Late summer and fall garden maintenance time is where I tend to slack a little in my garden.But there are things that are still waiting to be done. Furthermore, these things will bring better results if done in late summer or fall.
Take Inventory of your garden in late summer.
Maybe there are some plants you had in mind that you wanted
to plant in the spring. Or you could create a better mix of plants to spice up the colors or to make your gardens fuller. I always heard that the worst mistake is when you have a great idea and never write it down. Most noteworthy is it’s true for me. Furthermore, unless you have an incredible memory you might miss out on the results of a great plan that was in your head. So write down the new plants you want to try and where you want them. Take a
small notepad to the greenhouse and write down plants that you like but aren’t sure of and research them when you get home or google them on your phone while shopping. Let’s get this fall garden maintenance underway.
The end of summer is a great time to plant cool weather loving plants
like lettuce, spinach, radishes or beets.
Get a head start planting with leafy veggies by planting seeds indoors.
Plant these plants where they will have partial protection from the sun every day.
Pruning times for bushes and shrubs can be confusing.
Hydrangeas are one of my favorites, but should be pruned in early summer,(never early spring or winter when a plant is dormant), although some of the latest varieties will tolerate being pruned anytime.
Shrubs and Bushes used for their foliage can be pruned anytime except late autumn.
Hedges can be pruned anytime up to 6 weeks before the first frost.
Roses can be pruned in spring
Blueberry Bushes can tolerate light pruning late summer.
Pull Summer Bulbs
Click here to see bulbs offered by Burpee
In late summer (August and September) your bulbs may still be flowering but when the leaves start turning yellow and the weather gets cooler, it’s time to pull them. Store them in peat moss in a cool dry place where the temperature doesn’t drop below 50 degrees. Bulb varieties that can be pulled for the winter include Caladiums, Canna, Begonia, Dahlia and Calla Lilies
Before first frost is a good time to plant spring bulbs
These include Daffodils, Tulips, and Crocus.
Who doesn’t love the first sight of color in their gardens after a long winter?
Other spring bulbs include Anenome, Daffodils, Ranunculus, Hyacinth, and Helianthus.
Plant bulbs twice as deep as the actual bulb with the flatter end down.
Clean and Fill
First of all pull out and discard (not in compost) any diseased plants.
Pull out fading plants and vegetables and add to compost.
Cut seed heads off of plants that reproduce in mass. Probably the most fun on the fall garden
maintenance list is to consider filling empty spots with
cool weather vegetables or annuals that do well in cooler weather. Mums,
Pansies and Ornamental Cabbage are some of the annuals that grow well
this time of year.
Pop the dead flower heads off your plants and they will continue
to bloom longer and fuller. Leave some flower heads on the plant ex. Coneflowers because the birds love to feast on their seeds.
Keep Birds Coming
By allowing some flower heads on plants through winter
you will keep the birds coming to you. It’s a good idea to keep your bird feeder full also because birds also eat insects which in turn is good for your plants. If having more birds in your yard year round is something you desire look here
Consider Drying Your Flowers
Hydrangeas make excellent dried flowers. It is good to get the flowers you want to dry cut before they are to dried on the plant.
Transplant or Divide Perennials that have spread to
large or are big enough to divide into several plants
when weather starts to cool but you still have four to six weeks
until first frost.
Palms, Hibiscus, Mandevilla, and Cyclamen will do well indoors over the winter. These plants may not
bloom much if at all but will start to grow again as the sun starts shining brighter and then you can move them
outside again. Over the winter they will need about half the amount of water and low sunlight. When your fall garden maintenance is complete you can sit back and look forward to spring and all the improvements you’ve made will reward you.