Is your summer garden looking less...summer-y? Are you ready to embrace the colors and moods of autumn landscaping? If you’re growing a vegetable garden, is it prepared for cooler weather? As fall approaches, these questions (and then some) can help you keep a healthy and beautiful garden even with the sudden temperature drop.
Keep perennials blooming
If your garden already features perennials like red-orange Chinese lanterns, blue salvia, black-eyed Susans, or golden swamp sunflowers, you should still inspect them minutely. Since they require low maintenance, they will grow and bloom well into autumn. However, you might have to separate the ones with spreading roots so as not to crowd the rest of the blooms. Look closely for dead growth patches in otherwise healthy plants; you may need to replant them in a better-shaded area of your garden.
Get ready for weeds
Weeds will be part of a garden no matter the season. As summer draws to a close, it’s best to prevent weeds like dandelions from germinating before introducing new blooms or saplings. Dedicate a full day to getting rid of them so that your fall garden will be weed-free and easier to maintain well into springtime.
Plant cool-weather veggies
To keep your autumn pantry well-stocked, go for vegetables that tolerate the cold well. Lettuce, kale, arugula, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, onions, peas, turnips, and radishes are good examples. They adapt well to sudden temperature drops. Root crops, in particular, are hardy vegetables that can take even frosty conditions. However, before you start planting new crop for the fall, make sure to clean up old and dying ones from the summer. Doing this can help prevent pests and plant diseases from spreading onto your new vegetables.
Add mulch to retain seed moisture
Your garden or landscaping soil will likely have gotten baked during the hot summer months. The fall transition gives it a chance to cool down. New seeds will also need to retain moisture. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that cold air means you won’t need to keep the soil moist for your new plants. You can help them by introducing moisture-retaining mulch like shredded rubber into your garden. Any fertilizer or water will pass through it straight into the soil and into the roots or seeds that need them most.
Record gardening successes and failures
...doing this can help you have a better fall gardening transition next year. Keep a gardening notebook, or mark wooden popsicle sticks with the names of your successfully-growing vegetables and flowers for easier reference. You will get a better idea of what and what not to plant in the coming seasons.
The end of summer is also the best time to invest in small trees and shrubs, as their prices are likely to go down. Don’t worry; working on bigger plants in the garden will become more bearable because of the cooler temperature. You will still a have colorful blooming landscape and a bountiful vegetable crop if you give your fall garden the proper care it deserves.