With our lovely fall temps dipping into the 50s nightly, I knew there would be no sewing. There are all kinds of chores to get the yard and flower beds "put to bed" for the upcoming winter months. In the spring I love getting out and doing the yard stuff, knowing that there will be beauty in the payoff. In the fall, it's a bit different. I still love getting out in weather that doesn't take my breath away after our nasty summers, but the payoff is a long way off. What I do now will help my plants in the spring.
First up was getting the house plants in. They can stay out until the temps dip below 50. The first ones in are the phalenopsis orchids. They always get new bark in the fall for two reasons: (1) they usually need it after hanging around our deck and (2) it gets rid of any little critters that might come in with them. Yes, I have had toads in the house who made their homes in a potted plant! Once upon a time I had about 20-25 orchids. They take a lot of care!
DH built a special table and we bought the grow lights and I got them to bloom here and there. Time and other interests, and a pest invasion that decimated several of the bright light lovers, won over and now there are 9 orchids on my table in the basement. They are all phals - the easiest. These are the ones seen most often at Lowe's, etc. They require less light than most other orchids and can tolerate drier and cooler indoor climates better then other varieties.
The large one is from Grandma's funeral. The blooming one is new. It was $3 on the clearance shelf at Lowes. It was in good shape - see those silvery green roots that look like worms - that's the sign of a healthy orchid. At first the roots freaked me out a little.
I bought another from the clearance shelf and the blooms were so pretty (see them in the collage below?). However, I knew what I would find. To keep the plants from drying out, orchids in the stores are usually potted in moss in plastic pots. Well, that's fine if the plant truly dries out between waterings. If the orchid does not dry out, then the plant is overwatered and all that moisture from the moss and the plastic causes the roots to rot. Sure enough, it has no roots left. I removed the bloom spike and have been misting it's leaves, hoping to get it to generate some roots - we'll see.
However, the Christmas cactus are still out. They tolerate temps down to 40 and those cool nights help them develop buds so they will be pretty around Thanksgiving.
All the other plants either got top dressed with some new soil or completely new homes. It's always a challenge to find places for them. With all the stuff I've brought home from Grandma's house and the rearranging we've done, well, it's been fun this time around!
Then there's the outdoor plants. The poor butterfly bush was top heavy and the wind blew it over and sort of split it in two. It was leaning so I've tried moving it. It was hard to get lots of roots so I'll be doing lots of watering. I took off all the old and new blooms so it will concentrate on growing roots rather than reproducing.
The variegated liriope is divided and in two new spots. The ivy is trimmed. The weeds are pulled. The tomato plants are now over the back fence into the wooded ravine. Are you tired yet? Oh - and DH prepared the front and back yards (about 40 feet -lol!) and put down some grass seed.
I dug about 5 holes in our yard yesterday, a yard where you cannot dig more than one shovel full without hitting a %&^$ rock! Uggh - I so have dirt envy for those who do not live in the "armpit of the gardening world."
"Miller time!" (It wasn't Miller, but it was beer) And, we had Chinese food - yum!!
I have more pics and I finally learned how to do collages and guess what - Blogger says I'm out of storage space. Uggh - I dont earn money with this blog so I really don't want to pay for a place to keep pics. One more thing to think about, but like Scarlet O'Hara, I'll think about it tomorrow.