September 22 marked the first day of fall 2020. This most enjoyable season is an important one for your garden, so follow this simple checklist to make the most of it.
1 | Fertilize shrubs to boost their roots before they go dormant for winter.
2 | Perennials should be deadheaded (old blooms removed) and clipped of spent leaves and weak stalks.
3 | Plant veggies for cool/cold weather. Arugula, kale, broccoli, beets, radishes, and Brussels sprouts are all excellent. Herbs include parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
4 | Plan for seasonal color.
Fall is also when seasonal color plantings are done, but wait until the average daytime temperatures are below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool-weather bloomers such as pansies and violas can brighten a gray day, but will not perform well in warm temperatures. Spring-blooming snapdragons often put on a fall show as well. Planting popular spring and summer bloomers such as poppies and foxglove in autumn gives these plants time to establish themselves before bloom time, and their foliage adds off-season interest.
5 | Add mulch. I suggest using mini nuggets and/or pine straw to snuggle around your plants as a way to keep tender roots warm throughout the winter.
6 | Most of all, enjoy being outside in cooler temperatures on those beautiful sunny fall days!
By Daniel McCurry | Photography by Reed Brown | Landscape architecture by GoLightly Landscape | Design and construction by Father Nature Landscapes, located in Birmingham and Mobile Bay, Alabama, and Tacoma, Washington. Learn more at fathernaturelandscapes.com