Fall is just around the corner and after the heat of August, I am looking forward to the cooler days to come! September is the ideal time to prep your garden and ready it for cooler weather. Below are a few ideas for your fall gardening.
Flowers and Shrubs
- Consider planting pansies, ornamental kale and other winter annuals in the garden so they can become established before the fall frost. Plant these winter annuals from mid-September through mid-October.
- Do not perform any major pruning in the fall. Pruning now depletes the food reserves that will be needed for spring growth. However, it is wise to prune out dead, dying or diseased branches and limbs during this time.
- In the event of drought during the fall months, it would be appropriate to water your trees and shrubs, especially those planted within the last year. New plantings are easily stressed after a hot, dry summer.
- Fall is a good time to divide and transplant spring-blooming perennials.
- If you have not done so, now is the time to have your soil tested. Soil test kits are available at the Shelby County Extension Office. I will be delighted to assist you with this!
- There is no need to apply any more nitrogen to your warm season lawn. You do not want to encourage growth that can be damaged by frost. The growth of warm season grasses will slow as winter approaches.
- If your turf experienced issues with disease (such as brown patch), it is best to treat it this fall with a fungicide before the grass becomes dormant in the winter. If you have any questions regarding the appropriate fungicide, please feel free to contact me.
- Early September is a good time to plant collards, lettuce, Swiss chard and kale.
- Adding compost, manure and shredded leaves to your garden in the fall will increase organic matter content. The plants will love it!
- Always inspect your vegetable garden for insect pests and diseases. Consider using low impact pesticides to control pests in the garden.
I enjoy hearing from fellow gardeners! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call at 901-752-1207. I hope you enjoy being out in the garden this fall!
Photo Credits: Julie Morgan; Mississippi State University Extension; University of Tennessee Extension; Joe Gardener; University of Tennessee Soil, Pest, and Plants.