GARDENING: Time to wind down
So for those of us in the Midwest, the growing season is quickly coming to a close, but before you switch out your gardening clogs for snow boots, there is still much work to be done. I know, its hard. Your container plants are looking tired and root bound (like mine), weeds are starting to win the war, black spot, molds and fungus are beginning to make an appearance, and most of your perennials are ready to hibernate. But there are some positive things that can be done in the next six weeks to make an impact in your yard.
Planting Tulips and other spring bulbs: Now is the perfect time to get your spring bulbs planned and planted. I would do it while you still have visual placement of your other plants, so you can work around established gardens and have a beautiful spring show of color.
Get your lawn beautiful: Late Summer and early Fall is the perfect time to get your lawn green and healthy. The reason being the cooler temperatures and the increase in moisture. SO be sure to fertilize now, weed and mow regularly, and put down any insect prevention. A healthy lawn before winter means a healthy one in the spring.
Make peace with your tired-looking summer perennials: Its hard for me not to dead head and pretty up my perennial gardens. But the fact is, the more you cut some plants at this point, you will be stimulating the root system for new growth (Roses in particular.) and really, its time for them to store energy and food back into the root system for the winter. So lock your pruners in a safe and buy some pretty fall annuals to pop in the garden for color this fall. Or plan for fall perennials like Seedum and Mums that will brighten your fading garden.
My favorite master gardener, Jerry Baker, has great fall clean up tips and tonics which really do work. Here is a link to one fall clean-up tip page of his. http://www.jerrybaker.net/garden/information/archivedarticles/fall.aspx I also am including one of my earlier posts about other tasks to do in the garden this fall.
Originally Posted on 9/8/08
GARDENING: Some good fall clean-up tips