Have you felt it yet? That first chill in the air that whispers of the coming of fall? It’s a sure bet autumn is just around the corner, and it's a great time to start planning and preparing your garden for fall, and eventually a Canadian winter.
Here are 10 tips for ensuring your garden’s ready for fall and the cooler temperatures:
1. Plant your spring bulbs, including tulips and daffodils. Ideally, this should be done by mid-October for best results, and before the ground begins to freeze.
2. Trim back perennials that have gone dormant (once the leaves and stems have turned yellow or brown). If the plant still has green leafy growth late in the fall, it’s best to leave it until spring. Also, some plants produce seedheads that are attractive to overwintering birds and these can be left standing until early spring.
3. Get rid of any diseased foliage from infected plants. If left alone or composted they can harbour a new outbreak next year.
4. Divide dormant perennials that have become too large or numerous. Make sure new plants are well mulched to minimize frost heave.
5. Fall is a great time to plant, so continue adding to your garden. In early fall the ground is still warm and many plants are still actively growing roots.
6. Water needle-leaved conifers (like pines, firs, spruces and cedars) and broad-leaved evergreens well into the fall. This ensures that they will be well hydrated before the ground freezes.
7. Rake up and compost tree leaves. Do not rake freshly fallen leaves onto gardens as they can smother young plants. It is best to let them compost first.
8. Stake young and newly planted trees. Fall can produce some blustery weather, staking will help prevent damage from high winds or heavy wet snow.
9. Mulch garden beds to retain moisture and to protect your plants from fluctuations in temperature. Fall is a good time to spread compost over the vegetable garden so that it is ready to be dug in come spring.
10. Don’t forget to fill up the birdfeeder.
Fall is migration time and you never know what feathered visitor may stop by!
*Information provided by http://www.natureconservancy.ca/