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advice advice

fall schedule

If only a little late in the season, here are a few things for the fall gardener’s schedule. I haven’t even started most of mine yet, sadly.

Mid-fall is the best time to move, divide or plant spring and summer blooming perennials. Fall perennials can be moved and divided at this time too, if you really feel like you must, but as a rule, this is an activity best left for spring.

Trim off the stems and dried up foliage of the large perennials, to prevent development and overwintering of mold and fungi, some of which tend to be stubbornly persistent from year to year. Leave some of the more decorative seed heads, like those of cone flowers, for cold season interest and yummy snacks for the birds. The cardinals will appreciate them, come winter.

Rake leaves, clear up the vegetable garden and pick the last fruit of the harvest, if still on the vine. If you grew root vegetables, those are best left in the ground for as long as the ground is workable.
Plant spring and summer bulbs, and don’t forget to add a good dressing of bone meal, to give them a good start.

Clean out and store the pots for winter. It does the new potted plants a world of good if you can start them out in fresh soil in spring: they get a healthy amount of nutrients from soil that hasn’t been already depleted, and any disease that tends to overwinter in the dirt will not be a problem.

Place the clay pots in a place where the temperatures don’t drop much below freezing, they tend to crack from the freeze thaw cycle.

Clean and store the gardening tools until spring and give the lawn one last good feeding before winter.