Fall Garden Tips

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

September is a great time to spruce up your landscape.  By completing a few early autumn tasks, you can shape up your garden, add some fall color, and begin to prepare for winter.  Early September is also a great time to plan ahead for spring by planting some spring blooming perennials.  

 Sunny, mild temperatures in September keep the soil warm and plants actively growing, but during this time, they are exposed to less extreme heat and drought.  Perennials, trees, and shrubs can be planted now to allow their roots to grow into place well before the soil freezes.  Large bulbs can be planted 6-8 inches deep, and a depth of 4 inches is adequate for smaller bulbs.  Plant them singly or dig a larger hole for a handful of bulbs.  Spring flowering bulbs such as crocuses, tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths can be planted up to six weeks after the first fall frost and will provide a burst of welcomed color after a snowy winter.  Add compost and other organic material to enrich the soil, so it’s ready for spring. 

Established spring and summer flowering perennials can be divided and transplanted in the fall.  These include herbaceous peonies, daylilies, irises, and hostas.  Summer bulbs, such as callas and caladiums, can be dug up to store in a cool dark area for winter. 

Replace the spent spring and summer annuals with fall plants such as ornamental kale, peppers, and grasses to spruce up your potted containers.  Plant mums (hardiness zones 5-9) to add brilliant fall colors to your garden.  

Sow cool-season vegetable crops such as kale, spinach, lettuce greens, beets, radishes, and turnips.  These vegetables have fast germination time and love the cooler weather.  

Make sure to water plants, especially evergreens, a few times a week into late fall.  This will protect plants and encourage maximum growth.  Also, it is not recommended to fertilize existing landscape plants in the fall.

The cooler weather is a great time to remove all the weeds and plant debris in your garden as they can harbor diseases and insects.  Remove new growth on vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, that won’t have enough time to mature before the first frost.

Many trees, shrubs, perennials, and cool-season vegetable seeds are available at Bloch’s Farm!  A plethora of colorful mums are available to complete your fall look, as well!  Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail jlamontagne@blochsfarm.com with any questions. Visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and our Facebook page.  Don’t miss out on this weekend’s Labor Day sale! September 4th – September 7th: 25% – 75% Off Remaining Pottery!

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