Just because summer is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your garden go.
There are still many great things you can do in your garden throughout fall.
Rearrange your garden – Early fall is a good time to rearrange your gardens. Take advantage of plant sales, and divide and transplant overgrown and underperforming perennials. Make sure they receive ample moisture while their roots are getting established. Wait to divide perennials that flower in the early or mid-spring until after they bloom.
Plant bulbs – Still have some empty spaces? Fill them with spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and alliums.
Be an artist – Take time to sketch or map your gardens so you have a visual reference later when everything is dormant. This is helpful to have in the winter when you are mulling over changes you might want to make and in the spring when you need help remembering what is planted where.
Have your soil tested – University Extension services often provide a resource for soil testing. They’ll provide a nutrient analysis and recommendations based on what you are trying to grow (vegetables, perennials, turf, etc).
Consult with the pros – Fall is a good time to meet with garden designers. You can develop and discuss plans over the winter and schedule installers by early spring before everyone is booked up.
In mid-to-late fall, once cold weather deteriorates foliage, selectively cut back perennials so it’s not so overwhelming. Leave plants that provide winter interest such as ornamental grasses, sedum, echinacea and Joe-pye weed. Also leave newly planted or divided plants where their foliage can provide added winter protection. Remove and destroy any foliage that is diseased such as with powdery mildew and compost the rest.
About the author: Barb Hegman is no stranger to gardening. After 25 years of gardening and a master’s degree in agriculture, Hegman knows that keeping a log and journaling your efforts will only improve your garden year by year. Hegman and a team of talented web developers created PlantJotter.com, which is an innovative website that enables gardening enthusiasts to keep track of their personal gardening efforts, ideas, inspirations, successes and failures online.