While most of us see fall as the end of the growing season, it is also the beginning of our next garden season as well. With cooler temperatures forecasted, this weekend will be a great time to prepare new garden beds, cleanup old ones, and get our lawns ready for next year.
For lawns, it is time to consider fall fertilization, spread broadleaf weed control and look at reseeding or over seeding that is needed. Leaves can be mulched back into the lawn or added to compost piles. If you haven’t tried to mulch leaves back into the turf, maybe this is the year you start. Mulching leaves helps the turf by returning nutrients and organic matter, which can be especially beneficial on poor soils. A little work now, can lead to beautiful lawns in the spring.
For flower and vegetable gardens it is time to remove any dead or diseased plants, as well as trim perennials back. Thinking ahead to spring, now is also the time to plant garlic and flowering bulbs.
Resist the temptation to prune trees, shrubs, and roses just yet. Pruning should be done when plants are in the dormant stage during late winter/early spring. Pruning now will stimulate new growth and may severely weakens the plant.
MSU Extension has many fine articles to help in fall gardening:
- “A Garden Party of Fall Clean-up Tasks” http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/your_garden_party_of_fall_cleanup_tasks
- “Fall clean-up in Vegetable Gardens” http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/fall_cleanup_in_vegetable_gardens
- “Pest Free Gardens Begin with Fall Clean-up” http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/pest_free_gardens_begin_with_fall_cleanup
- “Fall Perennial Care – Less is More” http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/fall_perennial_care_less_is_more
- “Final Fall Turf Chores” http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/final_fall_turf_chores
A great resource for a variety of gardening information can be found at the MSUE “Gardening in Michigan” website: www.migarden.msu.edu