It’s that time of year again when your garden is fading and with it the wonderful summer moods. Many are left wondering what to do in this space between summer and fall.
Do Weed Your Garden Spaces
Get rid of unwanted weeds, as even small weeds can turn into big problems because if left through the fall, most weeds will seed before winter, and prepare for a healthy new crop for the spring.
Do Not Fertilize
Forgo fertilizing trees and shrubs, because plants are transitioning into dormancy. Fertilizing now serves little purpose for plant growth, as the nutrients are not utilized by a dormant plant. The procedure could even prove harmful, as it can stimulate new growth that may be killed by the first cold snap.
Do Clean Your Tools
Clean your pruning tools and put them away.
Do Not Prune
Do not prune spring flowering shrubs, or you will cut off spring blooms, thus defeating their purpose, and rendering your shrub to just a green bush. Also do not Top crape myrtles, as the process could kill them. See Article: Are You Guilty of Crape Murder?
Cool Season Crops
Prepare your soil for cold weather crops or flowers, and start planting them. Some cool weather crops include:
- Brussels sprouts
This transition period is the time to add mums, pansies, and violas to a garden. Mums are no doubt the mascots of fall with pansies/violas a strong second. One mum is situated on a porch, or several surrounding a mailbox sends the message of “Welcome Autumn”. Water them frequently, because mums are thirsty plants.
Pansies are the longest blooming cool season flower, with the most color variety. When planted in fall, pansies/violas bloom most of the winter and into spring. A bonus to pansies/violas is that they are edible, as both are popular in salads and as decorations for cakes or other confections. Pansies/violas are favored by deer, so use an organic spray such as Liquid Fence to deter them.
Do Soil Preparation for Spring Crops
If there are no plans for planting, clean out summer vegetables that are no longer producing, also do soil prep.
- turn the soil
- add compost for better water penetration
- mulch well
These additions will add nitrogen and nutrients to the soil, and keep some weeds at bay for spring planting.