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SHARING SECRETS: Favorite Thing To Do In Your Fall Garden

Edited by Cathy Tylka, for Let's Talk Plants! November 2022.

"Hey, what's your favorite thing to do in your fall garden?" Wix stock photo.

This month’s question . . .

What is your favorite thing to do in your Garden in the Fall? Show me!


Wix stock photo of bulb planting gear.

Greg Hunter from Eagle, Idaho shared…

... Plant bulbs. Today I planted 116. However, we now live in Idaho with all four seasons. I just wanted to respond. And, no matter that he wouldn’t send me pictures of his dirt or mulch, he did report that he added another 14 bulbs, to bring the total to 130!


Charlotte Getz.
Charlotte's continuous blooming Anna apple tree.

Charlotte Getz of 92024, teased…

I enjoy growing sweet pea varieties along our back fence and also growing sugar snap and snow peas in my vegetable garden boxes. I grow 2 or 3 varieties of strawberries in the garden as well. I live in Encinitas 1 1/2miles from the ocean. Ocean breezes every afternoon late in the day.


Andrea Wageman-Christian shows planning by…

... Now is a great time to fertilize with a great general Fertilizer. I throw the granules everywhere. If you have the energy, this is also a great time to mulch. I prefer spending more money and I love the “Miracle Grow Potting Soil.” We also cut back on watering and spend a lot of time dead heading, shaping and pruning back our plants. Our garden is gorgeous right now! I’ve recently planted and will continue to plant a lot of New Guinea Impatiens and regular Impatiens, Begonias and other seasonal flowers for color during the upcoming holidays.


Cathy Tylka of 92026 reports…

...I have just had my pepper trees pruned after 22 years. And I’m loving the look as they fill in again.

I have a whole list but one of the most important things on it is that my fire stick, Euphorbia triculli, is out of control and I’m pruning way back. Here are some before pictures.

By the way, did you know, the white, sticky sap is glue like and poisonous to your eyes. You need to be treated immediately to this stinging substance, or you may go blind!


Wix stock photo of a garden rake and fork.

Barbara Roberson stated…

... Rake leaves and trim back shrubs for fall and winter dormant season.


Karen England of 92084 says ...

... No question! Harvesting my Hachiya persimmons and giving them away to all my family, neighbors and friends! There are so many people that I reconnect with each year when the persimmons are ready to pick because they want to come by when I am home to see me and to get persimmons. For me, this tree that I have owned for twenty-two years, (it came with my property as a very mature tree,) fosters community and reunions all through the fall. Would you like to come by for persimmons and see me? Send me an email! There are plenty! (And, for the record, you don't have to see me, you can just come by for persimmons...

P.S. I bake cookies, muffins and make cocktails for Thanksgiving and Christmas with the persimmons that I keep. Links below to the three articles I have written (so far) about my persimmons in past issues of Let's Talk Plants!


NEW! From the Sharing Secrets archive:

Because good secrets should be re-shared!

Back in November 2012, when photos weren't included, the Let's Talk Plants! Sharing Secrets question was -

Photo of a random man wearing pajamas outside somewhere, as found on Pinterest...

"During the warm summer temperatures, have you gardened in your pajamas even though that wasn't your intention? Alternatively, what other less-than-appropriate attire have you worn in the garden?"


Lorie Johansen started this topic off when she wrote: After starting a cup of coffee with the mere intention of enjoying the courtyard, I started pruning the water lilies… then I didn't like the looks of the potted stream plants and decided to prune those… then I had to get in the pond to prune those plants in the middle of the lower pond. I never finished the cup of joe, but still in my summer sleepwear, I finished cleaning the entire pond by noon.


Sharon Muczynski speaks for many of us when she says: I swear I will change shoes, but I always end up in the garden in slippers.


Enid Sherman sometimes suits up: I have worn a bathing suit… coming back from my water aerobics class, you just notice something in the garden that needs attention, so you do it pronto and then there is something else you notice and it goes on and on… my PJs, bathrobe, slippers all have made it in the garden!


Sue Lasbury says: I certainly have gone into my back garden in my cozy pajamas, sometimes even a nightgown. It's usually just to do some little thing by the door, but then I see something else and soon I'm checking the neighbors’ windows to see if anyone is looking out at their goofy gardener neighbor in her night clothes. Gardening is addictive. Besides going out in my PJs, when I return home I almost always jump out of the car and into my garden to do just one thing. An hour later I'm still out there and my non-gardening clothes and shoes are really dirty. We gardeners are quite different from other folks and we wouldn't have it any other way.


Annie Forseth-Smith must look stylish in: A big hat and a jumper from Hawaii. Go tropical native.


Tory Monigold also gardens in PJs: I have most definitely gardened in my pajamas! The last time I found myself awake at 5am and headed out to the garden in gnome pajamas. The neighbors started stepping outside and I headed back in when a lil’ voice cried “Mama!” This morning I was watering in my leopard-print robe. I’m usually more concerned that the plants get water early in the morning than what I might be wearing.


Meredith French also has shoe issues: I have often been caught in the garden still in my a.m. loungies with no bra! But what my husband complains about are my “gardening shoes.” You know how you go out to water something and then you spot some weeds – in your “go to work” shoes? Any new pair of shoes remains publicly acceptable for about a week by this owner.


BJ Boland says: If by gardening we include repairing fence to keep the deer herd away from my rhododendrons, then house slippers (I was in a hurry) rather than snow boots. I was knee deep in ice-crusted snow and needed my husband to rescue me with hiking sticks. He was not amused. (This was in our garden in Boxford, Massachusetts. The only herds I see in Carlsbad are ants.)


Lisa Bellora is another PJ gardener: Seems like every morning I'm up in the front yard in my jammies, watering or some such nonsense! Since my PJs cover more of my body than when I wear shorts and a t-shirt, I figured what the heck. My neighbors do seem to be a little taken aback by my "baggy attire" sometimes, and then other times I tuck my jammies into my shorts which, of course, look lovely.


Janet Miliken wears: Not pajamas, just old spotted ratty shorts and cool tops. A lot of dirt stains, so you won't see me in the "Martha Stewart" look in my garden. I grub.


Bryan Morse doesn’t wear PJs: I usually garden in a great deal less than my pajamas at my home for as much of the year as possible. You aren’t identifying the source of the information are you? Oh, I see that you do… I guess that I had better not elucidate on my reply.


Ann Hoeppner is sometimes overdressed: My biggest temptation is to "just do a little something" in the garden while still wearing my good clothes and good shoes. Harvesting vegetables and feeding the worms are particular temptations, because they don't take long, and I can certainly be careful enough to stay clean. Yeah, right. That's how I got zucchini sap on my work blazer, and coffee grounds on my suede shoes.


Linda Bresler got sidetracked once: On my way to the pool, I got sidetracked by the overgrowth of the Pittosporum blocking my way down the steps. I spent the rest of the afternoon in my bathing suit pruning back the foliage. I totally forgot that I had planned to go swimming since I was so involved in what I was doing.


David Curtright dresses for his messes: Working in my own yard, instead of other people’s yards, allows me to wear my more worn out and comfortable clothes, such as shorts with torn legs, broken zippers, split crotches, and the odd blood stain, or shirts with such problems that they aren’t fit for public consumption. My work involves working in pond water all of the time, so sartorial elegance is out from the start, and I gave up looking good on the job a long time ago, but I at least don’t wear the worst of it when I’m in other people’s yards. No, I save the better rags for clients’ yards by wearing the real rags here at home.


Susanna Pagan says: Watering in the early am to beat the heat, before I've had time to change out of my pajamas, is standard procedure at my home!


Susi Torre-Bueno has a favorite shirt: Almost every day I wear the same old cotton top with a blue geometric pattern. It has been washed so many times it’s almost faded completely in some areas, and it’s so stretched out (partly from using the front as a pouch to bring in veggies from the garden) that it’s pretty loose – but I love it ‘cause it’s so light and cool. The many stains are like old friends.


Susan Krzywicki also gardens in PJs: Of course, I've gardened in my PJs, or what passes for them in my house. I've gardened with a toothbrush still hanging out of my mouth when I just HAD to run out there and do that one little task and then, half an hour later, I'm still at it. But my dream is to have my garden in such great shape that I can garden in a bikini and flip flops. I seem to feel that someday I'll be past the "heavy lifting" stage that requires closed toe shoes. I have been dreaming of this for so long that I have begun to realize that I may not look so hot in a bikini by the time I achieve my goal.


Meg Ryan sometimes wears scrubs: I have gardened in my pajamas many times, but only during the winter months when it isn't too warm for pjs outside. The downside of this is that I have occasionally stepped in dog do-do in my bedroom slippers. In the summer, when it is way too warm to wear pjs outside at all, I wear scrub tops (like nurses wear at doctors' offices and hospitals) with a pair of shorts. All the pockets are handy. Not wanting to sweat on a clean bra, I went without for years. But now, I save yesterday's, and consequently I'm a whole lot more presentable. Maybe I shouldn't admit to all this!


Tynan Wyatt says: Boxer briefs have more than once been my gardening attire, though I have rationalized that if someone is looking hard enough to see through the wall of foliage and realize I'm in my underwear then they must be more intrigued than offended.


Rachele Melious is another member who fancies a bathing suit: Oh my gosh!!! ONLY for the sake of evening out my farmer's tan, particularly when I have an event I need to dress for, I have "killed two birds with one stone" by gardening in my bikini (in the back yard only and when no one else is home). My "go to" is old, faded and stretched out but oh so comfortable. Don't be fooled, it is NOT attractive. The top has trouble holding on and the bottom is so stretched it looks like Baby Huey's diaper! As for the farmer's tan… it helps!


Margaret-Ann Ashton’s hubby dresses up instead of down: Most of us have probably run to the garden in our jammies to turn off a water geyser that was a sprinkler the day before, or to grab a puppy that somehow managed to escape and is now rolling in the newly transplanted echeverias. You slip out barefoot with a pair of clippers to deadhead “that rose” or fetch a blossom for the breakfast table, only to find an hour has passed and your wet nightgown is turning heads. My husband dresses “up” when he goes to the “back forty” to do the chipper-shredding. He usually picks a day that is hot, because that is when the piles of prunings are driest. On go the wellies, or tall boots for protection from shrapnel, then a pair of jeans, then one of his white Oxford long-sleeved-monogrammed-button-down-collared-shirts that I slaved over ironing when he wore them to the office. Then a wide brimmed straw hat, protective glasses, and ear plugs. The white shirts reflect the sun and protect his arms from insects and clippings, and the cotton absorbs the perspiration. It’s a way to get a last use out of those gol darn shirts he wore for years. Oh, he wore one the times he climbed Mt. Whitney for most of the same reasons.


Pat Crowl is among the ranks of members who can’t stop at just one: I do occasionally garden in my PJs, while not really intending to. Sometimes I go out to do "one" thing and CAN'T STOP! I bet there are other garden addicts who go to trim something or pull a weed, and soon find themselves involved in a more major project. The backyard is one thing, with only one neighbor who could observe, and no doubt has, but really, WHO CARES! I'm a little more careful bending over in the front yard! My spouse, who does not enjoy gardening, pleasantly reminds me I might want to come in to get dressed.


Haha, this is so funny. After years, I continue to go out in good clothes thinking I will just take my walk around, check things out to see what needs to be done and check on the butterfly caterpillars. I end up doing all sorts of things. When I had a bigger property, it might be hours before I return. What can I say? I never learn and can't change.... love it. ~ Anonymous comment


Gardening in P.J.'s is the Ultimate Joy! (It's also a good way to sell your house because the neighbors don't particularly love it and it is the strongest motivation to find a buyer for your house but ... alas! I'm not selling. ~ Sue Ann Scheck, commenter.


Next Sharing Secrets Question…

Do you grow anything that you use as a November table delight? It can be a recipe of something from your garden or orchard…or a decoration you make from some of your garden delights!


Cathy Tylka, RN, retired Emergency Nurse, found her love of plants and the SDHS merge many years ago. Cathy acted as Treasurer for the organization and volunteer for many activities. Now, more than happy to assist in gathering questions to ask you in the Sharing Secrets area of the Newsletter.


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