Fall is a great time to plant!
The soil is warm and the air is cooler, perfect for the plants to establish and the gardeners doing the planting.
Soil Preparation for Perennial Gardens and Shrub Beds
Eliminate existing weeds.
Amend soil by adding 2 to 3 inches of organic matter to the top 8 to 12” of soil.
Right Plant, Right Place, Right Purpose
Match plants to the growing conditions.
Match plant (mature size) to the available space.
Look for plants with “added value” - fragrance, wildlife appeal, edible….
Fill in vacant spaces in the garden and containers with cool weather annuals such as:
Hardy pansies, ornamental cabbage & kale, stock, dianthus, sweet alyssum, snapdragons.
Plant greens for eating and beauty.
Plant several different bulbs together to double the impact or extend bloom time.
Mix with perennials to extend bloom and reduce maintenance (Perennials hide fading bulb foliage.)
Reduce damage with wildlife resistant bulbs such as: Daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, squills, fritillaria.
Planting and Care Tips
Plant 2 to 3 times the height of the bulb.
Fertilize with low nitrogen or bulb fertilizer at planting.
Water after planting,
Use winter mulch after ground freezes with straw, marsh hay, evergreen branches, if needed, to prevent early sprouting and frost heaving
Mums, Asters and Perennials
End the season with a blaze of color with the help of asters and mums. Add a few containers to patio, deck or front steps and fill in vacant spots in the garden or replace faded annuals in containers.
Increase winter survival. Leave them stand for winter and add winter mulching.
Trees and shrubs
Proper planting and care results in long lived healthier plants.
Dig the hole the same depth as the root ball but at least 2 to 5 times wider.
Root flare of trees (where roots slope away from trunk) should be at or slightly above the soil surface.
Crown of shrubs (where stems meet the roots) should be at soil surface.
Water thoroughly at planting and as needed throughout fall and in future.
Mulch with 2-3 inch layer of chips - do NOT cover trunk or stems.
Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!