September 2019 - Flower Blog
The Fall equinox has come and gone. The weather has definitely become colder here as the nights dip into the forties and I find myself dragging out the scarves, mittens, and blankets from the closet. Our warm season here is short, but nevertheless it seems like ages and ages since I’ve seen my sweaters and long black coat. I’m happy for the return of Autumn!
The garden has slowed down considerably. I’ve been pulling up old plants and chopping them into small pieces with my clippers to lay them back over the beds to decompose. I’ve been thinking more and more about soil health recently as I delve deeper into my Forest Farming book. I also took a forest farming workshop this month at nearby Regeneration Farms. They reminded me how important it is to keep the soil covered as much as much as possible so that water runoff and wind don’t erode away its nutrients. I’ll let all of the plant material I pull up and chop down continue to decompose over the winter to eventually be worked into the soil by Spring.
As the leaves begin (or continue really) to fall, I plan on gathering them up to spread across the soil as well. Last year I spread straw across the beds for winter but found that it didn’t break down very well by spring. So, I want to see how the native leaves do this time.
The Rudbeckia continue to open their lovely huge orange and red blooms. They seem quite hardy and unbothered by all of the rain.
The branching stock flowers, Rainbow Quartet, continue to put up stalks and bloom as well. I’m liking their branching quality more than I expected and may choose more varieties of that type for next spring since I’m getting a longer life and more blooms out of the plants. The last planting of single stem stock plants continue to grow as well! I expect them to bloom before the frost gets them sometime in October.
All the new varieties of violas have begun to bloom as well. The key to getting long stems still eludes me, but since they are perennials I wonder if their Spring blooms will have longer stems once they have more time to establish. They still make quite wonderful little posies for small vases and the colors in the garden are fun to see as everything else begins to wash out.
The other big news for September is that I began a 12-week Small Farm Sustainability class jointly taught by the Snohomish Conservation District and WSU agriculture extension. I’ll continue to write about what I learn as it progresses. So far, we’ve been studying soil health in the reading homework and what it means to be sustainable. By the end of this course, I should have a working business plan for what I want to do with my farming dream!