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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall Clean-Up

The heat of the summer has been doing a job on our gardens and now it is time for the end of the summer-beginning of fall clean-up. It is a good job to do in the cool evenings. And you get to enjoy the sunset at the same time!
Prune back withered foliage and dead leaves, catch up on the weeding, gather up hiding snails and add a nice layer of mulch to finish up. Please remember to pull mulch away from plant crowns. A 2-3" layer is good and I like a fine shred fir bark mulch. In big open areas use a coarse gorilla hair mulch (shredded redwood bark) in a very deep layer of 6-8" to help control weeds and erosion. This makes a roughish path too.
Check sprinkler heads as you clean-up and prune away plants that are blocking the heads. I just dug up a sprinkler that had been cracked off its riser by a giant root! Quite the chore to fix but feel that I have accomplished something by doing it. I noticed a few weeks ago that the pressure in the whole circuit (groups of sprinkler heads) was very low and that some of the heads were hardly popping up. Normally breaks are at the base of the heads so I started looking for pooling water or very wet areas and sure enough
water was percolating up like a little geyser near one of the heads. With a bit of digging and a few trips to Ace I now have a working circuit again. At least the tree got a lot of water!

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