Fall will be arriving soon. It’s time to prepare the garden for a rest. I start by walking around the flower beds and see what needs to be divided and transplanted. I like to divide many of my perennials in fall, for several reasons. First, the plants will come up next spring looking whole. Second, I can see how big things have gotten and where I have holes to fill. Third, cooler temperatures make it easier for the plant to recuperate from being separated. And fourth, recent transplants need extra water, which fall rains can provide.
Cut Back Perennials
Cut back most of your perennials before snow comes. A good general rule is to cut back to two or three inches above the ground, leaving only little stubs. You may want to leave some perennials standing in the garden to add interest to the winter landscape, such as ornamental grasses. Also, some plants provide seeds for the birds to feed on during the fall and winter seasons.
Clean up Annuals
After the first frost, pull up any annuals that have turned to mush and toss them on the compost pile. Bring your flower pots in out of the elements, after plants have been discarded. Once everything is cut back and cleaned up it’s time to add mulch. Go ahead and cover the crowns of all your plants with 3 to 4 inches of naturally colored mulch. Once your flower garden is fully winterized you can relax because your plants won’t need you again until spring.
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Article provided by Kay Holschbach, Valders' Country Store