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BONNIE’S GARDEN – Fall is Coming

By Bonnie Pega
Bonnie's Garden

Yesterday was Labor Day. Do you know how Labor Day came to be?

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1882. A proposal by the Central Labor Union suggested that a parade take place to show “the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.” This was to be followed by a fair for the workers and their families.

Twelve years later, after nearly two dozen more states had followed New York’s example, the United States signed it into law on June 28, 1894.

Fall is Coming!

It’s hard to believe the first day of fall is only a couple of weeks away on Tuesday, September 22. September 1st is already considered the first day of Meteorological Fall.

I’ve noticed it’s getting dark earlier every night. Just a month ago, sunrise was at 6:18 A.M. and sunset was at 8:12 P.M. Now sunrise is at 6:45 A.M. and sunset at 7:31 P.M.—over an hour less of daylight! By the actual fall Equinox, sunrise will be at 6:58 A.M. and sunset at 7:07 P.M.! I miss summer already!

Fall Plantings

I’ve already got broccoli, beets, spinach kale, snap peas, and cabbage planted and will be tucking in some pretty little Johnny-Jump-Ups this week, in between the caladiums still decorating the shady front flower bed. They’ll have a few weeks to grow before I yank the caladiums out just before the first frost—on average here around the third week in October.

Tucking In Spring Blooming Bulbs

I know I need to decide where I want to tuck in some more spring-blooming bulbs—mid-October is the best time to plant bulbs here. Since I live in “Deer Country” I know I’ll tuck in more daffodils, hyacinths, and alliums as deer don’t like any of those. I’m also going to plant some onions around the outside of my raised vegetable garden—this will keep the deer away from my yummy fall greens.

Taking Care of Those Garden Tools

Now would be a good time to tidy up my tool shed for winter and clean my garden tools.  Not my favorite chore, but a necessary one. I pull out a brush with metal bristles—just like the one I use to scrub my grill.  I scrub off every speck of dirt—because the dirt can absorb moisture from the air and cause rust. I take fine sandpaper and go after any areas that even look like it’s thinking about rusting and I give the wooden handles a light winter coat of flaxseed oil.

I bring my pruners into the Great Big Greenhouse the next time Sharp Again is here. They do a great job sharpening anything that needs sharpening (kitchen knives, scissors, pruners, etc. so when I pull the pruners out (to give the roses their February haircut), they’ll already be nice and sharp.

Yes, it’s a little bit of work, but when I pull everything back out in the spring, they’re ready to go. And, since the weather is not quite as hot now as it was earlier in the summer, it will be nice to sit on the back deck while I work.

Take a Quick Inventory of Tools and Fall Plants

It’s a great time to take inventory of your garden tools and Fall plants. Do you need some new tools or plants for your fall garden? Stop by the Great Big Greenhouse and get exactly what you need.

As I’m looking back over the previous paragraphs and realize all the planting and tool-cleaning I’m going to be doing (in between over-seeding my lawn and raking leaves), there IS going to be a lot of labor involved!

Happy Labor Day!

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9 thoughts on “BONNIE’S GARDEN – Fall is Coming

  1. Bonnie — Just a thank you for the information on Fall, never thought to put Flaxseed oil on our tool handles! I too need to plant some Hyacinths! Thank you for the reminder!
    Have great day!

  2. You’re most welcome. The flaxseed oil tip I got from my grandpa years ago.

    By the way, bulbs are coming in this week–we’re already unpacking two shipments and I have two more due today or tomorrow–I’ll have a great selection of hyacinths!

  3. Bonnie, do you also have a recommendation for spring bulbs that bunnies will pass over? The rabbits in our yard are swiping my hyacinths before I see them bloom! I do have daffodils and they survive, but I am wondering about tulips or something else for variation. Thanks!

  4. Boy, do I have recommendations! I have deer, squirrels, rabbits in my yard and, while I love watching them, I’m not crazy about watching them chow down on my garden! Alliums are ornamental members of the onion family–critters don’t like them. There are some adorable little bulbs called Ipheion or Spring Starflowers–one of my favorite bulbs. Critters don’t like them. Iris and peonies critters don’t like (and in a couple of weeks, I’ll have LOCALLY grown freshly dug peonies here). Bunnies don’t like Snowdrops or Spanish Bluebells or Muscari or Fritillaria . And there are even more. Come in and let me show you some fabulous, beautiful and pest-resistant bulbs.

  5. Hi, new to your blog. Or any blog? So, should a light coating of some oil be applied to the BLADES of tools and then wipe off excess before storing for the winter? I understand about flaxseed oil on wood. THANK YOU

  6. Hi Ashli–Fall is the best time to apply Milky Spore, but late spring would also be okay. You do definitely want to apply when the soil is warm however. Remember, you need to water it in–gently. Don’t apply it if they’re calling for heavy rain or thunder storms as that may wash much of it away.

  7. Hi Jennifer. When planting a fall veggie garden, you do want to get things in as soon as you reasonably can. For long-season veggies like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts–I’d buy the starter plants if you can. Spinach and kale will usually make it over the whole winter, so you’ve plenty of time for those. Radishes are fast growers so you’ve got time for them. And onions and garlic shouldn’t even be planted before the first of October.

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