Thursday, October 16, 2014

End of Season Clean-up

It began innocently enough. I just wanted help emptying the water from the abandoned fish pond. Most of the water had been pumped out, but then it rained like the dickens and six more inches remained. Again I pumped and then Dave and I lifted the big round tub on its side to empty the last bit. I said it would be easy now to drill holes in the bottom for drainage, since this was going to become another garden container now that the fish have left.  We had three concrete blocks already so we placed the empty tub on those, drilled the holes and watched the remaining green slime drip out. Then we drove over to Home Depot and got 24 more concrete blocks. Why so many? Because we also had to move the herb garden off the patio. 

I made a big mistake ( I readily admit) and placed this narrow bin on the patio for the herb garden. Looks so lovely there, until I watered and then the dirty water drained onto the patio causing stains and algae to grow. What a mess. Dave tried to fix it by caulking the bottom rim. That sorta worked but it was in such a bad spot to get the rain, that things shriveled up. Now he will power-wash that area and we'll have a nice patio again. 

 We moved the emptied herb tub to the yard, but put its dirt in the round tub, along with the sweet potato vines and other plants. Over the winter it will degrade and in the Spring we'll top it off with a layer of new soil and be ready to plant.
 Filed under successes: The fig trees continue to fruit and are doing just great. They will be moved in closer to the patio where we can enjoy them, and the little shade they may bring.

We had been keeping the excess soil in these plastic bins, even tho we were warned they would deteriorate in the sun, which they certainly did. But they served us well with begonias, petunias and salvia all summer.

We still have work to do, but the backbones are there, and we have made a good start.


  1. I need to do an end of the season clean up also. I have a yard to mow and trim, then pull out the zinnias that have been killed off with the frost we had last week, The canna need dug up and put into storage. I still have a pile of sweet peat in the driveway that I need to store for next year. I am getting tired just thinking about all of this! I wonder if I can grow figs in Ohio? I would have to protect them from the deer somehow.

  2. Gosh! I thought you'd get more than one year out of those plastic boxes! I used one for our Earthquake Emergency supplies and if lasted two or three. Now I use a black plastic garbage bin and it's lasting much better. Designed to be outsid I guess.

  3. Here in western Mass. I'm still waiting for the first frost-not that I'm complaining,mind you, we're having a glorious fall.But,I can't dig up the dahlias until after a frost.I still have nasturtiums in Oct and zinnias! Julie

  4. Thanks for the info re: the tunic pattern. I had not realized that it was a button front. I used the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern, but was not pleased with the fit. I found a Butterick B4684 that worked better for me, except it ran quite large but was able to cut it smaller from the multisized pattern

  5. Gosh, just a warning about fig trees. We have a huge one in our backyard and it turns into a hideous, sticky mess each summer when the fruit ripens and falls onto the concrete. If I was going to start over (believe me every year I want to cut that tree down to the ground) I would plant that tree where the fruit could fall onto grass or dirt and could easily be raked up and composted. Of course we aren't big fig eaters so a lot of the fruit falls and is wasted, but it is a serious mess. It lands on everything, the ground of course, furniture, other plants, fences etc. It is a lot of maintenance at that time of year, and I mean daily shoveling the sticky fruit into a pile.

  6. The post is great with plenty of practical advice. I am so inspired for cleaning.
    Thanks Melody Johnson for sharing the great information. Keep up the good work!