The most important ingredient to any garden is water. We amend and condition our soils in order to manage the water content. We mulch in order to retain water. Water is so essential to a successful hosta garden. It would only make sense that an instrument to measure the daily rainfall is a very valuable tool.
For several years I have had a very simple and inexpensive rain gauge near my side entrance in front of a clump of Hosta ‘Olive Bailey Langdon‘. It is mounted on a short post pounded into the ground in a bed of Thorndale English Ivy. The gauge is not mounted under any dripping trees or roof line. These would interfere with the accuracy.
Hosta ‘Olive Bailey Langdon‘
When there is more than ample rain in the spring to make the gardens flourish it is still interesting to know how much rain is falling from the sky. In the summer it is more valuable to know what fell on my garden that day. Do I need to water that new tree or hosta or lawn to insure survival?
Summer rains are frequently widely variable over a very short distance. This makes a gauge all the more valuable. You cannot rely on the local weather man to tell you the rainfall on your garden. Even a friend 10 miles away could experience a very different result from that last thunderstorm.
Think about where you could mount this great gardening tool in your garden.
If you have a small area in your garage or basement you can easily start a vermicomposting bin. Vermicompost is the process of composting using worms to create a vermicast (worm manure). The castings left over from the vermicompost contain less contaminants and higher levels of beneficial nutrients than regular compost.
These vermicomposting bins do not take up a lot of space and do not have a foul smell. There are multiple ways of building them on the Internet or you can purchase one. You can even purchase the worms on the Internet.
We like to compost our vegetable scraps, eggshells, rotten fruit, tea and coffee grounds, shredded paper and general yard waste. There are endless articles and videos on the Internet to help you along the way to create your own vermicompost for the garden. You can also make a compost tea and use this to fertilize your plants organically.
We have made it to the New Year and, for most of us, the cold and snow have taken over. The chilly winter months are a great time to plan your spring and summer garden.
Gardening may be the last thing on our minds because of the weather but there are plenty of things we can do inside to occupy our time and help us plan for the upcoming growing season.
- Study catalogs and surf the Internet for plants we want to grow. We wouldn’t want to waste our precious gardening time in spring doing all of this planning. We like to have plans for our gardens and lists of plants we want to plant in a file so we can easily access it when we want. You can also bookmark websites and products you like so you can go back to them easily.
- Get ideas for your garden from local flower shows, garden clubs and garden forums. Most regions have their flower shows in late winter and offer some great gardening ideas. Local gardening clubs are a fun and cooperative way to share gardening ideas and activities with local plant enthusiasts like yourself.
- (Big Smile Here) Winter is a great time to plan which hostas you would like to divide this spring. You may even plan with friends which hostas you’re going to swap with each other.
- Sketch Out Your Garden. Map out where you want to put your new plants when they arrive. Maybe you’re thinking of starting a completely new garden. Do a few sketches of the area and design it several different ways. Search the Internet for pictures of gardens and use details of some to create your own masterpiece.
- Go antiquing! No garden is complete without statuary and garden art. Go to local antique shops and other stores to find that perfect piece that helps express your distinctive gardening style. We love going to gardens that collect certain themed statuary like birds, frogs, turtles, etc.
- Work on getting your garden labels ready. When the winter weather departs, all you’ll have to do is put them back where they go.