Life Lessons From Gardeners #3


Spring just can’t come soon enough for me!   We had some hints in January of what is to come, but now we are back to the bitter wind and weather. This year has been light on the snow for us, so we need what storms we can get. But, I can’t seem to get the chill out of my bones!

To keep warm, I’ve working some house projects and we then got the hubby a new kitty for his birthday a week or so a go.  There is nothing like a 6 month old fireball of a cat to wake up a household and shake up the status quo!

Misty (formerly Gizmo), is a shelter cat. Our local shelter, the Nevada Humane Society of Northern Nevada is a dedicated no-kill facility.  They have expanded their message to most of the state now and have been bringing in animals from the rural area shelters, as well.  Misty came from Pahrump, in southern Nevada. In the past, we’ve usually adopted older pets. They seem to stay in the shelters longer, which always strikes a sad chord with me.  Even if they are just with us for a few years, they are great joy-bringers and wonderful pets!

So, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a baby in the house. I started prepping the place weeks before the event. I scrubbed the house, cleaned the carpets, replaced the litter pans for the other two cats, and washed their bedding. Because we weren’t sure what type of cat we were getting, young or old or middle aged, I wanted to set up things to keep everyone healthy during the intro process.

I also just did some other minor house fixes and general decluttering, while I was at it, as an early Spring Cleaning to get a little ahead of the game.

So, what does all of this have to do with my next garden tip?

Here it is, and then I’ll explain:

Dead-Heading brings more blossoms.

What is dead-heading?

It’s like Spring cleaning for your garden. Dead-heading is simply trimming off the flower blossoms, after they’ve bloomed.  The more your regularly dead-head your plants, the more blossoms they produce. Doing this helps the plant direct it’s energy to new flower production rather trying to feed blooms that will only continue to wither.

While I dead-head through out the growing seasons, Spring is the big clean up time for me. I don’t usually prune  and trim in the fall.  I know it seems a little backwards, but because I’m trying to get more pollinators of all types into the garden, I leave my garden sort of messy  in the fall, so there are things for the critters to forage on, and use to hibernate.

Then, when it’s late winter, before I see the new growth, that’s the time I dead head the last of my flowers.  The plants come out fuller and seem to bloom better. I can also get to the last of the weeds hidden under the bushes, and other things that I just can’t see when the plants are full with leaves.  The garden has a clear start when it warms up.

Just like we had with the new kitten. The old, unneeded stuff was gone, the place was cleaned up for new things. Our home was renewed with new energy for all of us. We’ve been shaken up a bit, dusted off, and livened up.

How are the other animals taking to the new family member? Well, the two senior cats are grumpy and mildly annoyed. The older dog is resigned to another cat, but curious.  Avalanche, who lost his own cat a year and a half ago (They were best buds) is really excited (perhaps too excited). We are easing the kitten into the routine, and it’s going well.

Whether it’s dead-heading the garden or Spring-cleaning your house and routine, freshening up is always a good feeling.


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