Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time for bed, Garden!

All of a sudden it's that time of year again; time to put the garden to bed. And just like the kids who want an extra 15 minutes before getting tucked, we've hoped (in vain!) that the warm temps would last just a little longer. Not a chance. So, what should you do to protect your precious garden from the harsh weather around the corner? In the next few days, we'll cover the basics of putting your garden to bed.

First thing to do is evaluate your garden. Ask yourself: Which plants did well? Make note of the environmental conditions (i.e., Oh, bad drainage here! Hmm, it's really windy in that area over there., etc.) Are there any diseases or insects that need attention? Examine the crop rotation. Who ended up where?

You should have stopped fertilizing trees, shrubs and plants by early September. If you haven't, drop the fertilizer now.

This is a good time to think about how you want your garden to look next spring. Plant trees, shrubs and bulbs now. We recommend staking all trees planted in fall to prevent tipping or shifting due to wind and/or snow.

A note about planting tulips and daffodils: You can time their growth based on how you place your bulbs underground. If you plant some of the bulbs sideways and facing down, these will take longer to get above ground and therefore you've extended your blossom time. In addition to tulips and daffodils, you might also consider planting edible bulbs like garlic and shallots.

As always, keep watering if the fall is dry (approximately one inch of water per week).

Next time we'll discuss pruning and mulching. In the meantime, send us your thoughts and have fun out there!

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