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
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!