When the nights get cooler, and the leaves start to change and fall off the trees, it is time to consider fall garden chores. I always enjoy this because the days are usually free of humidity, sunny and bright. It is also easy for me to see what has expanded in it’s space.
Perennials are wonderful because they repeat their blooms every year and just keep getting better. I have always found that the first year in the ground they don’t seem to be doing anything, but nothing could be farther from the truth. They are settling in and expanding their root system. That is why it is so important to prepare the ground before planting.
Going to the garden center in late summer yields big savings for the curious gardener!
I have often found perennials that are no longer blooming and shrubs that need nothing more than a good watering on the mark-down racks. When I find these treasures, I take them home and put the pots into a bucket of water until they are thoroughly soaked and then let them drain and rest. This only takes 5 minutes for a small pot, or 15 minutes for a large one.
To prepare the garden for planting I add mushroom compost to loosen the soil and add nutrients. Then I did my hole twice as wide as the the pot the plant came in. Mixing the compost with the soil, I back fill the sides of the hole, place my plant and add some water. Then I finish filling the hole and tamp down with my foot to remove air pockets and make sure it is level with the surrounding soil. Watering finishes it up.
This is also the time that I divide some of those perennials. My aneomes and grasses, which both self seed, need to be divided on a regular basis, or they will take over and nothing else will survive. If I want them in another garden I dig up a clump and transplant it as described above. If not, I just dig them out and share with friends!
As a special note, I will say that I like to carry color and plants from one garden to next so your eye follows from one to another.
This is the time of year to do some planning. Do you have areas that are just dull at certain times of the year? Then do some research for your sunlight, space and color scheme. You can go to the local garden center or order on line. I have found that garden centers usually only have seasonal plants on display to show off their flowers and best traits. Therefore I do order on line. Some of my favorites
This is the time of year to order and plant bulbs for spring beauty after a dreary winter!