Master Gardeners’ Journal: Gardening doesn’t end in the fall – Bucks County Courier Times

Fall is the time to sit, think and take stock of the garden as the growing season winds down.

Look at your garden with a critical eye. What looks good? Why does it look good? What did you do right? Where is there room for improvement?

Make notes about what plants to order, what to divide, what to add and what to subtract. What looks nice? What looks out of place? The time to prepare for next year’s garden is now.

Do as much weeding as you can; this fall cleanup must be done, no matter how boring. Plant grass seed, this is the best time, better than spring. Start now. The minute it sprouts, water continually. Fall rains are hopefully plentiful.

We have a very long growing season here in South Jersey, and this is a good thing. There is plenty of time to start new plants, plant grass seed and bulbs.

Some think you plant bulbs in spring, but you have to do it in the fall, any time before Election Day. Daffodils are easiest; they come back year after year and form large clumps. Tulips don’t last long but are a must for the spring garden, because of the color, as are crocuses. Remember to plant bulbs right side up. The pointy tip is the top and the bottoms have small roots on them.

Next pull up annuals. They go into November if the weather stays temperate. You can divide perennials at this time. It makes fewer chores to do in spring.

Take a clump of daylilies, grab a shovel, lift it up high in the air above your head. Come down hard as you can on the daylily clump, and you will see that you have 10 daylilies instead of one clump. Lay them out on the ground, tidy them up and find a place you want more day lilies.

Fall is an excellent time to plant perennials and roses. If you order soon enough, they have almost four months to settle in. Mound up roses with dirt half way up on the canes, and water consistently until they go dormant.

Perennials are easy to start in the fall; the weather is cool and hopefully there will be fall rains. Don’t plant them too late; otherwise the cold may kill them. Plant them in August, September or October.

These are only some of your fall garden chores. So, you can sit down, and feel good as you look at your handiwork, and be proud of all you have done this season, and be hopeful for things to come.

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