And the gardening continues…
There is still plenty of time to take advantage of the fall planting season. Now is an ideal time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers. They will continue to develop a healthy root system well into late fall, enjoy the benefit of fall rains and be an entire season ahead of those items planted this coming spring. Take advantage of the change in seasons and add something with wonderful fall foliage colors to brighten up your garden in autumn.
Harvest your vegetable garden before first frost. Unripened tomatoes can be stored in a cool, bright location to ripen off the vine. Unless diseased, add the old foliage and remnants of the veggie garden to the compost pile, weed thoroughly and cover the garden with a thick mulch of compost or plant a cover crop to rejuvenate the soil for spring planting.
Plant bulbs now for spring color. Choose from a good assortment of spring flowering bulbs currently available – narcissus, tulips, crocus, hyacinths and all manner of smaller bulbs – and plant in well draining soils at a depth 3 times the diameter of the bulb. An application of bone meal or a balanced bulb fertilizer at planting will insure robust foliage and flowers in spring.
Bring summer vacationing houseplants indoors. Hose down carefully first with a soft stream of water to remove any hitch-hiking insect pests or spray with insecticidal soap. Cut back on watering and avoid further fertilizing until active growth resumes in spring unless your plant is a winter bloomer.
Continue to monitor for weeds. Fall is a major season for weed seedlings, so be diligent in your attention and remove them as soon as they appear to prevent a major problem in spring. An application of mulch – we like Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Conditioner – after weeding will keep further fall and winter weed development in check and add texture and nutrients to your soils as well.
Continue to mow your lawn regularly. Our cool season lawns continue to grow well into winter, so continue to mow at 2.5 – 3 inches to keep lawns healthy and avoid late season fungal problems that can occur in damp, too high grass. Still plenty of time to attend to other lawn chores like fertilizing, thatching or aerating. Seeding a new lawn or overseeding an existing lawn should be done as soon as possible for best seed germination.
If the bulk of your gardening chores are done for the season, take some time to clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools before tucking them away for winter. Next spring, they’ll be sharp and ready to get to work!