Fall can be a very busy season in the garden. Let’s hope the weather cooperates. ?
Things to remember
– Collect dried seed. You can save it to grow next year.
– Start fall cleanup in the flower beds, cutting back anything that has finished blooming or is diseased, and weeding especially the perennial weeds that will be twice as big in the spring if not weeded in the fall.
– Watch for frost warnings and cover tender plants.
– Photograph your garden or containers for a record for next year. Make notes on what to do differently for next year, and what to keep the same.
– Bring in any pots that can’t take a freeze – terra cotta, ceramic or most plastic pots.
Perennials and Bulbs
– Now is the time to divide and move perennials. Cut back perennials when they have died back or gone dormant.
– In the perennial beds, weed and put down a good layer of mulch. Water if it’s dry in the fall.
– Dig and store tender bulbs like dahlias, caladiums, cannas and tuberous begonias.
– Start planting spring flowering bulbs.
Trees and Shrubs
– Stop fertilizing
– Plant trees and shrubs. Fall is a great time for planting trees and shrubs because they can put all their energy into the roots. Keep them well watered if there isn’t sufficient rain until the ground freezes. If we have a mild dry winter, continue to water in winter if you can.
– Put fencing around shrubs that deer will be attracted to in the winter. Use tree guards for trees bothered by rabbits or mice in the winter.
– Stop pruning most trees and shrubs. Pruning encourages growth and in the fall we want them to go dormant. Fruiting trees and shrubs are an exception and are best pruned in the fall when they’ve gone dormant. Pruning fruit trees helps with a better crop the next year.
Vegetables and Fruit
– Plant your garlic bulbs in the fall
– Harvest remaining vegetables including green tomatoes. For potatoes, wait for the plant to brown before harvesting. Carrots are much sweeter when harvested after some frost.
– Pick herbs for drying and freezing
– Cure winter squash for storage. Place in a cool dark spot.
– Pick up any fallen fruit around fruit trees. This helps reduce the chance that pests will overwinter and wreak havoc the next year.