Take advantage of lovely fall weather to do these five tasks, which will make next year an even more glorious one in the garden!
1. Plant new additions.
September and October are ideal for adding new perennials, shrubs, and trees to the garden. Cooler temperatures and plentiful rainfall help them establish before winter chills. Plant at least six weeks before the ground freezes to allow your new plantings to put down roots. Dormant (balled-and-burlapped) trees can be planted in November and into early December.
2. Add some spring-blooming bulbs.
Order bulbs early, then plan to plant after the first frost in October. You can plant until the ground freezes in December, but we don’t recommend it—planting is much more pleasant on a sunny October or early November day! Snuggle any leftover bulbs into pots and force them to bloom indoors in early spring.
3. Sheet mulch new beds.
If you’re planning to expand your garden next season, create new beds the easy way—with sheet mulch! Laying down wet cardboard or newspaper and covering it with mulch in mid-fall ensures that the bed will be ready to go in spring. Click here for detailed instructions on sheet mulching.
4. Mow leaves into the lawn.
Don’t waste beautiful fall days bagging leaves! Instead, mow light layers of leaves right into the lawn to return nutrients to the turf. For heavier leaf falls, chip leaves by mowing over them twice, then rake them into beds as mulch or pile them up to make leaf mould. Get more info here about putting leaves to work in your garden.
5. Enjoy the season!
Fall is one of the loveliest times in the garden. Watch as the light changes from golden in September to cool in November. Enjoy the spectacular colors of tree foliage backing your fall-blooming plants. Take an early morning stroll and admire the work of frost on the edge of leaves. Be sure to take time to admire your garden up close in fall; you’ve earned it!