Keep Your Autumn Garden Glowing (and Growing!)
Autumn is the perfect time to get outside and rejuvenate your garden. The cooler weather makes working outdoors a pleasure, and there are many easy tasks you can accomplish to keep your garden looking great this fall and to lay the groundwork for a stunning spring. Here are some tips to get you started.
Fall is for Planting
There are many varieties of flowers and plants at your local garden center that will thrive through the fall season and provide your garden with a wonderful splash of color. Now is the time to take out those tired annuals from summer and replace them with hardy mums, for example. Mums are perennials so not only will you enjoy their color this fall, you’ll be enjoying them for years to come.
Bulbs that flower in spring should also be planted now. Dutch treats such as daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinth should be showing up in your garden center. Shop early for the best selection, and plant bulbs this fall for a spring showing.
Fruit trees are best planted in fall, including apples, pears, plums, cherries, apricots, peaches and figs. Stake young trees so that they can withstand the harsh fall and winter winds.
As perennials fade during the fall, use small sticks to mark their locations. This ensures that when you are cultivating in the spring you won’t overlook them and plant too close.
Plant a Veggie Garden and Transplant Fruits
There are many types of vegetables that can be planted in fall to overwinter; their crops will then come earlier next year. These include peas, hardy spinach, fava beans, leaf beets, Swiss chard and spring onions.
Some fruits such as rhubarb and strawberries should be moved every few years to keep from depleting the soil of nutrients. Transplant these plants to a new location before the first frost so they have time to develop roots while the ground is still warm.
Care for Herbs
In cold climates, many herbs can be transplanted to pots and cared for inside. Rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, chives and parsley can be brought into the house and kept in a cool, sunny spot. For herbs staying outside, cut them back by about half and freeze or dry the extra harvest.
Cleaning Up Leaves
Now is the time to clean up and remove leaves that have fallen on sidewalks, perennial beds and lawns. However, leaves that have fallen beneath trees and shrubs can be left to decompose which will provide nutrients for the soil.
Seed New Grass
Fall is the best time for seeding new grass. Wetter weather coupled with cool nights makes for ideal growing conditions. You can simply fill in bare patches or reseed your entire lawn.
Hire a Pro
If you’re thinking about adding new landscaping details, fall is a great time to hire a designer. Professionals are generally less busy in the fall and will have time to develop new projects and answer questions. Be sure to start early enough so the designer has time to implement plans before the weather turns bad.
By following the ideas set out above, your fall garden can continue to grow and glow well into the new year!
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