Putting Plants to Bed (Yawn) for the Winter

Thanks to all of you who “Liked” my previous posts.  Please be patient with me because I’ve not figured out yet how to thank you through the comment section.  I’m still in a learning curve when it comes to blogging on WordPress.

The title of this post is anything but exciting, right?  Yawn!  To bed?  Yawn! I agree.

But this post isn’t just about techniques to winterize plants until the first bulb emerges in the spring because this year, for me, a lot of other STUFF is involved.

Normally, I’m like everyone else. I wait until almost the last minute to get everything in order for the winter…Where I live, the faucets need to be wrapped to prevent broken pipes.  Leaves need to be raked off hard surfaces to prevent a fall from slipping on wet leaves. And finally, most of my potted plants are usually gathered into one spot so they can easily be covered with plant blankets to prevent them from freezing.  I keep my plant “blankets” (old comforters, blankets, quilts, and real frost cloth) stashed in big garbage cans at the side of the yard.  My plant blankets aren’t pretty, but they work.

This year, however, I can’t wait till the last minute.

This year, I unexpectedly must have a hip replaced, and I’m relatively young for that sort of thing.

Frankly, I’d LOVE to put this surgery off, but the pain I have doesn’t give me that option.  I could also whine and moan, but it won’t help so I’ll spare you and me.

The surgery will take place sometime in December, and I have a house sitter lined up already.  My surgeon assures me I’ll be able to return to gardening and cleaning cat cages (Oh joy!) at the humane society once I’ve recuperate.

There is much preparation to do, both inside and outside the house, before I go off on this orthopedic holiday of sorts.  I am doing my best to stay positive:

I have an excellent surgeon for the job.I also have very good friends to help me. (Children live too far away and can’t take off work.) I believe I CAN pull this off and end up with a good result.  No, I can’t control everything, so I will try to let go of that.

Today, I purchased 50 survey flags at the local Big Box store–You know, the ones that are garishly conspicuous on a wire.  Fortunately, plants don’t need watering as often in cold weather, but they do need watering if it doesn’t rain. I read the winter weather prediction for east Texas a few days ago, and the forecast is for warm/dry weather.

Since I have so many new plants, I can’t just stop watering them.  My plan?  I will place a bright orange survey flag beside every plant that needs to be watered and then, before my surgery, I will ask my neighbor’s teenage daughter (a responsible young woman who was the lead this year in her high school’s play) to come over so I can show her how I water.  If we don’t get rain for a week or two, I’ll have her water.  If a freeze is predicted, I’ll have her cover my plants.  At $10 per event (watering or covering or both), she should be happy.

I will start moving my light pots to one spot and also remove small breakable decorative garden items (in case of winter hail) using my little trusty rusty red wagon.  I use it for everything.

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I will also hire another young man to move the heavier pots so again they can be watered and covered easily.

Finally, it’s a mast year for the pecan trees in this area, and the nuts are everywhere.  Picking them up, however, isn’t what it used to be.  To do this, I must extend one leg far away from my body to bend over, otherwise, I experience a sharp pain in my hip. (It’s bone on bone.)  This hasn’t kept me from picking up those yummy pecans though, and as you see, I have half a bucket full.  (Maybe I can shell pecans while I’m lying in bed?) There are still lots more out there.  I have three pecan trees.

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Mz. Elly-Belly-Munchy-Mouth (dog), it turns out, likes pecans too. She’s been helping herself to my stash, cracking them with her teeth, and leaving their shells on the deck and in the bedroom. Bad dog!  I need to move that bucket out of mouth’s reach.  (And I thought I only had squirrels to contend with.)

Mz. Elly-BMM will stay with a friend while I recuperate so I don’t have the worry that she might jump on me.  My other two dogs have better manners.

I think I’ll use my recuperation time to read all of the gardening books plus exciting novels that I’ve always wanting to buy on Amazon.  What do you think?

I’ll leave you with a photo of my wild blooming asters.  The bees and my grape vine love them.

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