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GARDENER’S CHECKLIST: Week of October 13, 2022

This week, Ron Kujawski shares his fall foliage-management tips, advice about picking raspberries and which varieties to buy for next year, as well as indispensable pointers on planting bulbs, shrubs and trees for next spring and beyond.

* Don’t rake up all those leaves resting on the lawn just yet. Instead, run them over with the lawn mower. This may be done twice to ensure that they are finely chopped. Then rake up the leaves, along with the grass clippings, and either place these onto the compost pile or work them into garden soils. The nitrogen in the grass clippings will speed up the decomposition of the leaves, leaving behind rich organic matter.

* Get out the gardening notebook and begin making notes on what went well and what went wrong in the landscape this year.  This will help when making decisions about new plantings, renovations to old plantings, and what pests and diseases to prepare for next year.  In these matters, it’s not good to rely on one’s memory because…uh…uh….I forgot what I wanted say.

Celeriac is a good alternative to celery for Berkshire gardeners.

* Dig up celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or celery root. If you haven’t grown celeriac, make plans to do so next garden season. They are easier to grow than regular celery. Yes the roots do look ugly, however once the skins have been peeled away, the remaining white flesh can be chopped and used in salads or cooked dishes and tastes the same as celery. Another advantage of celeriac versus celery is that the roots will keep for months when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, or in a bucket of sand or sawdust kept in a cold corner of the basement or garage.

* Harvest fall-bearing raspberries.  Despite a few frosts, our planting of fall raspberries is now producing an abundance of sweet, red berries.  These fall raspberries seem to me to be much tastier than summer raspberries, though I won’t turn down the berries from either crop.  Put fall-bearing (often erroneously called ever-bearing raspberries) on the shopping list for next year’s garden.

Sit back, relax, and shell your dry beans.

* Begin shelling dry beans if this task is not already done. It is one of those mindless but pleasant chores I save for chilly fall evenings as I sit beside the fireplace watching Mr. Bean cartoons. Once shelled, the beans are stored in canning jars. 

* Keep in mind the mature height of plants when deciding on new trees or shrubs to plant in the landscape.  Select varieties with a mature height to fit the desired location; yes, size is important.  Choosing the wrong plant can mean increased maintenance.

* Interplant one or several varieties of snow crocus (Crocus chrysanthus), also called bunch flowering crocus, among plants in perennial borders.  Snow crocuses wake up your flower borders early in the year but are out of the way by time perennial plants begin to extend themselves.

Blueberry bushes have a dual purpose in the garden, i.e. delicious fruit and brilliant fall foliage.

* Whoa! Check out the leaves of blueberry bushes. Not only have we had a bumper crop of blueberries this year but now we get a double treat with their spectacular fall foliage.

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.