Outdoor

Autumn Gardens

By Samra Habib

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Autumn Gardens

Summer might be a distant memory, but that doesn't mean that your days of gardening are numbered. There's plenty you can do to prepare your garden for the harsh winter ahead and to keep it colourful and looking the best on the block. These tips will tell you how.

Pass The Time
Fall is the perfect time to pick up the pieces and reflect and the same applies to gardening. As the weather cools down, the backyard is filled with decaying fruits and vegetables that are past their prime. It’s timely to start the compost with them since they have great nutrients that break down over time and provide the soil with much needed nitrogen for spring planting. According to Hank Dejong from Sheridan Nurseries, adding fresh soil and fertilizer in the fall will also give the plants the kick they need. “Adding transplant fertilizer will also help plants boost internally and stimulate the roots,” says Dejong.

It’s also a great time to take a look around the garden and decide what worked and what didn’t. What plants made you the happiest? What plants caused a series of problems? Were there plants that were overachievers and crowded other plants? The winners get to come back next year.

Weed Out
You want them out so you don't spend hours on getting rid of them next year. Slacking off even once can have disastrous results. Fall is a great time to get rid of weeds since they're easier to control. Cooler temperatures also move sugars down to the roots, making herbicide more effective.

Watered Down
In order to keep the roots in the best condition possible, it's important to water shrubs and perennials deeply, especially if it's a dry fall. It's the most important thing perennial roots need for fall growth and it will help protect again moisture depletion come wintertime. Be especially mindful of keeping the rain-deprived shrubs next to the house foundation moisturized before the big winter freeze up.

Keep It Mum
The mum is one of the key flowers associated with fall and for good reason. It's available in a variety of colours that can add excitement to your garden. And since they're perennials, if proper care is taken, they'll come back next year. To ensure their return, purchase them from an outdoor garden centre as opposed to an indoor florist.

Aster's Turf
Much like the mum, the aster is another perennial that's considered the ideal fall flower. They're the perfect candidate to play a supporting role in your garden because they bloom until it gets frosty. They also work well in borders and provide much needed colour with options ranging from pink to deep purple. Dejong also recommends adding kale and cabbage if your garden needs additional colour.

Teacher's Pet
When it comes to flowers, the pansy is a keener. It will stick around even after all your flowers have given up and will be the first one to greet you in the spring. They come in a dramatic array of colours like orange, gold, purple and black and have two-year life cycles. Pansies do well in sunny to partially sunny spots and the types known as Icicle Pansies are troopers since they'll even brave harsh cold winters and stick around.

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Topics: Autumn, Gardening, Flowers, Backyard, Soil, Perennials, Outdoor

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