Saturday, September 27, 2008
Late season decisions
Save or compost?
Today I pulled all the worst-looking spent annuals and biannuals out of the pots and beds in my version of fall clean-up. I’m not a big fan of cleaning up the garden, but there’s nothing beneficial about some ratty-looking petunia stems, and the birds can do without some of these biannual seedheads. I tend to treat biannuals as annuals anyway; I never trust the term.
And I’ve been assessing the container situation, thinking about the following:
1. Should I transition completely to fiberglass pots, wich are lighter and much more attractive than they used to be?
2. Should I give up completely on such annuals as petunias and certain nicotiana which look terrible at this time of year, focusing instead on plants like lantana, diascia, heliotrope, and almost all the foliage plants? These and some others soldier on well into October. Calibrachoa is a good long-lasting petunia alternative.
3. How am I going to successfully save all these colacasia? There are at last 4 that I feel I MUST save, but it’s iffy and a pain. The Thai giant has to be I suppose; otherwise, it will never achieve an impressive size. I have a feeling that I should just start some of these from plants again rather than make the possibly frustrating effort.
4. And it looks like I’ll have to buy more containers just for bulbs. Lilies are in permanent residence in many; I’ve given them their last boost of fertilizer to get them through the winter.
I’ve also planted my last perennials: sweet autumn clematis, a hart’s tongue fern and the Husker Red penstemon. And in a burst of optimism, I fertilized some of the foliage containers, in the hopes of October longevity.