Get Ready For Fall

HOW LONG SHOULD I BE WATERING MY PLANTS?

As you go into fall and winter, provide good soil moisture for your larger trees, shrubs, perennials, and your lawn. If your yard receives less than 1″ of rainfall every 10 days, you need to supplement it. Proper moisture in the soil and your plants is an essential part of how well your plants will make it through the winter and into next spring. And that means watering until the ground freezes.

HOW LATE CAN YOU PLANT?

Keep planting trees and shrubs. As long as the soil is workable and the weather is good, you can plant all through the rest of the year. Fall is an excellent time for planting most trees, shrubs, evergreens, perennials, roses, lawns, etc. Water newly planted trees and shrubs as needed until we get into consistently cold weather.

WHEN TO PRUNE YOUR PLANTS

Do last-minute hand trimming of evergreens, tree limbs, etc. In late fall, you can prune plants that have overgrown their location. However, save the most severe pruning for late winter/spring. Pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs in the fall will reduce or eliminate spring flowers, so prune after flowering to preserve spring flowers.

CHECK YOUR SOIL

Be sure to have your soil tested. Many adjustments can be made this fall and early next spring.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR POTS

Empty or properly store containers and planters to prevent freezing and damages to the pots. If you are overwintering planted pots, move them to unheated garages, sheds, window wells, etc., after they have gone dormant, and the temperatures have gotten consistently cold. Keep these plants cold to remain dormant all winter. Water once per month.

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR TROPICAL PLANTS

Before night temperatures reach below 50 degrees, be sure to bring inside your tropical plants. Acclimate them in the shade for 10 days before bringing indoors. Then, be sure to inspect and treat for insects and other critters before bringing them indoors. Check in the pots and soil for hitch-hikers as well!

START A COMPOST PILE

It doesn’t take much space. Today’s yard debris can become tomorrow’s garden gold as a soil amendment. Grass clippings, finely ground leaves, small sticks, vegetable trimmings from the kitchen, spent flowers and foliage, etc, can all be added to the compost pile.

LEAVES AND LAWN

Keep leaves from accumulating on the lawn, especially newly seeded lawns. In mature lawns, feel free to return some of those leaves back to the soil by mowing them into finer pieces. Grass clippings and finely ground leaves create a thin layer composting right there in the turf! Be cautious not over to apply finely ground leaves to the established turf. Too much can be a bad thing.

WHEN SHOULD YOU MULCH FOR WINTER?

Winter mulching should not be done until the ground is frozen, or at least down into the lower 40’s or colder. And, remember to keep mulch away from the bottom of tree trunks, and for critter protection away from the base of most landscape plants. 

FOUNDATION PLANTS AND WATERING

Check soil moisture between foundation plants and the foundation. If that area is dry, water.

PROTECT TREES FOR DEER

Protect younger trees (3-inch trunk diameter or smaller) from deer damage (bucks rubbing) with trunk protectors. Protect deer browse susceptible plants with DeerScram / Liquid Fence / Repels All, etc. Also, consider nylon netting coverage.

HOW TO CARE FOR SUMMER BULBS

Dig, clean, and store summer bulbs (cannas, tuberous begonias, gladiolas, caladiums, etc.) in a cool dark place for replanting next year. Let the early light frost kill the tops, then dig and store away.

DON’T FORGET YOUR EVERGREENS

Spray evergreens (as needed) with WiltStop for greater winter protection. Do this later in the fall. You can also spray rose canes for added winter protection. 

WHEN SHOULD YOU PROTECT YOUR ROSES?

Late in the year, you can protect your roses after that plant has gone dormant, and soil is close to frozen. Reduce long branches as needed, but save serious pruning for next spring.

HOW TO HELP YOUR WINGED FRIENDS

Feed the birds and clean your feeders. Make sure your birds have a source of water over the winter, as well as landscaping for the birds, including evergreens, plants with seeds or berries, and thicker growing shrubs.

DON’T FORGET YOUR GARDEN TOOLS

Clean, oil and, properly store all garden tools when the season is over. Also, drain and coil all hoses and store where they won’t freeze. Properly store all chemicals to keep them from freezing.

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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