The growing season is starting to wind down, but before we get too involved with the fall clean-up, it’s good to pause and take some notes.

  • Start with the positive: which plants do you love and which ones love growing in your yard? When a plant is in the right spot, it performs well.
  • Which plants love growing in your yard so much that maybe you should divide them and share with some friends? When a plant is in the right spot, it sometimes gets rather aggressive and tries to take over the whole garden.
  • Which plants are struggling – or where is the turf grass struggling? Is there an obvious reason and a fix? Perhaps the trees have grown up and now it is shady where it previously was not.
  • Which plants to you dislike and need to remove? Perhaps there are some that have over-grown their space or over-stayed their welcome and need to vacate the garden.
  • How well did your container gardens grow this year? Again, some plants may have tried to take over and others may have struggled. Take note so changes can be made next spring.
  • Was your vegetable garden productive? (This was a hard year for tomatoes because it was such a cool and wet spring.) Make notes of what you liked and what you didn’t – next spring you probably won’t remember.
  • Are there other hardscape or irrigation problems that need to be addressed? Autumn is a good time to handle these kinds of issues.
  • Did you change your watering schedule for the hottest days of summer? We can expect to ramp that down again soon as the weather cools this fall.

A garden is always changing and growing – which is part of the charm. It’s a good idea to stop and take inventory of what’s going on once in a while! If you do decide you want some new plants, my ideal is to have everything I’m going to plant in the ground by September 30th; bulbs by October 15th. This gives the plants just enough time to settle in before the soil freezes hard. Happy Gardening! Notebook in the garden