The garden gives us so much during the peak of the season, it only makes sense we take care to protect it during the winter months. As summer begins to wind down, you can use our Fall Garden Tips to ensure your garden returns with more vibrancy and vigor next year.
Clean Up & Care
Once flowers have passed their bloom period and vegetables been harvested, take to your beds to remove the debris that can contribute to disease and pest infection. Pull weeds and spent annuals at the root. For vegetable gardens, clear out any rotting remains of fruits or vegetables and move them to the compost pile.
Leave any woody plant stalks and perennial vines in place, as they will leaf out and flower from old growth. Remove all other dead stalks and trim bygone perennials down to about 3” of growth, so their place will be easy to spot next season. This is also a great time to divide overgrown perennials to re-purpose in another bed or share with a friend.
With beds raked and clean, add fertilizer or organic compost to allow it to become biologically active over the winter and early spring. This way, you’ll begin next season with refreshed soil nutrients.
Trees and shrubs are preparing to go dormant now, so we do not recommend pruning them in the fall, as it may stimulate new growth that can be damaged by colder temperatures. Instead, wait for leaves to drop and before the ground freezes, give them one last thorough watering to last them through through the winter.
For the lawn, a good fall garden tip is, “keep mowing as long as it’s growing.” When long grass gets covered with heavy snow, it can result in brown spots the following the spring. Be sure to aerate, then fertilize the entire lawn and spot seed as needed.
Don’t forget to also clear out containers and bring any tender plants or bulbs indoors for the winter.
Fall Color & Bulb Planting
It’s a little sad to think about the end to garden season, but it is not quite over yet and there are steps you can take now to extend color and prepare your garden for improved spring color.
Fall is the time to plant spring blooming bulbs such as Allium, Crocus, Daffodils, Hyacinth, and Tulips. This is also the time to plant Garlic bulbs. Your diet will thank you next summer when you have a fresh and steady supply. Garlic is not only delicious, but highly nutritious, low in calories and full of medicinal and health benefits.
While you can technically plant perennials until you can no longer dig in the ground, your spring blooming bulbs are best planted about 6 weeks before the ground freezes – long enough to take hold before going dormant, but not enough time to risk premature sprouting. Get more details in our blog article, Savvy Gardeners Are Planting Fall Bulbs Now For Big Spring Bloom Rewards.
This is also a great time for planting deciduous and/or coniferous trees and shrubs, while there’s still plenty of time before frost sets in, to allow their root systems to establish. When planting new trees and shrubs in the fall, we recommend adding a layer of mulch for protection through the winter.
Now that annual and perennial plants have passed their peak, you can add cool season interest with ornamentals. Add fall ornamental plants like chrysanthemums, asters, ornamental kale, and grasses to extend your garden display. While mums do well and look great in pots, you can also plant them directly in the ground to revive garden beds with seasonal color. When selecting your mums, choose plants with the most unopened buds and keep deadheading spent flowers for continuous bloom. Pairing mums with ornamental kale is a great way to add additional color and texture.
Visit our online Plant Finder to search our current inventory and find plants, trees, shrubs and ornamentals to add to your garden this fall!
Life is busy and not everyone is up for garden chores. If you want a well-designed and maintained garden, but need help tackling your fall garden care, let the Landscaping pros at Studley’s do it for you. Otherwise, follow our Fall Garden Tips and visit our Garden Center for all the supplies and helpful expert advice you need – we stock premium bulbs for all the spring blooming flowers mentioned here. We also grow all our own mums to bring you only the freshest plants in a wide variety of brilliant colors.
My Pro Tip
With the sun setting on summer, turn your attention to indoor plant life. House plants are proven to improve indoor air quality, lower stress, enhance mood and increase productivity – all things we need while we’re hunkered down in the colder months! Browse our in-store or online greenhouse to fill your space with the positive energy of plants. Our Windowsill and Blooming collections will improve your outlook on those dark and dreary days to come. Our Air Purifying collection contains NASA tested plants, proven to naturally clean toxins from stuffy, indoor air. You can also try your hand at a Terrarium or Bonsai as a healthy project to keep you busy this winter. No matter what you choose, houseplants will keep things fresh and cheery!
See you at Studley’s!