The ‘Fall’ switch has quite clearly been flipped and now it’s time for us to switch from iced tea and Mojito’s to Chai and apple cider. I was driving by the farms the other day and spotted the bright clear orange of pumpkins…already!! Ok then I get the picture, enough lamenting over summer past and time to get cracking on to-do list present!!
The cool weather and much needed rains have arrived and voila…the lawns are starting to wake up. Mow and mulch as necessary, remember you require up to 70 percent less water and fertilizer for your lawn when you mulch. Once you see life in the old lawn you can think about liming and fertilizing with a good fall fertilizer to help your lawn cope with the extremes of weather.
Should you actually have moss left after all of this heat and drought you can certainly apply moss killer. Aerating and topdressing can be done again at this time as well. If you have wear and tear patches in your lawn,
Now that we have dropped to Stage 2 Water Restrictions you may consider over-seeding. At Stage 2, even numbered homes can water lawns on Mondays, Odd numbered homes on Thursdays. Yes, I know we have had rain but our reservoirs are not up to a sustainable level yet. Be patient.
Trees and Shrubs
Assess any wind or drought damage. You can remove any broken, dead, diseased or crossing and rubbing branches but please leave the major pruning until January. Mulching around the base will help conserve water next summer whether you use bark or a living perennial mulch. With the added moisture, cooler air temps, but warm ground temperatures, now is one of the best times to plant. Trees and shrubs will put out root growth into the fall and will be better prepared to face the following summer then the plants you plant in the spring.
Do a light tidy, but not too much so as not to disturb any of our beleaguered native bees. Assess drought damage and take note of any replacements needed. Now might be a great time for a thoughtful redesign. Take photos and start a garden diary, this will help you with planning. This is a great time to add mulch or start to collect some dried leaves.
If you have wind falls or your neighbours have, consider using the larger logs as benches, woodland features etc. If conifers have blown down drag them to your rhododendrons or blueberry patch and allow the needles to compost there…drag away the branches once the needles have dropped.
If you need help designing your garden, remember that we offer both in-store and on-site garden consulation and design services.
Towards the end of the month when the baskets are starting to look bad, cut back the annuals but leave the roots and basket intact. You can hide them behind the shed or house until November when it’s time to fill with greens and Holly and curly twigs for some winter wow. I do believe we have some winter planter classes coming your way. Alternatively, consider the growing trend of fall foliage baskets. Many folks are filling there summer baskets with grasses and cool season perennials like Heucheras, Pansies and Bud Blooming Heathers for a long autumn show.
Begin cutting back spent perennials or pulling tired annuals and replacing with Pansies, Heucheras, Ornamental Cabbages & Kales, Evergreen grasses and other fall beauties to keep the wow factor going in your garden! Check drainage and cracking to prepare for rain and cold… yes, I know I said it. But look on the bright side, we are THAT much closer to eggnog lattes!!
Harvest, harvest and more harvest. Keep your eye out for powdery mildew…it should be BC’s official fall fungi! At this time I just cut back leaves or pull badly affected plants. There are lettuces and radishes and a few other vegetables that you still have a window of opportunity to sow. Don’t forget about the sprouts, they are easy and fun and healthy to grow indoors. If you are lucky enough to have a little grow light, you can grow greens year round. There are some fantastic and simple little systems out there that are pretty inexpensive and will keep you in greens year round!
Keep tidying and removing leaves and spent pond plants. Let your fish be your guide for feeding. Cut back their feeding once they slow down. Inspect pumps and check for leaks now that Mother Nature has filled your ponds back up.
Yes the bulbs are in. Pick up bulbs early for best selection, but I like to plant in October once it has cooled off a bit more. Think about swooshes and groupings rather than soldier rows. Keep in mind also the hungry squirrels when planting. They have an excellent sense of smell so I like to mess them up a bit by planting the skunky smelling Fritillarias near the tasty tulips and crocus. Be on the lookout for some funky new bulb combinations and if you have any questions or want to learn more, come by and ask us or better yet, come to our Scarecrow Festival and learn about all things Bulb!
You can also shop for bulbs online, we should have the inventory updated shortly!