As a chill moves through the air, it is hard to think about what is to come. So, lets take the time to enjoy fall this year. All too often we tend to stay out of the garden as we take our vacations, get ready for school, and prepare for the long winter ahead. As it turns out, fall can be very therapeutic for the mind and body. Cooler temps can help us unwind, and enjoy activities without the stress of heat on our bodies. Sleeping at night can be pleasant with open windows and the hum of insects in the air.
I am just as scared of winter as the next person, but first things first, lets get out and enjoy fall and the rest of summer!
There is plenty of work to be done in your fall garden. Embracing the season change will help make the transition into cooler temps more easy. There are definitely two things we can’t change in our lives; time passing and seasons changing. Working with the change daily will make things a bit smoother on both your mind and your garden.
Here are a few tips to start your fall garden out right for next year…
In the garden:
- Feed Chrysanthemums heavily until buds show color.
- Stake your asters.
- Sow Delphinium seeds.
- Cut down Phlox when they have finished blooming and feed.
- Cultivate around Hybrid Tea Roses and dig in bonemeal.
- Cut off spindly pansies, pinch and plant fresh pansies.
- Move young Oriental Poppies.
- Selectively dis-bud Dahlias for large blooms.
- Prepare to protect annuals from frost. Use paper and cloth never plastic, as plants will burn and freeze under it.
- Plant frost resistant plants: mums, pansies and ornamental cabbage for color.
- After frost pull sensitive bulbs; Cannas, Elephant ears, Glads. Store in cool dark place. Store open in a bag or box, or in sawdust. Never wrap in paper or other materials.
- Plant spring flowering bulbs.
Around the Yard:
- Fertilize lawns (even if they are green) for winter protection and strong spring growth
- Move evergreens-transplant with a large root ball.
- Mulch newly transplanted evergreens.
- Sow new lawns-seed heavily, lay sod.
- Prune shade trees (not Japanese maples!)
- Plant fruit trees and bushes.
- Water evergreens.
- Transplant most shrubs at the end of the month.
- Collect fallen leaves for compost.
- Late in the month give hedges a final clipping.
- Divide Peonies.
- Do not transplant Anemones, Chrysanthemums or other late-blooming perennials.
In the Vegetable Garden:
- Cut out dead Raspberry and Blackberry shoots.
- Pinch off tips of Squash, Pumpkins, and Tomatoes to encourage fruit growth.
- Add bonemeal to Asparagus beds.
- Gather your onion crop, leave in sun to dry, store in cool dark place.
- Take runners off of strawberries to push energy into single crown for next season.
- Don’t allow pears to ripen on trees, pull them while they are firm.
Most important of all is to enjoy the sunshine, drink some iced tea and sit back and enjoy all of your hard work this year!