As we move into fall we start to think about closing down our gardens for the winter, but now is the time to start planning and preparing for the next growing season. If you wish to add color to your garden, planting perennials in the fall allows the roots of those plants to develop and will result in a stronger plant. The soil is still warm from summer so there is little if any shock to the plant. Fall and winter rains assure that you don’t have to worry about the plant getting adequate water.
Many bulbs should be planted in the fall. They can be planted with the perennials to avoid perennial root disturbance. They will intermingle without a problem. You might also consider planting some annual seeds in the fall. Some varieties, such as larkspur and poppies, benefit from fall planting. You will be happy you did this when spring comes.
Nurseries are interested in getting rid of their stock before winter comes. You will likely be able now to find some good prices on many plants. It is true that the selection is not as plentiful as in the spring, but the likelihood of survival is greater.
Fall is also the perfect time for aerating your lawn, thatching, fertilizing, and over seeding. If all of that is too much to tackle, at least fertilize your lawn areas. Fall lawn fertilizing is important. It feeds the roots, allowing the grass to winter more successfully and start out on a healthy path in the spring.
As always, it is important to weed and mulch. Keep up with this now and there will be less work to do next spring, and your garden will look good all winter!