Top Garden Projects for Fall
Planting, transplanting, watering, planting spring bulbs head the list of fall gardening projects. Fall is the time to begin getting the garden ready for winter, so what you can accomplish in the garden these months will definitely help cut down on maintenance the rest of this year. Plus, it is best to accomplish these tasks while the weather is still reasonably good. Be sure to have a crockpot meal ready...you will be too tired to cook, when you come in.
WATERING - One of the major reasons why some plants do not make it through winter's cold weather is because the soil is too dry. So it is very important to take time and check to see that all plants have sufficient soil moisture. Be especially careful to check the plants under the eaves of the house and under tall evergreens and other areas where the soil tends to dry-out quickly.Do this on a calm day...otherwise you will be wet and not able to finish your fall projects. It is fall after all you don't have time to be sick.
POINSETTIAS AND CHRISTMAS CACTUS - Both Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias need to be put in a spot indoors where they get ten hours of bright light and fourteen hours of total darkness, each day. Keep room temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees for the poinsettias, cooler around 55 to 60 for the Christmas cactus. Mine are already blooming in the house.They were outside till 2 wks ago. They had 2 wks in the window and they are blooming.
BULBS - If you haven't already planted the spring flowering tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus bulbs there is still is time to get them into the ground .Mix soil and bulb dust, fertilizer and peat moss into the soil, at planting time. Set the bulbs in the soil about two to three times deeper than the greatest diameter of the bulbs you are planting. As a rule this will mean tulips, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted about six inches deep, and plant crocus about two to three inches deep. Hopefully your soil will be friable and not like the clay and limestone that is in the part of my yard where I want bulbs planted. I may need a crowbar.Now where is that man when I need him?
LAWNS - Now is also a good time to make an application of a fall or winter type of lawn fertilizer. If the lawn needs to be thatched or aerated, do those jobs first. If needed, the lawn can be over-seeded with new grass seed/up to about the middle of October.Leave this job to your husband...it seems to me with all this work...he is getting out of a lot of it.If you don't have a husband...skip it.
COMPOSTING - Fallen leaves, old vegetable plant parts and grass clippings should be added to the compost pile, to help build compost humus for use in next years garden. Actually, these garden refuse items could even be spaded directly into the soil, where they will compost over-winter. Do not use the grass clippings,for composting, if they have been taken from a lawn that has been treated with 'Weed and Feed'. The herbicides in some types of 'Weed and Feed' can last for up to nine to twelve months and even if composted they could effect the growth of plants and seeds. Remember all of this stuff has to me cut down, chopped up, dragged to the pile....oh maybe this could be forgotten I'm getting tired. Where's my pie and coffee?
WEEDING - Weeds should be cultivated or eliminated before the plants have a chance to flower and go to seed again this fall. Some weeds are capable of producing thousands of seeds, so get rid of them before any seeds develop. Haven't we done enough of this during the year? I'm sick of it.Some of them will add winter interest to your yard.
COLOR SPOTS - Right now is a good time to select and plant flowering Kale, Cabbage, winter flowering pansies, fall mums, and Michaelmas daisies .Did you ever try artificial?
WINTERIZING - Tender plants like geraniums, begonias, impatiens and gerbera daisies should be brought back indoors before the first frost ruins them. Likewise, fuchsias, dahlias and other semi-tender plants should be prepared for their winter storage. Where is all this stuff going to be stored?...the tables are full already. Now where shall we build the greenhouse, honey?
FALL VEGETABLES - October is a harvest month, so be sure to harvest vegetables at their peak of flavor, and before they are damaged by frost or cold temperatures. We have a nice grocery in town and they deliver.
PLANTING - The next five months are the best ones for planting and transplanting both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Now during the fall and winter dormant season is the time when these plants can be transplanted with a minimum amount of shock. Also, it is the season when local garden outlets have one of their finest selections of new plants. What you accomplish this month can really help cut down on gardening maintenance the rest of this fall and winter. Have you seen the leaves on my lawn...and you want to plant another tree!!
This was all in fun. I know that everyone is so busy right now...just be sure to take time to see all the beauty around you.