Are you already thinking about what needs to be done in the garden as we get closer to fall, and before the first frost of the season? Here are a few tips on transitioning your garden from summer to fall.
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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that worked for me along the way.
This is the time of year when I start to feel a bit lazy. I finalized this year’s gardening plan last December. The seeds were planted in the greenhouse in January and February, and the seed starts were transplanted to my raised beds in May.
The last of the summer flowers are blooming, and the weeds finally seem to be under control. So, I gave myself permission to take a little bit of a break these last couple of weeks from my normal gardening routine.
But now it’s time to get back to work! Here are some easy ways you can transition your garden from summer to fall.
Weed, Deadhead and Clean Up
Keep the weeds at a minimum through the fall. Deadhead and clean up any debris and fading plants. By removing weeds and debris, you are eliminating areas for insects and diseases to overwinter.
Add Some Mulch or Leaves to Your Garden Beds
Mulching your garden beds this time of year will help to block weeds, maintain moisture, insulate the soil and add organic matter to the soil for a healthier garden in the spring. Spread at least a 3-inch thick layer. This also helps prolong the growing season and will allow your fall garden to flourish.
Leaves make a great substitute for mulch and have many of the same benefits as mulch. As the leaves break down, they add nutrients to the soil.
Replace Summer Annuals With Fall-Friendly Options
Remove summer annuals once their blooms are spent. For uninterrupted color and interest, plant fall friendly-flowers such as pansies, verbena, mums, cabbages, and flowering kale in their place. Bring herbs inside to protect them from the cold.
Inspect your plants for any diseases on their leaves, and carefully remove them.
Planting Trees and Shrubs
Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. The soil is still warm enough for roots to establish. Make sure to plan well before the season’s first frost so there is time to acclimate before the cold winter months come.
Dividing and Transplanting Perennials
Divide any mature perennials that are starting to overcrowd an area in your garden. Transplant these to other areas in your garden, or share them with friends and neighbors.
Grow Fall Vegetables
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and cabbage can be planted, as well as root crops such as carrots, beets, and radishes.
Plan and Make Notes for Next Year
Now is the time to walk through your garden and make a list of what worked well for you, and what didn’t. What would you do differently? I take pictures of my garden every season, so I can compare each area throughout the months.
I look at the areas that may have some holes in them or a lack of color. Maybe there were two types of flowers that were planted side by side and didn’t compliment each other.
The goal for my garden is to transition from season to season timelessly. As one perennial die down, another next to it will take its place. And that takes a lot of planning!
It’s easy to want to take a break from the garden after so many months of work, but there is still so much work to do. Trust me, it will make all the difference in the world for next year’s garden.
I hope some of the tips I’m sharing to transition your garden from summer to fall will help in your transition planning.
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own.
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More Gardens to See…
Visit my friend Stacy Ling’s blog for more on Flowers That Bloom in Mid-Summer.