Another autumn chore

Notice anything different?

Yes, I know I said next on the job on the list was building the berry bed covers, but then I realized I can build berry boxes anytime, but I can only stain/seal the fence and gates when the wood is very dry, which it was and when the forecast is good, it was but rain was on the way along with much cooler temperatures. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?) So, plans changed and I spent all day yesterday with a roller and two gallons of “Canyon Brown” sealer/stain.

The top (horizontal) board of the potager’s fence was so dry and faded it was nearly white in places and was beginning to crack and curl. Not a good condition, so that was top priority. After that was done all the way around, the contrast with the support board just below it was too great, so that was done as well.

The top two boards are sealed on both sides 🙂

Next came the front gate (shown in the top photo) which soaked up the sealer like a sponge, especially on the west (back) side. And then, all the beds which hadn’t been done in spring were brushed off and given a coat of sealer.

The east half of the beds finally got sealed.

If by chance there’s another good, dry somewhat warm day they deserve another coat. I have to say that if there was one good thing about not getting the paths mulched this year, it was that in only a few places was pulling the mulch away from the boards necessary in order to paint. There are a couple of beds that need a board replaced before next planting season, so hopefully when that is done, any beds that need a second coat can get it before the paths are mulched. The paths will definitely need mulching next spring. While I was working, I noticed the bees were working hard on the few flowers that remain.

Bee on broccoli raab.

There aren’t many flowers left to provide pollen or nectar, so the flowers of this broccoli raab (from Botanical Interests seeds) have been a blessing for several types of bees. I had been nibbling the stalks for several weeks, until I realized the bees needed it more than I did, so now I only nibble leaves. It has survived several frosts without any protection, so I intend to grow it again next year as a late crop just for the pollinators.

It was a long day, but I’m so glad I pushed to finish because during the night it rained. I hurried out with the camera this morning and was delighted to see that the water was beading up instead of soaking into the wood.

And that’s why we apply protective seal!

If you look closely, you can see the bare cottonwood tree reflected in the tiny pools. Isn’t that just magical? And yes, I know all the rail posts and the bottom board of the fence still remain unsealed. And the front gate trellis. The Lady Cottage would appreciate a coat or two also. However, the horizontal areas that needed it most urgently are finished. And, staining with a foam roller will probably be impossible over the chicken wire that is attached to all those narrow rails, so I may have to invest in a sprayer, or at least a couple of brushes and a couple more gallons of stain. The crucial areas are done, so I’m satisfied for the moment. And when I do build those berry boxes, guess what? They will need a coat or two of stain/sealer as well!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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5 Responses to Another autumn chore

  1. Wow, you’ve been quite busy, Carolee. I really admire all of the hard work you put into refreshing the stain and sealer. It looks SO nice. I really love your gate/arbor design too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought I noticed something different about the potager fence, especially the gate which caught my eye first. You’re reminding me to seal our birdbath — that is, sending Hubby out to do the painting. We keep a can of concrete sealant in the tool shed just for that purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LMacfarlane says:

    Staining/sealing can be so draining for me. That was a lot to do in one day! But I bet it felt so good to see that water pooling the next day.


  4. That is quite the job! I’m sure it is such a relief to have it done. Does having the mulch make it more difficult to weed or does it sufficiently keep the weeds down? Thanks!


    • carolee says:

      fresh mulch is so light and fluffy that what few weeds manage to germinate in those very dry, airy conditions are super easy to pull. I do very little weeding in my paths. Thanks for commenting, and for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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