Well, the clean up on the balcony garden continues. I’m always a little surprised just how many containers are on the deck – the number becomes clearer when I get to move each one.
So step by step.
The ponds get emptied first. But they don’t get moved – too heavy. The firewood gets moved closer to the patio doors. The large clay troughs that I used for the veg crops don’t get moved at all, ditto the pea trellis. The soil in the big troughs gets dug through, to clear out any large root clumps that may have established themselves during the growing season. And then containers get stacked in the troughs, to help keep the soil from blowing around.
The pots get brushed out once the soil has been removed. The Adirondack chairs get moved over to the east side of the deck, where they get stacked on each other. The BBQ gets moved over closer to the patio doors as does the table and chairs. The container trays get washed and stacked – and checked to make sure any cracked or damage ones get tossed out.
This simple approach to container and tray maintenance helps get everything ready for the cold winter ahead (knock on wood, I haven’t had any clay containers break due to frost or the cold) and ensures a literally clean start in the spring.
Because I’ve had success in wintering over my small clematis in the alpine troughs, I’ve decided to try to also winter-over the big one. It’s not in a really big container so it fits inside my pepper pot. I’ve nestled it into the larger clay pot and will fill it up with soil. Probably just delaying the inevitable, but we’ll see if ‘The President’ lives to see the spring.
The alpine troughs, which are on rollers, have been moved to the east side of the balcony. There they are out of the direct sun, so don’t get so dried out and they also will get covered by snow when it comes, as it collects and drifts on that side of the deck. This part of the clean-up is super easy since we got the metal roller platforms for the troughs. Point and gently push them into position. I’ll keep watering everything for a few more weeks until we start to get some serious frost.
Balcony gardening season almost done.