The Imperfect Gardener #10

What Savvy Gardeners are Doing Right Now!
A change in season means a new garden to-do list. Have you ever met a gardener who always seems to have it together, never seems flustered and whose garden always looks great? The key is knowing what to do in the garden as the seasons change so you are never caught off guard. The honest truth is, the more organized you are, the better your garden will look and the more you will enjoy gardening.
1. Tool clean up. In Cincinnati, you will still need your garden tools for a while. But what happens is we have a gorgeous week followed by snow and ice or both and just like that the garden season is over. No one, myself included, enjoys cleaning and oiling and sharpening our tools when the temperatures drop. So today, while the weather is nice, scrub your tools and pots you are not using again until spring, before the big snow fall, so when the snow does come all you have to do is give your tools a quick cleaning and maybe oil again and you are done.
2. I hinted about this one above–clean your pots. A lot of what I do is geared to making my next garden season that more enjoyable. Come spring I want to plant my containers, not scrub and clean them. So I do it now. Posts are scrubbed and allowed to dry before being packed away for the spring. I check stores for discounted potting soil and stock up on that, too.
3. Plant those bulbs. I will remind you of this over and over cos I know how its hard to get motivated at the end of the year to do more planting. But, come spring you will love yourself for taking a few days to add more bulbs, especially naturalizing bulbs to your garden.
4. Prepare for the birds! Check your supply of seed, now. Make sure containers are still dry, free of holes and have lids that can be well secured. Never store seed in the bags—that’s just an invitation for mice and other critters to come calling. Store in containers that you can easily reach the bottom of, can clean out when needed and are in a place you can access when the ground is icy or covered in snow.
5. Test you soil.  Do you really know why some ares of the garden flourish and others do not? It may be the soil. Before you spend one more season hoping your soil is a good home for your plants, get it tested. Only then will you know if you should switch up your planting plan or simply do some easy soil amendment. With knowledge comes better gardens.

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