Be That Year Round Gardener - Autumn Tips
Sea Cliff Beautification Committee member Sue Giordano gave the following Keynote Address at the Beautification Committes's annual luncheon at the Metropolitan Bistro on Octorber 16
It’s Autumn with all its splendor!!! What an amazing summer we’ve had! It was a cold start to the summer which caused problems like hydrangea bloom time and it was a bit too dry. But now that’s a fading memory along with the summer insects…Lets continue the Garden Experience.
This is the perfect time to freshen up your container plantings, pinch back the Fall annuals and dead head your perennials. There are many flowering plants that can extend the Bloom time an additional 2 months – through November.
I want to encourage all of you to take a look around. Its mid-October there’s Coleus, Lamb Ear, Rudbeckia, tree hydrangea, Potato Vine, Pansies and Oh those Mums and Cabbage and Kale and all of those Fall Grasses for height and texture.
Fall offers beautiful contrast in colors and varieties in texture and shape.
Experiment in a container –of any kind! Your favorite pot, basket, wagon or an old pair o’ boots!
Just a Heads Up – When shopping for Annuals make sure you’re not buying ones that have already peaked in bloom.
Play with texture: Combine the crinkly, the wispy, the lacy, the shiny, the velvety
Most Of All Reflect: on your summer garden
Take Time: to make notes for changes you would like to see in 2015
Note: the bloom times and down times you might want to change and plan a year ahead NOW. Plan the Mid/End of Summer Blooms that can take you till Now.
Find: those good Perennial buys NOW in your local Garden Centers that will give you these changes. Try Lambs Ear, Knockout Roses, Liriope, Heuchera, Nepetu, Tree Hydrangea, and Full Grasses.
Be That Year Round Gardener!!!
And come November, when you think it’s all over - purchase some to be forced like Narcissus and Amaryllis.
And Not To Forget: clean those tools before returning them to the shed or garage.
Here are a few more tips for winding down your garden.
Plant: your spring flowering bulbs. Shop early for the best selection - but we still have a couple more weeks to plant.
Always plant three times the size of bulb. Experiment with a new color scheme or simply do a mixture of Daffodils and let nature decide. Mulch over and place root down in a sunny well drained area.
Trees: if planting a young tree – be sure to stake it to prevent being uprooted by fall and winter wind and freeze.
Perennials: mark those tender perennials because by the time spring comes they may get raked up by garden clean-up. A good time to divide over-sized perennials dig at dry line and quarter
Houseplants: bring them in now BEFORE you put the heat on so they can accumulate and adjust to a new environment. Also wash them thoroughly with lemon and water to cut down on pests
Herbs: Bring into a cool and sunny spot to let the soil dry out before watering. Cut ½ of the way down to harvest – dry them out or freeze and shave with friends. Lavender soap and sachet makes great gifts, and lavender and lemon tea is a wonderful winter treat.
As For Your Lawn:
It’s the perfect time to sow your Ryegrass or Fescue seed. Your lawn will have time to germinate and develop a root system before the cold.
Fall is also a good time to fertilize. Slow release Turf grass can store food in the form of carbohydrates to turn a better lawn in the Spring.
And lastly, but I can certainly go on forever…
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. Prepare the beds for winter and protect the tender perennials while adding to the soil content.
Mulch you beds with leaves and cut down on the recycling. Mow over the leaves on your lawn, collect them and mulch the beds or compost with the leaves.
Regardless of all these tips. - the most important aspect of all this is to look around and take note of all the beauty around us.