As we look back on the gardening season, we can assess what worked and what didn’t – our successes and challenges in the garden.
This past year my garden was severely damaged by rabbits as well as deer. The squirrels also got into my pots to bury nuts for the winter. (People say to put old CDs on the surface of your pots to stop them, but it looks a bit odd).
Both the rabbits and the deer have greatly increased in numbers in my area and seem also to have increased the plants they damage (e. g., even lantana!). Dragon’s Wing begonias took a far worse beating this year, and deer even came up on my back deck to munch on them in my pots there! I was lucky they spared the pots in the front, but I had put salvia, million bells, and euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ in them, and so far, the deer leave them alone. As usual I had good results with my stalwart zinnias and marigolds. However, deer munched away on my hibiscus buds, but still leave the yarrow alone.
Many of my beds were invaded by crabgrass when it was wet, and then we had drought, do it was impossible to pull any weeds. I will be sure to put down more Preen in all my beds next year, as it prevents the germination of weed seeds. Of course, that means the flower seeds will not germinate either, so be sure to start those in pots if you use Preen and mulch heavily, as mulch has a germination deterrent in it often also.
I am going to plant more bleeding heart and astilbe in my shade beds as well as Virginia blue bells, which the critters also avoid. I am also eager to get more shorter Russian sage. There is a new one ‘Blue Jean’ I read about, and I will also get more coreopsis for full sun, as that is also pest free.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on assessing and planning.