More Fall Garden Tips

Lawn Care
  • Fertilize with lawn fertilizer now, and then again in October.  Fertilome Winterizer would be an excellent choice.
  • Aerate your lawn to open up the root zone to accept more water. Water the lawn well a day or two before aerating the lawn. It should be moist a couple of inches deep, but not soggy.  Flag any sprinkler heads to avoid damage.
  • Consider seeding bald spots in the lawn, first loosen the compacted areas and remove any rocks, debris or weeds. Add a thin layer of compost (1/2 inch or so) over the bald spots, followed by spreading grass seed thickly over the area. Loosely cover with weed-free straw or compost to help keep the area moist.  Water regularly until the grass is an inch tall. Don’t mow newly seeded areas for two months.
Vegetable Garden Care
  • Keep harvesting now to get the most out of your vegetable plants.
  • Nights are cooling off which is slowing down the ripening process of many vegetables. Pinch the flowers off tomato plants so that their energy goes into ripening the existing fruit.  A little less water will help to stress them into ripening fruit faster as well.
  • Frost may occur anytime now so keep frost blankets or sheets handy to protect plants from a light frost so that they can continue to produce fruit. Sometimes we have a frost and then weeks of nice growing weather afterwards.
  • Instead of covering tomatoes to protect from frost, harvest any fruits showing color and they will continue to ripen in your home.
Flower Garden Care
  • Plant fall bulbs such as tulips, daffodils & crocus to create early colorful flowers in the spring.
  • Divide and replant any overgrown perennials now to fill in empty spots in the garden. Dividing plants is necessary when foliage seems sparse, the flowers are smaller than normal, or the center of the clump is dying out or hollow.
  • Dead head old flower stems and clean up any dried crispy foliage.
Container Garden Care
  • Regularly water and fertilize outdoor ornamental and vegetable containers. As long as they are growing, producing or blooming, they need regular care and maintenance.
  • Get Indoor plants ready to come inside. Acclimate indoor plants that have been outside all summer by moving them to a full shade location for a few days. This gets them ready for lower light conditions inside the house. Carefully lift the rootball and check for hitchhiking insects — ants, pill bugs and grasshoppers.
  • Treat with insecticidal soaps or systemic products for scale insects, white fly and spider mites. Remove damaged or leggy growth. Repot overgrown plants to a slightly larger container. Give them a light fertilizer application before moving indoors. Yellowing or leaf drop is normal until plants get used to being indoors again.