5 Things I Need to Do In The Front Garden

This summer has been a tricky one in which to garden in here in Tennessee.  June was the driest month I can remember and hotter than any June on record. July was strange too – extra moisture and cooler temperatures made up some of the lost ground caused by the spring drought. Having strange weather has mixed the gardening season up. Weeds have been worse than ever with Johnson Grass, crabgrass, and ragweed being three of the worst weeds in my garden currently.  Those three get named often in my worst weed category!  In addition to all these challenges life is busy too with kids going back to school and all sorts of distractions to take the gardener away from the garden.  So today I’m going to share with you one area of my yard that needs work – the front yard!  Today for the Friday Fives you’ll get to see 5 things I need to do to get my garden back into shape.  Maybe you can make me feel better about it by telling me it’s not so bad!

5 Things I Need To Do In The Front Garden

  1. The most obvious choice for number one here is to weed.  Crabgrass is all over the place.  It’s easy to remove but grows prolifically.  The critical thing is to get it out before it goes to see.  Johnson grass isn’t so bad here and neither is the ragweed but the crabgrass needs removed.  The tool I usually use for removing crabgrass in the garden beds is a simple pair of gloves and my own two hands. 

    Wetting down the area the night or morning before weeding is a good trick to make the roots easier to pull out. The self sowing garden near my arbor is in desperate need of a good weeding.  The tricky think about a self-sowing garden is that weeds self-sow too!  I also need to remove the weeds by trimming around the stone edging.  I usually use the weed eater every second to
    third time I mow.  Doing a combination of hand trimming with clippers
    and weeding is probably the way to go here. 

  2. Fix the side garden entry arbor. 

    When I originally built the arbor I had chains that held some diamond shaped decorative elements.  The hooks pulled away from the wooden diamond shapes and fell down.  While I don’t think I need the exact same design on the arbor I would like to dress up the sides in some really cool way. Any ideas?

  3. Plant the coleus!  I have a flat of coleus that still looks great despite only hand an inch of soil for their roots.  They need homes in the garden.  Some of these may come with me to the farmer’s market but many folks have slowed down their plantings until fall.  
  4. Mulch!  I haven’t mulched the front garden hardly at all this year.  That’s a big no no.  Mulch is critical for moisture retention and weed suppression.  That could be why I’m having weed suppression issues!  I just sprinkled more seed into the front porch garden area for some zinnias and coreopsis so I don’t want to mulch them until they have had time to germinate. Mulching will be a good chore for this coming fall.
  5. Move plants!  I have lots of plants that need to find different homes.  I’ve had salvia in the front garden for several years and I think it may be time for something different.  The phlox will stay, the artemisia too, but I think I need some new plants for this garden area. (Of course this could just be an excuse to go buy more plants ;))

There’s my front garden chore list in a nutshell.  If I were to take the time I could probably list over 100 things I need to do in the garden and still not finish the list!  I hope your list is much shorter!

8 Replies to “5 Things I Need to Do In The Front Garden”

  1. Moving plants from here to there, creating new looks with every change is what makes gardening so enjoyable. And I'm always up to buying more plants… I think I'm addicted.

  2. Hey Dave, that arbor looks like it could use a good vine of some sort, perhaps Carolina jessamine (?) As the old saying goes "pulling weeds is good for the soul"!

    Steve (East Tennessee)

  3. Oh boy, do I have a list. Really wet here.

  4. Your weeds just made me feel heaps better about my weeds…

    I too have a list. '-)
    ~ Lynda (N. Alabama)

  5. You could hire a gardening company to do these jobs and save yourself the hard work and stress.

  6. I love this plant and have lots in various parts of my shady back yard. I deal with the disappearing foliage by deploying annuals, containers, and ferns. This is a great one for seeding itself randomly around your yard. Delhi Flowers

  7. My nemesis is Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum). I don't mind it in the back or around the poultry pens but I hate seeing it in the front and close to the house where we walk. AARRGGHH!! http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/pasdi.htm

    I cannot dig it up because then the guineas make dust bath craters in the bare spots. I've had some success weakening it with pure vinegar then popping the center out with a weed hound. But in summer I try to manage for Bermuda andmow shorter than usual which keeps most of the dallisgrass from making seed heads. Not that it matters since it is a perennial and uses rhizomes, but it makes me feel better.

    I'd like to plant a few trees in the front. I've been putting it off the past couple of years because of the drought, but I seem to remember that we had a bit rain last winter. And I need to trim the ornamental grasses behind my bird pens so I can mow between the stalks and the pen walls. I want the birds to have shade and places to hide but I need to make it easier for us to walk there when herding at bedtime and to keep the weeds down.

    I'll get my fall selections to you as soon as I've recovered from my drive to and from Chicago.

  8. Great post, I enjoyed reading about the various hydrangeas. I have several but they can be tempermental at times. It's so nice to hear they can handle the sun. Now I understand better why we have blooms on one plant and not on others we pruned at the wrong time! Can't thank you enough!Bhubaneswar Flowers

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