Seasonal · Yard Management

Your garden begins in the fall

I love this time of year… a time for renewal, new beginnings and starting over, even for your garden.

Yes, fall is a great time to renew your garden. The best ways? Planting new bulbs for spring and summer bloom, weeding, dividing your plants, and adding a thick layer of mulch or compost. (In fact, just adding the mulch will improve its look.) Here’s a to-do list.

1. Plant new bulbs

My favorite source for bulbs these days is Van Engelen. I have never seen larger, healthier bulbs, ever. I still love Jung’s for bulbs, as well as Johannsen’s or White Flower Farm. My must-have bulbs include alliums of all varieties (but make sure to include some Globemaster alliums) and daffodils, as hungry squirrels and chipmunks do not like these two. And no garden would be complete without lilies, including Stargazer lilies and Casa Blanca lilies.

2. Weed

Cleaning up all the weeds is an important task in the fall so they do not set seed and waste your time next season. “One year of seedin’ is 7 years of weedin.'”

3. Divide your mature perennials

This is the best time of the year to do this for several reasons. The ground is still warm but not too hot, so the plants can really flourish in their new home. Your garden doesn’t always look the best after you make a division, both in the old and the newly planted spots, so by dividing in the fall, the plants will soon be covered with snow. Then come spring, they will look better than ever and as if they were always there.

4. Got soil?

High-quality soil is the best gift you can give your garden. You can just add several inches of compost or mulch each spring and fall, without burying your plants.This provides winter protection and continued nutrition for your plants.

So weed, plant your bulbs, and divide your existing perennials (these can all be done simultaneously). Then, last but not least, shovel on the mulch or compost. Your garden will be totally renewed!

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