Has your summer flown by, I know it has for me. In fact, with the summer heat and the time away from home, my gardens could use a little “sprucing up.” I am sure for most of us, fall signals the time to get back on track in our outdoor spaces! Don’t feel overwhelmed at your outdoor to do list this fall, take it one step at a time. Use these ideas to help you manage your fall to do list.
Fall Weeding – For most areas of the country, summer heat brings hard and dry soil, making it nearly impossible to pull weeds from the roots. Don’t fight with Mother Nature, simply wait until the fall rains begin. A small hoe, a pair of gloves and some elbow grease will aid you in tiding up your beds. Consider apply a weed preventative next spring, like Preen. You will find that after a couple seasons of use, your weeds will disappear.
Fall Pruning and Dividing – Everyone loves a little annual color, but annuals can get leggy and need a little trim before their last blooms are spent. Trim back overgrown perennials and annuals with a pair of pruning shears, watching carefully to remove no more than 1/3 of the original plant. Also, take advantage of the cooler fall months to divide any perennials that you wish to move or share with friends. Most perennials can be divided at the root ball to multiply their beauty in your garden.
Fall Planting – Nothing says fall more than fall color. Plants that give off those orange, yellow and red hues are great additions to any garden. Most gardeners find their motivation to plant new garden varieties in the spring. However, fall is actually the best time in most parts of the country to plant new perennials and shrubs. Plus, most garden centers run amazing sales beginning in September. Take advantage of the low prices and add a couple new choices to your flowerbeds before the winter cold is upon us. I promise, next spring you will be happy you did as you enjoy your new additions to your garden!
Fall Lawn Care – Neutralize, Aerate, Seed and Fertilize! If your grass was less than appealing this spring and summer, take advantage of the early fall months before the leaves begin to fall to over seed your lawn. For a beautiful spring lawn, you have to start in the fall. Begin by checking the PH of your soil, overly acidic soils reduce the ability for fertilizers to work. Use a PH kit to test your soil and adjust accordingly with soil additives, like lime. When over seeding a yard, it is always best to aerate first and if possible in bare areas, scratch up the dirt to cover any visible grass seed once placed. Finally, apply a starter fertilize to assist the grass seed with germination. Most grass seed varieties will begin to germinate within 7-10 days. In order to grow, grass seed needs constant watering. I drench the areas I am over seeding daily until the grass is visible and 1 inch tall. Take advantage of a late fall/early winter additional fertilize application to assist the new grass in building a strong root system over the winter in preparation for spring’s growing season.
Don’t feel overwhelmed this fall. Find a little fall motivation with these simple techniques above. Carve out 2 hours during a couple of weekends in September and October and tackle those flowerbeds that you have been putting off. I promise you will be happy that you did! Then, you can sit back and enjoy the compliments from your neighbors and the view!