Think of the end of summer/early fall as a back-to-school time for your garden, and just like school days of years past, it is time to review, set new goals and objectives and endeavor in some extra curricular activity. It’s an excellent opportunity to start fresh and plan for a successful gardening future. First step is review. Take a step back and evaluate your existing plant layout and design of your garden to see what works and what doesn’t.
Some review questions to consider include:
- Has something overgrown its space?
- Did a shrub not flourish and needs replanting in another garden spot?
- Did perennials leaf out, but not produce many flowers?
Finish your review by giving your garden a good cleaning. Be sure to remove spent leaves and weak growth. And don’t forget to deadhead spent blooms. Keep up with the weeding, getting weeds now will prevent weeds and weed seeds from sprouting next spring.
Now that you are done with the review process, it is now time to set some new goals and objectives. Have you been thinking about extending color into the late autumn? Now is the perfect time to remove tired, spent summer annuals and replace them with the spectacular fall color of mums, asters, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies and other fall annuals. Asters, ornamental cabbage and kale, grasses and pansies are deer-resistant, making them perfect for areas where deer are frequent and unwanted garden visitors.
Add some fall annuals and perennials to the mix. There is an array of choices such as Montauk daisies, asters, monkshood, anemones to choose from. And there is a bonus: these will come back better and stronger next year!
Want to expand your perennial and bulb collection? Fall is a great time to divide perennials. A telltale sign that your perennials and bulbs need dividing is they leafed out yet did not produce many flowers. This process rejuvenates the plant and you will be rewarded with many more blooms next year!
Cool weather is also a perfect time to install that beautiful tree or shrub you have been thinking about. Planting your Evergreens now will add interest to the winter landscape. And don’t forget to add new perennials to the garden palette.
For your extra curriculum activities, pot herbs and bring them inside for the winter. You can liven up your winter cooking with fresh herbs directly from your windowsill and provide a bouquet of fragrances to your kitchen. And don’t forget to fill and hang your bird feeder and suet blocks to attract birds for fall and winter enjoyment.
Thanks to the cooler weather, it is a lot more comfortable outside for you to conquer these tasks. The time and effort you spend now in the early fall will go a long way to creating an A plus garden of your dreams next spring and summer.