I especially love finding traditional crafts and arts from other parts of the world.  Like the painting "The Tree Without a Name" from Zimbabwe, or an orange Dala horse from Sweden.  It was always fun during our homeschooling years to have actual items from the places or time periods we studied.  I will assume this piece is from Mexico.  It's bigger than it looks in the photos.  
(I can relate it to gardening via it's clay and so is my soil!)

Hope we all have a great upcoming week!


  1. Wow! You've accomplished lots! What a neat find for such a low price, too. Good for you.

    Thanks for all the great comments on my snippet. You read into my character very well. ~grin~ And as for tech, I find your information interesting. We gave up most of our (home recorded) VHS tapes. And I prefer to leave the Internet at home, though I've borrowed the 'family' smart phone my husband carries when venturing alone to concert venues. Heh...

    Happy Gardening!

  2. Almost 60 is spring like? Eeek.

    1. The funny think we've noticed, since moving here the cold doesn't feel as cold! When my daughter and I first looked at houses here it was January, and we were freezing! 50s was bundle up weather. Now, it's a windbreaker or just a sweatshirt weather! The elevation is different, maybe the humidity is different, I don't know, but it doesn't FEEL cold at 60!
      You're CA, I'm guessing Southern? We were SF East Bay. Nearly the same weather as Southern Oregon. We're a bit hotter a few days, a bit colder winter, and the last few have been snowy, not average.

    2. I'll wear shorts in sixty degree weather. True story. And my husband, who's shorts are longer, will wear them into the forties!

  3. I really appreciate eat info about the asparagus. We moved to their new place and there are two different plantings of it. I still think they planted it to cover up the site of the electric and telephone boxes siting behind it. The peaches are wonderful and made me hungry for pie. Our border collie is so old now and we are running a nursing home for him. He taks so much help and care but we love hims so much. The church and people is a real special decoration.

    1. The asparagus patch I have is small, but it's the only thing the previous, and original, owners of the house ever planted, crop-wise. I don't know how old it is, but they can live for decades!

      I understand about the help and care pets need. I have a goldendoodle who takes medication twice a day for three different issues!

      Border collies are special "people!"


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