Gardening doesn’t have to end when summer does. Fall is a wonderful season to plant trees and shrubs, tend to your perennials, and just generally prep your garden for next spring. The little things you do in September, October, and even November can make a huge difference in April and May! Take a look at these easy fall gardening tips from your local lawn care expert.
Tips to Keep Your Early Fall Gardening Game Up
The weather makes September and early October a suitable time to do your planting. Before it gets too cold, and to give any new trees and shrubs enough time to take root before the first frost, you’ll want to make the month a busy one in your garden:
- Prep your soil: Till your garden and mix in some fertilizer. This will make your soil healthy and strong in spring.
- Rake any leaves: Leaves can choke your grass and attract fungi if left on, so take care of them ASAP. On the plus side, they make for great mulch!
- Plant springtime bulbs: If you want flowers like daffodils and tulips to grow in your spring garden, then plant them now.
- Plant perennials: Hey, there’s probably a greenhouse sale you can take advantage of, and the you still have plenty of time to get them firmly in the ground before the first frost!
- Add some colour! Flowers aren’t just for spring and summer enjoyment; plant your fall annuals early in September to get the most out of your garden. Pansies and mums are always good choices.
- Don’t stop watering: Only stop watering when the ground starts to freeze. Any new plants will need to grow deep roots.
- Seriously, keep watering: Coniferous trees like evergreens will need the water in the spring. Soak them in the fall to prevent them from turning brown.
Late Fall Tips to Keep Your Fall Garden Looking Great
The weather is getting colder, but there’s still plenty you can do in late October and November:
- Remove the dead plants: Any annuals that can’t hack the cold weather should be pulled out and composted. If they’re diseased, toss them out separately, not back in with any plant matter you’ll use on the garden.
- Cut back perennials: Before laying down any mulch, cut back your perennial plants to six to ten-inch bodies. This will help them flower upon their spring return. Use a little marker to show where they’re growing.
- Mulch: Adding mulch to your garden in autumn is a great idea. It insulates the soil, creating a warmer environment for worms and microbes so they can keep active even as the temperature dips. It also moderates the temperature swings so that sensitive roots aren’t as affected.
- Remove sensitive bulbs: A number of perennial plants, like gladiolus or dahlias, grow from bulbs that are very sensitive to the cold weather. Dig them up, wrap them in a moist material, and store them over the winter in a dark, cool environment.
- Fertilize: The lawn could use an extra nutritious meal before going dormant. Late October is a good time to spread a thin layer of fertilizer, as the crowns of the grass will store the nutrients and use them to grow stronger in the spring.
Don’t let the cold weather fool you – there’s a lot of hard work you can do (or have done) in the garden in fall. But all of these chores will only strengthen your plants and ease their growth into spring!