Fall is a great time for true gardeners. The weather is cooler, making a day in the garden a more enjoyable experience. While fall is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and perennial plants, it is also the optimal period to save on purchases of gardening equipment and nursery stock. During the autumn season, the soil is warmer, thereby promoting root growth, unlike the spring season, which is unpredictable and generally is followed by a potentially long, hot dry summer period which could be detrimental to young roots.
For those interested in growing vegetables, there are several perennial varieties that flourish during this time of the year. They include asparagus, bamboo shoots, bunching onions, garlic, horseradish, kale and collard greens, radiccio and rhubarb. These are hearty vegetables that can be easily grown. A fall harvest of these items provides the opportunity to eat fresh vegetables well into the cold season. For those interested in fall flowers, there are several choices available, including chrysanthemums, marigolds, dusty miller and aster, just to name a few. As a bonus, autumn presents a wonderful landscaping opportunity. Combinations of pumpkins, flowers, bales of hay and wreaths and arrangements made with corn and cornstalks create a festive mood for any lawn or garden.
Autumn also is the time to divide and plant mature perennial plants and flowering bulbs. A little research now on how to handle each plant species will ensure that you properly divide and plant so that you will enjoy a dazzling display next spring and summer. It is also important to mulch garden beds in the fall to retain ground moisture and protect plants while they sleep over the winter. Building a compost pile for mulching using lawn and garden debris is a great way to be both economical and eco-friendly.
Maintenance of garden tools and equipment should be a priority during the fall. Now is the time to give those shovels, hoes and other metal tools a good scrubbing and polishing prior to storing them over the winter. Gas-powered equipment should be cleaned thoroughly and filled with gas containing a stabilizer to prevent condensation and deposits from developing in the engine. After completing equipment maintenance, an inventory can be taken of useful equipment, followed by a shopping trip to replace items if necessary. The best deals on garden equipment and tools often can be found during the Fall.
The work is now done, and it is time to enjoy your fall bounty. Then get rested up and start planning your spring garden. Live green, be green!