Putting the Garden to bed

I’ve finished putting my garden to bed. It involved digging out all the tomato plants, the cucumbers and squash plants and throwing them in the compost bin. Next was the pruning, all the shrubs and bushes, the pear tree which refuses to give us any fruit.

Then we started to dig–the Dahlias will rot in our soil if I don’t dig them out.

I dig them up, use the hose to wash the dirt off, and stack them on the patio out of the rain to dry before packing them into tote boxes covered in shredded newspaper. This picture shows about 75 clumps of bulbs. They certainly expand in numbers and I usually cut the bigger bunches into pieces when replanting in the spring. I’m no expert. I know many people take them all apart, pick the best bulbs and dump the rest, but this works for me.

When I first planted dahlias, it was because roses don’t survive here. I refused to dig the dahlias up, way too much work. But as the crop failed due to rot through the winter, I decided it was worthwhile. The dahlias bloom from July to October, certainly worth my while to plan each year. 🙂

What do you do with your garden in the fall?

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