Summer is winding down and the cooler days of fall are right around the corner. There is still plenty of time to work in the garden this year before the weather gets too cold. And September is a great time to plant. Fall air is cooler, but the soil is still warm giving plants time to root and establish before Winter. Read more on why Fall is for Planting.
Check out these tips to keep your garden looking its best and prepare it for the Winter and next Spring.
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs, like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, this fall. Bulbs arrive in our stores in September. Shop early for the best selection. Learn more on planting Spring-flowering Bulbs.
- Refresh garden beds and container gardens with cold-tolerant, late-season annuals like pansies, kale, and cabbage. Read more on Plants for Fall Color.
- Divide and transplant early-blooming perennials and daylilies. Learn more on Dividing and Transplanting Perennials.
- Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Plants will have time to establish roots and get acclimated to their new home before winter begins.
- Be sure to use soil conditioner and Espoma’s Biotone Plant Starter when planting anything to give plants an extra boost.
Watch our Video: Late Summer Color
Fertilize, Maintain & Renovate
- Give spring-blooming trees and shrubs a dose of fertilizer, like Espoma’s Plant-tone. They need an extra boost this time of year to produce better buds and more flowers next year.
- Broadleaf evergreens will benefit from an application of a slow-release, soil-acidifying fertilizer to keep them healthy throughout the winter.
- Remove any fallen leaves and debris which can harbor insect pests and diseases.
- Continue to keep beds weed-free.
- Continue to deadhead perennials and prune plants of dead, diseased, crossing, or weak branches.
- Add organic matter, such as manure or soil conditioner, to improve garden soil.
- Assess areas in the garden which may need renovation by adding or subtracting plants.
- Add a two to three-inch layer of mulch to beds after cleanup to get them ready for winter. It’s like putting the comforter on the bed.
Watch our video: Fall Gardening Tips
Harvest and Plan
- Plant cold crop plants like lettuce, radish, spinach and mustard greens.
- Harvest veggies and herbs. Freeze or dry herbs for use during the winter months.
- Remove spent and diseased plants.
- Continue to weed your garden.
- Consider preserving your harvest for use all year by canning your fruits and vegetables.
- Continue to monitor how much rainfall is received in the garden. Supplemental watering may be necessary to keep plants healthy.
- Water when the soil is dry to the touch about an inch down. Your finger is an ideal moisture meter.
- Keep watering until the ground freezes, usually mid-December.
Watch our video: Watering Tips
- De-thatch and aerate existing lawns to promote root growth.
- Fall is the most important time to feed a lawn. Apply the year’s last fertilizer treatment in mid to late October before the temperatures dip below 50 degrees F.
- Keep mowing: The lawn is still growing and will need trimming.
- Continue to apply supplemental watering if there is a dry spell. Lawns need an inch of water per week. Add a rain gauge in the lawn to make sure.
- Repair lawns and plant seeds early in September so their roots have time to establish.
- Fall is also a good time to lay fresh sod. It roots easily in the fall and will overwinter just fine. Be sure to water until the ground freezes, which could be mid-December.
Watch our video: Fall Lawn Care
For more information on transitioning your garden from summer to fall, visit any English Gardens location and talk with an expert.