Summer is coming to an end. Soon the leaves will start changing colours, the days will get shorter, and the nights a little colder. But that doesn’t mean gardening season is quite over yet. There are several things you can do to get your garden ready for fall and keep it looking its best.
As the leaves begin to fall, resist the urge to tidy them away. They are a great natural fertilizer, so spread them around so you have even coverage. Worms will break them down and turn them into fertilizer. By using this natural fertilizer, you can and should cut down on the amount of additional fertilizing you do at this time of year.
Tidy up your garden as things start to die and get messy. Weed and deadhead and dig up annuals that have stopped flowering. But keep the seeds for next year! Divide any overgrown perennial plants so they’re more spread out next year, and cut their stems to within a couple of inches from the ground. Dispose of the cuttings, as these can harbour diseases and pass them on to next year’s plants if left in your beds.
Move any potted plants indoors to prevent them from getting frost. You can also plant late blooming flowers such as chrysanthemums and pansies to add a little bit of colour to your fall garden. Plant seeds for hardy annuals now as well, as they’ll take root and be ready to start sprouting and blooming in the spring.
Fall is a great time of year to plant evergreen trees and shrubs as well. Surround them with burlap to protect them from dry winter wind and sun.
Always make sure you clean, maintain and store your garden tools appropriately. They’ll be laying dormant for a while and you want them to be ready for you to use in the spring.