Fall Gardening Tips
Fall gardening involves pruning, raking and planting bulbs that you want to bloom the following spring. September, for example is a good time to plant tulip bulbs.
Many of your annuals have probably stopped blooming by now. You can pull out the remaining parts of the plant to make spring cleanup and planting easier. Of course there are exceptions.
A good rule of thumb is to wait for the plant to stop blooming. If the foliage is attractive, you can leave the plants in place until the first frost as long as there are no signs of disease or insect infestation on the leaves.
Fall Pruning Tips
Autumn is the right time to prune trees and bushes. Some people do it in the spring and end up stunting the plant for the entire season. Spring pruning can eventually kill a shrub.
To prune trees or shrubbery, you need the right tools. Electric or manual clippers can be used. It is easier to be more exact with manual clippers. The fast blades of the electric kind can cause you to cut off more than you planned.
Clippers should be kept sharp. Dull blades cause damage to the plant when pulling or twisting is required to break the limb.
Fall pruning time depends on the species. You may want to wait until after the first frost. The branches snap easily when they are cold and dry.
Fall Raking Tips
Raking is something that seems simple enough. The novice gardener might wonder why there are so many different rakes to choose from. Maybe raking is not that simple. The leaf or lawn rake is the one you will need for raking up leaves. The blades are flexible enough to keep them from disrupting the grass beneath the leaves.
They are often made of plastic and if sturdy enough can be used to clean up the debris left by fall pruning. The blades spread out from the end of the handle in a fan shape.
Rakes with small widely spaced metal tines are used to even out soil, gravel or other ground cover. They are sometimes referred to as bow rakes.
You can find small hand-held versions to use for working around the bases of plants and shrubs. They can be used to dig up weeds, for example.
If you try to use a bow rake for gathering leaves into a pile, you could end up pulling up some of your grass. So it is important to choose the right tool for the job.
Fall gardening can be fun for the whole family. Get everyone outside this weekend and enjoy the change of seasons.