Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Quick Gardening Tips for Fall

Now with cooler temperatures coming to the Lowcountry I can finally get back outside to do some gardening and landscaping. Here are just a few things I will be doing this fall. What is on your to do list for Fall?

Vegetables- Now is the time to clean up the summer garden. Many pests and diseases over-winter in old plant debris. Get it out of your garden and into the compost pile, as long as it is not diseased. Otherwise, have it removed from your property. I’m growing a few cool-season crops right now such a radish, spinach and lettuce. Most cool-season crops can handle cooler temperatures than you might imagine, and many taste even better after a few light frosts. If you've never had a fall vegetable garden, you're missing a real treat.

Landscape-Fall is absolutely the best time of year to plant any tree and /or shrub. The soil is still warm enough for roots to actively grow and yet the demand on foliage growth is waning. Trees and shrubs planted now have months to develop a healthy root system before the heat of next year. Be sure to keep your new plants watered. The drying winds of the cooler weather can quickly dehydrate plants. Check the soil moisture often, and water when needed. For new plantings, provide water once a week in the absence of rain.

Organic Gardening-Don't waste those fallen leaves. Dump the leaves onto the grass, and run your mower over them. This shreds them into small pieces, can be raked into beds. They break down rather quickly and are a very good way to add organic amendments planting beds. They also pull double-duty, serving as that important layer of mulch over the winter.

Flower Gardening-Plant those bulbs, in cooler climates, plant in October. In southern climates, the best time for bulb planting is November. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, iris and hyacinths are all great choices for spring color. This is also the ideal time to divide perennials and plant perennial seeds for next spring.

This will keep me busy for the next few weeks, how about you? The best part is that next spring, I will be rewarded with a garden that comes alive, looking better than ever and due in large part to the work I do this Fall.