I think someone flipped the instant Fall switch!! There are some trees that have begun to colour up and I have driven through the first bits of ghostly morning fog. I am pretty excited to hit the farmers markets this season as the tree fruit harvests are absolutely fantastic!
Actually, I am also pretty stoked about pumpkin pie and sweet potatoe pie too! I know I can eat them any time but they just taste better in fall…seriously they do! Well, if you are super busy like me you are probably thinking just get on with the list already…you asked for it:
You can aerate and apply a fall fertilizer to your lawn. Don’t apply fall fertilizer if you lawn is dormant (beige), that will not help, water will and I believe Mother Nature is about to supply it. If you have completely dead patches, you can lay turf, if you really need to redo the lawn, you can also renovate and over seed. You will also have to mow, but you can start the mowing countdown before you can take your winter mowing holiday.
Trees and Shrubs
In the Pacific Northwest, Fall is my favorite window for planting! The air is cooler, the ground is still warm and Mother Nature usually helps a bit with the watering.
You can do a small bit of pruning and deadheading of trees and shrubs. Do this by removing the dead, damaged and diseased branches, but leave the main pruning till the winter when your trees and shrubs are fully dormant. For garden renovations and tree and shrub moving, wait a bit until the ground is holding a bit more moisture and your plants are fully dormant.
Weed, deadhead, clip back and generally tidy…but not too much. I know I sound like a broken record but native pollinators nest in the hollowed out stems of perennials, on sandy type soils and on South facing slopes so if you see them or their tiny holes try to leave them be. It is a great time to add new plants to the garden but wait a bit towards the end of the month for perennial divisions. Now is a great time to take a wander through the garden centre to give you some ideas for fall colour if your garden is lacking.
Planters & Hanging Baskets
Planters and hanging baskets - Continue to water and fertilize your annuals and hanging baskets. You‘ll get a few more weeks out of them yet! Once your summer hanging baskets have started to look a bit worse for wear cut off the stems and compost the top part and stick the pots with the root mass and soil in the back yard till you are ready to fill them full of evergreen boughs for Christmas. The root mass acts as a kind of oasis and is great to keep the branches in place! If you have some gaps in your all season planters, you can fill with pansies, grasses, wintergreen and other fall and winter colour.
Hanging Baskets aren't just for Spring anymore! A new trend has emerged for Fall - introducing: the Fall Hanging Basket! Our designers and local growers have created fabulous combinations that will keep your home looking good until the harsher frosts arrive!
Ponds & Water Features
It's busy time for you coming up with the leaf drop! Good idea to put a bit of a net if you have a smaller pond to catch the leaves. Scoop out the spent annual floaters like water hyacinth and water lettuce. Do some general tidying each week to save you a big weekend job come October.
Harvest, harvest and harvest…weed a little too. There are a few things you can still get in the ground for a fall/winter crop like some lettuces & kales. You can plant Garlic towards the end of the month. Try to stay on top of the powdery mildew. At this point I am just removing it as I see it.
Be on the lookout for some new combinations. I usually pick some up as soon as they come out now and plant mid-October. There are some beautiful red and white combo’s to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary along with a veritable rainbow of your favorites. If squirrels and a challenge you can soak the bulbs in the bitter tasting Bobbex, Plantskydd or similar product or plant your groupings with the skunky smelling (the bulb not the flower) Frittilaria.
Now is a great time to inspect and fix the fixable and toss or repurpose the tools that are not (hint…they make great stakes or gate attachments). Need some inspiration…think Pinterest!
That ought to keep you busy for now. There are a ton of farm gate veggie sales and farmer’s markets to take advantage of right now. There are also some wonderful Fall Fairs coming up…our Scarecrow Festival is one of them on Sept.24 is one of them with over 60 scarecrows to wow you placed throughout our nursery!
Our Scarecrow festival kicks off our build your own scarecrow event that lasts until Halloween. Bring your imagination, some clothes for your scarecrow and we supply the hay, frames, burlap heads, pompoms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes etc. to help you build your own for a ten dollar donation!
Hope to see you there!