The weather is getting cool, nights are getting darker, life is moving a little bit slower, and things are winding down in your summer garden. But perhaps you don’t want to give up gardening just yet. Heck the weather is perfect for outdoor enjoyment right? There are still some gardening tips and strategies that you can employ to get you back outside and some dirt under your fingernails. You can add some color and life to your garden, and prepare it for winter. Depending on where you live, fall can be a very busy time in the garden. Here are some ideas:
Fall is a beautiful and colorful season, and you can add some of that color to your garden this time of year. Chrysanthemums (mums) come in a variety of yellows, bronzes, reds, and purples and they are a very popular flower this time of year so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them at your local nursery.
There are actually many flowers considered cool flowers or hardy annuals that you can start in fall and successfully overwinter. In fact many flower seeds actually need cold stratification before they will sprout. Some cool flowers include yarrow, snapdragons, delphinium, Bupleurum, rudbeckia, poppies, bachelor’s button, feverfew, love in a mist, orlaya, bells of Ireland, calendula, and sweet peas.
Get the Weeds Before They Seed
Weeds plagued you all summer and if you get a bit lazy, fall is the time when many will go to seed, sending the makings of next year’s plant invasion all over your yard. Thankfully, fall can be rainy (it has been in Ohio), and wet soil is easier to pull or hoe weeds. Get rid of those unsightly things now and you’ll thank yourself next spring.
You can also get on top of weed control in the fall by laying down several layers of newspaper or cardboard on top of your garden beds or soil once the plants are spent. Anchor the newspapers/cardboard with rocks or soil and, by the time spring arrives, the weeds will have been deprived of the light and air they need to sprout. The organic material will also start to decompose, which enriches your soil.
Take Care With Your Tools
Investing in good garden tools is just one of the ways we make the gardening process easier and more efficient. At the end of the season take care to clean your tools and hang them in the shed or garage for storage so they will not get rusty and/or broken.
When fall is in the air, it’s time to think ahead and put spring in the ground. There are a variety of bulbs that need to be planted in the fall and it is so easy to do. Dig a hole, drop the bulb in, cover it up, and go have a glass of apple cider. Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocuses, and Allium (my fave!) are typically planted in the fall so they can complete their growth cycle in time to come up in spring. If you grow garlic, it will need to be put into the garden in the fall as well. You can buy many fall varieties like bearded iris bulbs for sale online and in stores. Plan out the places where you want the flowers to bloom in spring and make sure it is an area with good drainage. A little work now will bring you so much happiness in the spring.
Trees and Shrubs
Now is a good time to prune back trees and shrubs, including shrub roses. It’s also a good time to plant them. In the fall, trees and shrubs are in a dormant state, and the planting and pruning are less shocking to the plant.
The growing season is winding down but there is still MUCH to do! What are doing in the garden right now?