When the air gets cooler and there are leaves in the breeze I start to layer up. Along with flannel comes pumpkin flavored everything. But what many people do not know is what comes along with the Halloween decor going up, the great fall cut down begins. What you may not know is that it takes us weeks of working on the property at least an hour a day. I am talking everyday, not just the weekend.
The cut down is slow but sure. I have brought inside 1/3 of the Elephant Ear plants. We will need to bring the rest of them in this weekend, as well as possibly the Banana tree. By the way, this banana tree is no joke. Currently in the ground our banana tree is 9 foot tall. Last year we needed to cut all but the center leaf off in order to get it in the house. I think the same will need to happen this year. I am ready for our banana tree to sprout some new trees, not sure if it works like that with this type of banana tree. What I do know is that last year I purchased 4 Elephant ear bulbs and dug up 10 bulbs in the fall. Yes I brought them in the house and let them grow all winter in the bay windows. This spring I planted 10 bulbs and well I have started to be able to tell when and how there will be a new plant. Also I have only dug up 4 of the locations that I planted a bulb in each and there are 11 bulbs in one pot. I thought that there would be 20 to dig up in the fall when I counted 2 months ago, I think that it is up to 23 now. Its a good thing I have such cool neighbors where I can plant some at their houses and then go dig them up in the fall for everyone. Or at least that’s what two neighbor ladies have agree too already.
I have already started cutting down the ferns. There are a great deal of them which are very beautiful during the spring and most of the summer. But just the littlest bit of chill and they die off. So I have been amassing their dead branches at the back of the yard closer to the edge of the woods. We will then chip about half of what we cut down. The other half we end up lazily throwing into a large compost pile. The day lilies will not be blooming any more this year so they are slowly getting cut down along with the cone flower and bee balm and a few others.
Yesterday I cut down about 10 plants. Literately at least 200 more to go. They are perennials so they will come back next year. When I cut them down in the fall it helps them to concentrate growth efforts in the roots and building a stronger bigger root base, which in turn in the spring gives a larger plant. The really great thing about this is that then in the spring I can split up the plants and give some away to family and friends. Its really a triple win. I maintain healthy plants by separating them up, people I love get free plants and whenever a plant is given away and then produces flowers mother nature wins.
Since starting this post we have had a lot more colder overnights. The rest of the elephant ears needed to come inside as well as the banana tree. The true total of elephant ears and off shoots totaled a whopping 51. The Elephant ears that we put out front in full sun proved to reproduce the most. That tracks, they are a tropical plant and like the sun. Three of the four plants when dug up have 8 off shoots each.
The Banana tree could have been perfectly fine if we had just chopped it down and brought it in the house. It really is very hard after watching the tree grow so big and beautiful all summer. So it got to keep one open leaf and one baby leaf. It looks hilarious and sad, but that tree will easily produce 8-10 leaves over the winter inside. In the pot, in the living room with two leaves it reaches the 9 foot ceiling.
The two poinsettia bushes that are in a large pot also made the trip to inside the house for the winter. This bush really tends to show you that its not a fan of being moved and will loose a bunch of leaves from shock. The best thing we have found to help decrease the shock on these two, is water every day and use a grow light. They really like the grow light.
I took down some of the tomato plants in the side yard but the back yard still is producing tomatoes. I bring tomatoes in when they are green and they get to sit on the counter until they are red and then they get washed cut in half and popped into the freezer bag and into the freezer. We use them when we make chili.
Lilies, spider wort, cone flowers and bee balm all cut down. The asparagus has yet to turn brown, that is when we can cut that down and cover with leaf mulch for the winter. I will say one unexpected win this fall is that two of the asparagus plants that I planted this year as there first year produced seeds. So yes I was able to harvest 50 asparagus seeds. Very excited to share these seeds with friends and family.
Other seeds that I have been able to save this fall and start in the house already are marigold seeds, Arborvitae tree seeds, I saved 7 seed pods and I have 10 sprouts. Rose of Sharon seeds, I saved 12 seed pods from a few different colored bushes. Most of them were a light purple, a few white and pink. I do not even mind if they are all purple because about forty of these seeds have sprouted. I am so very happy!
RickabaughReviews is rooting for the bees and trees.
I have been trying every week since getting my updated phone to try to post pictures of the fall to winter progress to no avail. I am very disappointed in the new iphone as well as the updated wordpress program. doubt I will renew my subscription – It has only been a waste of money and time – shame.