Whether we like it or not, the seasons are changing again and cold winter nights will soon be here. Some gardeners prefer to clean up their garden in the fall, and others let things go a little until spring. For the most part, the plants don’t care one way or the other. However, there are a few tasks that you should not delay, and a few others that are easy to procrastinate.
Be on the watch for a frost or freeze! The extended forecast predicts a nice, long and mild autumn, but that could change at any time.
- Now is a good time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. This includes tulips, daffodils, crocus, and alliums, among others. Be sure to follow the planting depth guideline on the package. Plant the blubs too shallow and they will rot.
- If you took houseplants outside for the summer, or have some plants in pots you’d like to keep over the winter, you should bring them inside now. Look them over carefully for insects first and if you’re not sure, keep them in quarantine in the garage for a while. If you’re wondering which plants will keep over the winter well, check my blog post from last year.
This Coleus will make a nice houseplant over the winter.
- Shop sales! Many of the nurseries are marking down plants for the end of season sales. It’s a bit of a gamble as we can’t predict what the weather will do, but often if you’re willing to water and/or cover the plants over the winter they’ll survive.
- Cut back on watering. Water less frequently to encourage deep root growth for the winter.
- Rake or mulch leaves, but don’t feel that you need to be perfect about it. Huge piles of leaves will suffocate the plants and soil, but some leaves left behind isn’t a big deal. Scroll down for some tips for efficiently removing leaves.
- Plan for your landscape installation or other landscape refresh. I offer landscape design services for the do-it-yourself homeowner. I also offer design consultation and coaching on an hourly basis. Send me an email or call or text me at (970)988-3808 to schedule.
Enjoy the Weather and Let This Wait:
- Don’t be in a rush to winterize/blow-out your sprinkler system. If you don’t do it yourself, it’s a good idea to get it scheduled. However, allowing the grass, trees and shrubs to desiccate now would be a serious health set-back for them. In truth, the lawn grass rarely goes dormant in Northern Colorado until November or sometimes even December.
- Avoid pruning trees and shrubs at this time. Pruning can stimulate growth. The tender new growth will then freeze and this could damage the plants. Trees should be pruned in late winter/early spring (February or March).