As the crisp fall air ushers in a new season, many gardeners may be left wondering: what now? Garden experts from across the country weighed in with their tips on the three best things you can do this fall for a fabulous spring yard and garden.
Plant Now, Bloom Later
James A. Baggett, editor of Better Homes & Gardens Perennials magazine, suggests planning ahead for next spring. “A great time to start working on your spring garden, believe it or not, is in the fall. Fall is an especially good time to divide perennials, specifically daylilies, hostas, black-eyed Susans, Japanese and Siberian iris, and ornamental grasses,” he says.
“The fall season is also an excellent time to plant new perennials—particularly bare-root plants. By planting in the fall, you are more likely to have larger plants with better blossoms the following spring. Perennials that lend themselves to fall planting include coneflowers, Oriental and Asiatic lilies, bleeding hearts, and lily-of-the-valley.”
Some great perennials to plant in fall include those that bloom at the end of the season. ‘Anemone Richard Ahrens’ is a long-lasting, beautiful perennial that provides much needed color to the late summer and fall garden. Single and semi-double blooms open bright pink then soften to blush as the season progresses.
It is a perfect understory plant in areas with most soil. This flower tops off between 24” and 36,” is hardy in zones five through nine and requires partial shade.
Another perennial favorite is ‘Verbascum Rosetta,’ an extra-tough, drought-tolerant charmer in both perennial borders and more naturalized settings. Covered with bright cherry-pink blooms all along its 18” to 36" flower spikes, this flower grows in zones 6 through 8 and in full sun.
For these and other perennials, visit W. Atlee Burpee & Co. at www.burpee.com.
Smell the Roses
“Fall is an excellent time for planting, and roses are no exception,” says Steve Hutton, plantsman and president of Conard-Pyle Co.
Establishing roses in the fall is easy and an excellent way to ensure they’ll be successful in the spring. Adds Hutton, “The weather and soil conditions are better in the fall, as opposed to spring when it tends to be cold, muddy and wet.”
For fall color, Hutton recommends planting The Knock Out shrub roses during the closing months of summer. The flowers will bloom well through the end of September in most hardiness zones. Just remember to give them plenty of water and lots of sun.
Deer-Proof Your Garden
Winter months are some of the deadliest times for deer destruction in the garden. “Deer overpopulation is rampant in much of the country,” says James Messina of Messina Wildlife. “With no place to go and not much left to eat in the dead of winter, deer can wreak havoc on shrubs, trees and gardens and destroy new buds and leaves before they have a chance to grow.”
To keep deer out, many homeowners are turning to earth-friendly alternatives like Deer Stopper. The only OMRI certified organic repellant made in the U.S., Deer Stopper has no adverse effect on plants, people or animals and works by smell and taste while coating plants with an odor that smells pleasant to people but detracts deer.
Deer Stopper Barrier Ribbon, available this fall, is a reusable black barrier ribbon that is pre-treated with Deer Stopper Deer Repellent. This revolutionary, new product creates a powerful physical and sensory perimeter barrier that deer will not cross.
The Deer Stopper Barrier Ribbon is perfect for flower gardens, vegetable gardens, water gardens and other small planting areas. The pretreated barrier ribbon lasts up to 30 days and can be re-used by simply re-applying Deer Stopper Deer Repellent to the barrier ribbon.
For more information about Deer Stopper or to find a retailer, visit www.messinawildlife.com.
So remember, fall is for more than watching football games and raking leaves. It’s the best time to get ready for a glorious spring.