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propagating perennials: Getting the garden beds ready for winter.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting the garden beds ready for winter.

Now is the time to clean and mulch garden beds and plant spring bulbs. I always use bone meal whenever I plant perennials or woody plants and also mix in a healthy shovel of cow manure into each hole, purchased from the local big box store. We want to give the roots a good medium to grow in. Here in North Carolina there is an abundance of clay so the soil needs to broken up. Sometimes I use compost in place of manure. Instead of bagging your leaves and setting them out for trash pickup, compost piles are easy to construct. Smith & Hawkin has a great composter although the price has increased 30% since I purchased mine. Just make certain to turn the pile over at least once a week and moisten it. I put all the clippings into the compost when I prune the perennials and to give the worms a head start I grind/blend my kitchen scraps, especially the egg shells. I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and purchased a seal tight Lucite container to put my scraps in because they can smell up a kitchen after a while. I purchase a large bag of bone meal, 20 pounds, at a specialty hardware store, then use a discarded cool whip container when I am planting instead of lugging around a sack made of paper. A handful of bone meal is sufficient for each plant hole. Good horticulture practices reaps rewards.

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