The Little Things

Sometimes even getting the little things done in the garden can make you feel like you've accomplished something worthwhile. Today since I still couldn't really get to work on the big garden chores I settled for getting a few little garden chores accomplished.

By far the biggest garden task was really a fall yard maintenance one, overseeding the lawn. I overseed the lawn with fescue each year to replenish the grass. In the fall and spring it looks great! Summer is another story however, as fescue is a cool season lover and it just can't handle the heat and dryness of Tennessee summers. Tennessee is a great state for many things, just not grass growing. We tend to be too far south to grow fescues year round (this year has been somewhat of an exception since we've had extra rain) and just a little far north to have great hot season grass green year round. So you get to pick, green in summer brown in winter or vice versa. I'll take the brown in summer and green in winter since the trees have no leaves the green grass at least adds some interest to the landscape!

While I'm not trying to write about overseeding specifically I do want to pass on what I did and didn't do. First I didn't do any prep work like aerating. I've done it once before and didn't see much benefit with it but it is important to aerate compacted soils. Most of our yard has really nice soil (at least where it counts) filled with lots of organic material and has been aerated already by our resident mole population. Like them or not, moles do a good job at loosening up the soil. Our earthworms aren't slouches either. The exception to our nice soil areas are a few spots close to the street and along the hillside. I used three different fescue grasses on our lawn: one that was said to reduce the seeds' need for water, one called creeping red fescue (which is a good fescue for shade), and a plain old fescue mix for the majority of the yard. The creeping red fescue was for the area way back corner of the yard past the two ornamental grasses that you can see in the very back of the picture. In the front of the picture is a marigold that I planted some seed for earlier in the year. The fescue died on top of the septic tank and I threw out the marigold seed just so something green would cover it! I may take this seed planting strategy to any bare spots that pop up in the yard next year.

The next little chore I tackled was planting six little pansies. I know what you're thinking "Oooh! Six little pansies." I told you these were small tasks! These pansies went into the planter I made a few weeks ago out of an old pallet. Pansies are great flower for cool season blooms. It amazing how well they can stand up to the frosty temperatures. People in the know when called a "Pansy" should reply with a heartfelt thank you because they are indeed tough flowers, they just don't like it hot.

A closeup reveals a few more little things, fruit flies!

I chose an assortment of 36 purple and yellow pansies to mix together in a couple locations in our garden. Purple and yellow are two colors that have always looked good together. It's probably overdone but who am I to mess with what works?

While around the pansies I stopped to look at the variegated ornamental pepper. I started it from seed in the spring and this is all that it has done so far. I've been a little disappointed but I'll bring it indoors and hopefully keep it going long enough for it to produce some fancy peppers.

And look, another closeup reveals...fruit flies!

I also gathered some purple coneflower seed from a couple plants in the garden and spread those in various spots. You can never have enough coneflower!

Before I was done I gathered up some mint to use in our tea. We almost always have tea in the house and really like the mint flavor. During the winter when mint isn't available we resort to using tea packets with mint along with the regular tea but it just isn't the same as fresh mint from the garden. Many people complain about the invasiveness of mint but so far it hasn't been any trouble. I guess we use it too fast for it to go anywhere!

What little garden chores did you accomplish?

Labels: , ,