Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preparing Your Garden For Fall

The flooding rains that Tropical Storm Issac brought my area last week meant one thing for me this weekend, time to tend the garden. The heavy rains really battered my plants and ruined some of my garden décor. I’ve had this one Garden Bench for years. It was a little worn out, but I really loved the size and style. It was one of those pieces I've had for so long; the garden just doesn't look complete without it. Unfortunately, it had been too long since I water proofed it and the rains were just too much. As soon as I picked it up I could see the screws were starting to give and the wood was starting to rot. Sigh. I also had to remove my Hibiscus, it was no longer healthy and attracting insects. Between removing the bench and my tree, things were looking bleak.

That bench was fun for photo opps as well!
After getting over the fact that the bench was a lost cause, a long with a few other broken pieces, I moved on to pulling out some damaged trees, weeding, pruning and mulching the area over again. Then it hit me! It was the last unofficial day (or weekend) of summer and since I was already out there working, I should probably start preparing my garden for fall.

I’m lucky I live in a warm climate rather then an colder one, but this also means I tend to buy plants who thrive in the heat and are highly susceptible to any cold snaps we might encounter.

garden flowers

Preparing your garden bed for fall
When preparing my garden for fall, I first work on the construction of the area in preparation for next year. This year we had begun this process earlier in the season when we added to our gardens total area. I moved on to adding enriched soil in preparation for spring blooms – if you use compost now is a great time to add it. I’ve been told the best time to do this is after a hard frost but before the ground freezes. Since my climate is warmer, I just dedicate time at the beginning of fall for this. And fortunately it’s worked well for us.

What about all those perennials?
Fall is a great time to divide your perennials to revitalize them. Why? Temperatures are cooler, and plants have time to create new roots. Do note though that Perennials that bloom in late summer and fall should be divided in the spring. If your unsure how to divide them there are many great guides to dividing perennials on the net.

Keep it clean
Trim, prune and cut back the plant – as long as the plant is healthy. And don’t worry about the trimmings that fall, they act as a great compost and can be covered by mulch ( if you prefer). Which brings me to my last point.

Tuck them in
Mulch isn’t just for keeping things pretty. Tuck your flower bed in for the winter by spreading a layer of mulch. If your in an area where your garden is effected by falling leaves, that’s OK. You might wanted to skip the pretty bagged mulch for the fall and winter and let those leaves naturally blanket your garden – again excellent compost material. Your soil will be extra rich in nutrients come spring.

I did well preparing one area of my garden for fall and tucked it in with some black mulch for a switch. Honestly, I thought it would look cool when I add some décor for Halloween. I hope  to finish up my landscaping by next weekend and not have to worry about it again until the winter months.

Do you garden? Do you have any good tips for fall or for winterizing your garden? I’m by far no expert but I learn a little more with each passing year. 

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Pam2424 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing this post. I'm never quite sure what to do with my garden to prepare for colder months. Now I do.


Pam said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for the tips. I was just contemplating what I needed to do to my garden for fall. I wish I was your neighbor. I would invite you over and let you help! :)

Donna George said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Between the heat and the rains, my garden is pretty well dead. But I see it as a fresh start come the spring.

Donna George said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates
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Terri said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing these tips! My (new) number one tip - don't let the Hubs near your gardening shears or the electric hedge trimmer! Sigh :)

Samantha said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

garden? my poor garden...or lack thereof this year! lol

Sasha said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I pick all the dead leaves out of my garden. Your right though, they make for a great compost to the soil. I don't understand why I have been tossing them away. I should clip and reuse.

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