Well, we have to admit it. It’s fall. While the season has many joys – colours, smells, harvests, family gatherings and much more, it’s also the time we start to think about putting our gardens to bed for the winter.
There are a few things that should be done soon.
- Adding compost or manure to your flower beds in the fall is ideal as the winter freeze breaks it down into your soil, saving you the work digging it in next spring.
- Consider relocating plants or planting new perennials. Fall is the perfect time to do this. Not only are there great sales at GreenWay, the soil is still warm enough to allow the roots to establish before the deep freeze. Remember that spring blooming irises and peonies like to be planted shallow.
- You’ll also want to bring in any plants you want to keep over the winter in the house. Check everything for pests and then bring them indoors before they freeze. Tropical plants especially need to be moved indoors.
- Cut back lavender, Russian Sage and Silver Mound now to avoid developing woody stems.
- Trim butterfly bushes back to about half of their size.
- After the first frost, cut back your tender bulbs such as dahlia, canna, callas and gladiola to about 4”above ground. Store them over the winter in a well-ventilated, cool, dark space.
- If you’re planting bulbs, dig the soil to the required depth, cover them with 2” of soil, then add a strip of chicken wire, and fill in the rest of the soil. This will keep the squirrels from digging them all back up.
- It’s your choice as to whether or not you decide to cut back your remaining perennials. Consider leaving ornamental grasses, shrubs and perennial herbs such as sage full-size. Their shapes, when covered with snow, add depth and texture to your gardens – and seed heads can provide food for wild birds.