It's been so hot lately, so we wanted to look ahead to fall in today's blog post. There are several to-dos as fall nears, which include tidying up so your curb appeal looks nice and neat for the cooler months, prep your lawn for spring, and for the health of your plants. Disease and harmful insects can reside in gardening beds and taking some time to clean these areas up can lessen your chances of having problems next year.
Pull out spent summer annuals. Many can continue to look nice up until mid-October, but if yours are looking a little worse for wear or you're just tired of them, pull them out and give your gardening beds and pots a fresh slate.
Pull final weeds. By taking the time to pull out any remaining weeds by their root, you're lessening your weeds for next year. Pulling them out by the root instead of spraying weed killer prevents them from coming back next year.
Rake leaves; can be used as mulch. If you have many deciduous trees in your yard, leaves can be a major cleanup in fall. By shredding leaves, they can be a good perennial bed mulch or even empty vegetable bed mulch.
Put away terra cotta and clay pots for winter. These are known to crack in cold weather, so place them in your garage or basement for the winter. Give them a quick clean while you're at it so they are ready for next spring.
Add much. A fresh layer of mulch in your gardening beds helps keep your plants warmer in winter. Mulch also cools plants in summer. Add a fresh layer this fall to give your plants an extra layer of warmth before winter.
Add organic garden soil to your empty vegetable beds. If you are planning to garden next spring, now is a great time to amend those beds. Add compost and organic garden soil to enrich your soil if you feel like it is depleted from this season of gardening.
Prep for spring
Plant bulbs. When the weather cools down, think about planting spring bulbs. Here's a tip we love: plant them with your fall Pansies. That way, next spring, they will come up with your beautiful Pansies and that gardening bed will be quite a showstopper! Another tip: keep squirrels from digging up your bulbs by placing a layer of chicken wire over bulbs. They will still come up but critters won't dig them up.
Tend to lawn care. Fall is a wonderful time to lay down sod. Fall is also the best time to plant trees and shrubs. If you're looking to plant this fall, come by the nursery now to have questions answered and gather information on plants that are absolutely "must-haves" in your garden. Use our helpful Plant Finder tool to search for plants you love!
Tend to your gardening beds. It's also time to lay down a weed preventer, such as Preen. Put down weed preventer in your gardening beds to prevent certain weeds that like to pop up next spring. Preen can be used in gardening beds but should not be used where you have any perennials that come from seed (such as Echinacea, Black Eyed Susan, or Zinnia), as it will prevent them from coming up next year also. Preen is an excellent weed preventer to spread under trees and shrubs in gardening beds, and we have it available at the garden center. This should not be used in lawns and does not affect existing weeds, only weeds that haven't popped up yet.
Add weed barrier if creating new gardening beds this fall. Also called landscape fabric, this will help prevent weeds from popping up in new gardening beds. It helps a lot to keep weeds at bay. We carry a good stock of it at the garden center.
Clean pruning shears, tools. This simple step cleans debris and possible disease from your gardening tools. It preps for next spring, and let's be real, when everything is blooming in spring and we're itching to get in the garden to dig in the dirt, do we really feel like cleaning tools then?
Assess what went well this year and what you'd like to change next year. By late summer, you know how your garden looked for the "prettiest" months of the year. Did you need more flowering or evergreen shrubs? Did you like a particular annual flower a lot? Did you realize you need more shaded plants in an area? Make notes so you can add accordingly either this fall or next spring.
Decorate for the new season
Mums, corn stalks, ornamental grasses, pumpkins- oh, your front porch has the potential to look stunning in fall! We have so many fall goodies at the nursery, including Halloween and Thanksgiving porch décor. Remember that the Mums we grow are perennial (not all at the big box stores come back each year), so you can feel free to plant them after they've graced your porch to enjoy again next year.