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Fall Duties in Your Garden by Stuart Cameron

I think we all would like to know when to do this or how to do that, in our garden so we can stay ahead of all that is going on there. May this be of help to you.

Things to plant in late September entering Fall weather would be Spring Bulbs such as Daffodils and Tulips which become available now. Choose a variety so that when Spring comes, you’ll have color and variety that will last from Spring through Summer. Some other plants to grow in September would be sedums & when you cut 1 stem in every 3 stems; you keep sedums neat & long flowering. Other Plants would be Iris, Mums (Chrysanthemums), Cyclamens, ornamental Cabbage, violas, and California poppies.

Now for the Fall clean-up chores.

Make a list and decide what worked in your garden and what didn’t. Ask yourself if you should move any plants to a better spot. Do you need privacy or screening anywhere? What about Fall color or interest?

Next, remove all annuals from containers and landscapes. Any healthy annual can be composted. Fall is a good time to plant. Take advantage of late-season sales of shrubs and trees, divide perennials and place them around the garden. We spoke already about planting Spring bulbs. When the Spring bulbs are dormant, you can mix Hostas & Catmint, which will hide them. If squirrels or chipmunks are a problem, spray some animal repellent over the bulbs before planting or add a layer of chicken wire over them to prevent animals from digging them up. When perennials are dormant, clean some of the foliage out of the garden, especially Hostas that have received slug damage.

It’s my understanding that Fall time is not the best time to prune shrubs.

Do not cut these perennials back in the fall:

  • Evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials like pinks (Dianthus), coral bells (Heuchera), foamy bells (Heucherella), foamflower (Tiarella), creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), bugleweed (Ajuga) and red hot poker (Kniphofia)

  • Perennials with woody stem like rose mallow (Hibiscus), Russian sage (Perovskia), lavender (Lavandula), butterfly bush (Buddleia)

  • Perennials with winter interest like False Indigo (Baptisia), coneflowers (Echinacea), Prairie Winds® ornamental grasses, Rock ‘n Grow autumn stonecrop (Sedum), ornamental onion (Allium), Lenten roses (Helleborus)



Dispose of diseased foliage. Do not put it in your compost. Gather up as much of the diseased foliage, bag, seal and dispose of it in the garbage.

Gather as much evergreen and cut flowers as you can, including berries, ornamental plumes, and seed pods for your indoor products.

Continue to water the garden as the roots of plants are continuing to grow, including evergreen perennials, shrubs, and trees until freezing time.

Rake, shred and mulch with leaves. Fine textured leaves will break down on their own.

Broadleaf leaves should be shredded and can be used as mulch in garden beds.

Finally, plants that are exposed to a higher growing zone may need protection over the Winter as well as Hydrangeas with sensitive buds.


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