Sunday, December 9, 2007

Two Minutes for Tulips

Well, I did it. Today was balmy by recent days' comparison. We cleaned the house some and still I had twenty minutes before I had to leave for work. That bag of tulips was bothering me and I know they would have gotten moldy and rotted had I left them to next year. So I went out on this cloudy, breeze-less day and planted those tulips. Ground soft as ever, not a lick of freeze in it, and I only chopped a few previously planted bulbs in the effort. So I call it a good gardening day and probably the last of the cold season. But there is one other nagging question, "should I remove those leaves now or later?"...

Some say remove fallen leaves to retard the development of disease in the garden. Some say let the fallen leaves stay to act as winter mulch. Those leaves can protect young shoots coming up during early spring freeze/thaw cycles. Yet the leaves can also retard the growth of some young plants. So which is it?

Well, it is true that I have little need for winter mulch in my garden as the ground hardly freezes. Those leaves will be harder to remove in spring as they will be wet and entangled deep in the plants. I haven't had any serious problem with disease in the garden, so that really doesn't factor in. Okay, I think I found another task to take on before Christmas. Maybe.

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If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...