Ensure a bountiful and beautiful fall garden with these late-summer maintenance tips…
This time of year is a busy time for gardeners, with both summer veggie harvests to take care of, and fall and winter crops to be carefully tended in their tender, seedling stages. Pests can also be a problem in late summer and early fall until frost comes along to cut back their numbers, and sparse rainfall is common in many areas that this time of year, meaning watering and mulching chores must continue.
However, if you can manage to stay on top of the most important garden activities, you will be rewarded with a lovely and productive fall garden!
Here are 3 tasks to take care of now for a healthy and beautiful fall garden:
1.) KEEP ON PICKING — Keep on picking those zucchinis, green beans and peas to keep the harvest going. Consider donating to the local food banks if you get overwhelmed – or preserve some of the harvest for winter.
2.) SPRAY FOR DISEASE — Check plants often for signs of powdery mildew. Susceptible plants include roses, dahlias, tuberous begonias, cucumber and squash vines and snap peas. It is easy to make a homemade non-toxic spray made up of two teaspoons baking soda and two teaspoons horticultural summer oil mixed in one gallon of water. Spray mildew afflicted plants thoroughly. Other sprays you can find at the nursery are Safer’s sulfur and Serenade, a natural spray from Bacillis subtillis.
3.) GIVE ’EM A HAIRCUT — If flowers have faded and foliage looks ragged with perennials, cut them back early this month to encourage a fall display. Nepeta, coreopsis, cranesbill geranium, penstemons and a variety of salvias perform well when sheared back midseason. Just add plenty of water and fertilizer after the trim and soon they will burst out with a fresh look.