- Apply Mulch like compost or other organic soil amendments 1-3” deep. This helps protect your plants roots from winter damage. Place a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard prior to mulch to choke out weeds. Use G&B fertilizers and planting mixes (soil ammendments) as mulch.
- Avoid heavy pruning in fall, best to wait until late winter. Only Lightly prune and thin plants that need it. Leave grasses and other perennials that produce seed heads for birds to eat over the winter intact, they can be cleaned up later in spring.
- Dispose of fallen leaves that are diseased or invested with insect pests. Remove dead needles inside of dense conifers producing better air flow and reducing spider mites. Healthy leaves and needles can be used as a mulch and are great to suppress weeds.
- Irrigation systems need to be winterized, ask a professional when needed. Add a hose bib or spigot protector to all outdoor faucets.
- Bring in tools, wheel barrows and hoses to protect from freezing. Also, any garden art that could crack during freezing weather should be protected or brought into the garden shed or garage. Moisture can get into the cracks of porous pots & statuary and when it freezes the ice can cause fractures, breakage, etc.
- Cloches, Cold Frames, Greenhouse & Raised Beds. Add protection to newly planted crops, allow to harden off before you directly plant into the garden.
Put Your Garden to Bed by applying some stategies to protect your plants during winter-both roots & delicate foliage as well as your irrigation, garden art & tools.
There are many things to be done in the garden before the kids go back to school! This guide can help you get a jump start before fall and winter rains and cool weather dominate.
1. Harvest Veggies, Seeds and Herbs. If you can't use or process your gardens fruit and veggie harvest, why not give to a neighbor or to the local food bank? Collect seeds from your favorite plants to plant later. Dry seed heads, put into envelopes or clear plastic baggies. Herbs can be cut and tied into small bundles for later use. Dry completely before storing. Label with date and plant species.
2. Dead Head Flowers. Hanging baskets, summer annuals and perennials will bloom longer if you remove spent blooms.
3. Lightly Prune. Prune summer blooming shrubs after they are done blooming. Other trees and shrubs can also be pruned now until mid-September. Give plants 4-6 weeks before frost to harden off cut stems.
4. Add Fall Color Now. Add small starts, direct sow seeds right into planters, beds and baskets.
5. Apply G&B Fertilizers & Soil Conditioners. Apply as directed- apply into the soil, topdress with compost. Water well after fertilizing.
6. Pest Monitoring. Check plants for insect and disease. Treat if needed only. Remove diseased leaves from plants and the ground- this can reinfect and continue the disease cycle during wet weather. If weeds are present, remove them especially the seed heads that can spread unwanted weeds.
If you have questions or need help with your garden we are here to help!
Hydrangea Care Guide
Hydrangeas are gorgeous shrubs, with long lasting, luscious summer blooms and glowing fall color. Enjoy them as specimens in the garden and as a bonus bring the blossoms indoors for cut or dried floral arrangements. So here is a guide to help you choose which Hydrangeas are right for your garden, container or landscape area.
1. Choosing the Right Hydrangea. First you need to choose the correct hydrangea- How much sunlight does the location have? What type of soil do you have? How big of blooms and what color of blooms do you want? All hydrangeas will bloom and grow well in morning sun and afternoon shade.
2. Planting Hydrangeas. Choose a location so that the hydrangea can reach its full size without pruning. Plant the hydrangea in well- drained, rich & organic soil. Make sure to not plant the hydrangea too deep in the ground. Plant at the same depth as the in the pot it comes in. The best time to plant hydrangeas are early spring - summer or fall. If you want to transplant a hydrangea, do so once the plant is dormant and has lost all leaves in late fall or winter.
3. Watering Hydrangeas. Hydrangeas need moist but well drained soil to thrive. Instead of trying to stick to a “rule” for watering hydrangeas, it is better to water so the soil is moist at all times, but not too wet. Each type of hydrangea requires different levels of water. The location of the plant will also determine how much water the plant needs. When thirsty- the leaves will start to wilt when the plant needs water. Hydrangea macrophylla and hydrangea paniculata require more water than hydrangea aborescens (smooth hydrangeas) and Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf).
4. Fertilizing Hydrangeas. Specialty formulated hydrangea fertilizer is available, however it is not necessary. Commonly found G&B fertilizer either- Rose & Flower, Bud & Bloom or Acid Lover is the easiest to use. It should be applied in spring or early summer. Not in the fall as that is when the plants are preparing for dormancy, and the fertilizer could trigger new growth which isn’t healthy for the plants.
5. Changing Bloom Color. Fertilizer will not change the color of the blooms, although extra ingredients added to fertilizers might change the color, but the fertilizer itself doesn't have this power. It is much easier to change a hydrangea from pink to blue than it is from blue to pink. Changing a hydrangea from pink to blue entails adding aluminum to the soil. Changing from blue to pink means subtracting aluminum from the soil or taking it out of reach of the hydrangea. You cannot change the color of white hydrangeas.
6. Pruning. Mophead hydrangeas do not ever need to be pruned. You only need to remove dead branches. Different types of hydrangeas need to be pruned using different methods. To determine what method to use, read the more in-depth article. It is important to prune the correct way, so you do not cause the shrub to have less blooms.
How To Harvest- Best time to in the mid-morning after the dew dries.
How To Store Herbs-Make Your own Teas & Cooking Spice Blends.