The blessed 'ber' months. Honestly, I live for these months. Its a time of year when I can finally enjoy the garden and being outside without feeling the crushing weight of a never ended to-do list because, while the list is long --there is an end in site in November. November is when we close down the farm for outdoor producing and celebrate by turning the greenhouse into a speakeasy where cocktails are shared under fuzzy blankets instead of flowers harvested in sun hats. But I'm getting ahead of myself -- we've still got September to get through!
While my September list is super long, I kept this list short so as not to overwhelm y'all and only included the most important garden
Depending on the year, September can feel like late summer or early winter! We ALWAYS go organic apple picking in September and set up the fire pit but here are a few of my garden "to do's" in September:
1. Reduce watering schedule
2. Order Spring bulbs and Paper Whites
3. Cut down and store in fridge Amaryllis for winter forcing
4. Final fertilization for roses and potted plants
5. Keep those dahlias pumping out flowers with these tips
6. Split and plant irises
7. Final weeding pass
8. Prep space for leaf mold
9. Take cuttings of plants to over winter, such as coleus, mint, and basil
10. Pull weeds and milkweed - don't let those suckers go to seed!
October is my FAVORITE month (hello Halloween!). It is also the last really busy gardening month depending on when the first snow hits.
1. Harvest pumpkins
2. Harvest potatoes after first frost
3. Pot up Amaryllis and Paper Whites for indoor forcing
4. Plant out spring bulbs (I usually plant around 300-500 every fall so this is a big job)
5. Add fallen leaves to leaf mold pile
6. After first frost, dig up and store dahlias the holes these leave in the ground are prefect for filling with bulbs!
7. Mulch over flower beds
8. Turn off and blow out sprinkler system
9. Clear out greenhouse beds and cover until Spring
10. Clean and store all garden tools
November is a blessedly easy month after so many long months of gardening. We turn the greenhouse into a cozy hang out space and get ready to hibernate from outdoor gardening for a few brief months.
1. Set up greenhouse benches and heater
2. Have a first snow cocktail party in the greenhouse
3. Empty and store garden pots
4. Add pumpkin vines and other garden detritus to compost pile
5. Trim roses - it is important to do this after the bees have hibernated to avoid any burrowing bees from killing the roses by making holes in fresh cut areas.
What I do NOT do is clear or cut down any more plants than necessary. Over wintered seed heads and piles of leaves or dead vegetation provide important food sources for birds and shelter for insects and animals. I wait until mid-spring to do this work...plus its a good excuse to finally be lazy and leave a bit of a mess for next year!
Here's to a fantastic Fall Y'all! What are you Fall garden "must do's"? I'd love to hear all about them, drop me a comment below!