Fall is a beautiful transitional time of the year for many gardeners. Whether you are gathering the rest of the harvest from your vegetable garden or just enjoying the new Autumn colors in the yard. There are some things that can be done to beautify the garden taking advantage of the cooler temps.
Plant trees and shrubs. Look for sales in all the garden centers. Plant evergreens approximately six weeks before the hard freeze. Deciduous plants can be popped in as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Take a walk or drive to see what trees your neighbors have that catch your eye. You may be able to incorporate the same variety in your yard at this time of the year.
Rake leaves. You knew this one. It is best to remove leaves to avoid having your grass damaged. Blowers and tractor attachments work beautifully if you do not want to rake. Leaves can be blown or raked into gardens or left in a large compost pile to use in years to come as a soil amendment.
Fertilize. Fall is a good time to fertilize the grass. Turf grass stores food during the winter allowing them to rebound quicker in the spring. Fit this in a few weeks before a hard freeze. Avoid fertilizing any other plants though, you don’t want to encourage growth right before their dormant season.
Water. It may seem unusual, but plants need to be watered in the fall. Evergreens will need the extra water, especially if the rainfall is down, since they continue to grow throughout the winter.
Sow seeds. Some hardy perennials can be sown in the fall. This avoids transplant shock and having to refrigerate the seeds before using, nature itself handles that. Possible choices include the following: allium, columbine, coneflower, penstemon, pink dianthus, shasta daisy, primrose.
Prepare the soil bed with lots of organic matter. Rake the soil well when adding compost. This will help the soil retain moisture. Sow the seeds according to the package instructions and then cover with a layer of newspaper to protect. Once they germinate, you can remove the paper.
Plant Bulbs. Imagine how you want your yard to look in the spring. Choose bulbs to plant that are healthy-looking for best results. Plant with the pointed side up in well-drained soil. They can be put in the ground as long as the soil is diggable. Sprinkling bone meal into the bottom of the hole will encourage strong root growth and red pepper can protect the bulbs from rodents.