As we approach the fall it is time to get your garden ready for the winter. Until the frost hits you can deadhead annuals to promote more blooms. For perennials and roses, especially, do not deadhead the blooms, as this will force new growth. Apply compost or new soil around plants but no chemical fertilizers. Water well especially this year as we have had a very dry summer. Increase watering for trees about 2 inches per week by dripping water very slowly around root ball (approx 10- 20 mins.) Allow plants to go into a rest period so no further fertilization is required at this time. In September up to early October is a good time to transplant or divide any perennials as the soil is still warm and allows for a decrease in transplanting shock. Lawns can be reseeded at this time and water well.
Once a hard frost has occurred there will be dead vegetation around the plants, so remove any soft and dead plant material to decrease any chance of diseases and viruses present in the area. It is a good time to apply compost to the soil once all vegetation has been removed. Keep watering if the temperature is still warm. Once we have had a killing frost it is time to hill up new soil around roses to cover the crown and apply rose cones, Other plants may just need to be wrapped in fleece blankets especially Hydrangeas. Most perennials will survive by just being cut back, especially if we have a good snow cover over the winter. It is important to clean up the garden to decrease the chance of any pest and diseases remaining in your soil and area. Happy Fall Gardening!! ~~ Trish Cox