What To Do In The Fall Garden
Fall is a great time to add trees, shrubs, and perennials to the garden. Cooler air temperatures combined with warm soil from the summer months will allow newly installed plant roots to grow and expand before the ground freezes in late November.
Late fall (late October) or early winter (November & December) is a good time to do some pruning throughout the landscape. With that in mind; resist the temptation to break out the pruners before the plants go dormant. Some folks are dying to tidy up their yards and do a lot of severe cutting back and pruning, and sometimes it's wrong. Don't prune most woody plants in early fall, as it stimulates new growth. Avoiding pruning in early fall also helps protect the plants as they head into winter. Not sure what to prune when? Stop by and talk to one of our experts and we will be happy to assist you with all of your questions.
Don’t forget to water, especially newly planted trees & shrubs or a newly seeded lawn. Fall’s cooler air temperatures and warm soil are ideal conditions to plant in the garden but watering will still be a crucial part of your success. Be mindful of the temperatures; even after irrigation systems are turned off for the season; trees, shrubs, and perennials may still need to be hand watered until the ground freezes.
Fall is the perfect time to seed your lawn. The cooler air temperatures combined with the warm soil will provide the optimum conditions for growing a lush and healthy lawn.
Fertilizing your garden and lawns in the fall is a key component to a quicker spring green-up.
For woody plants, don't assume that you have to fertilize your garden as soon as the tree leaves begin to change colors. In the Northeast, it's really important not to fertilize perennials or woody plants in early and mid-fall because the last thing you want to do is to encourage new growth when they should be busy growing roots, shutting down, and hardening off top growth. After the plants are dormant, perhaps October or November, it's fine to stir in some fertilizers around your woody plants. Applying fertilizer in the early spring has more value for perennials.
For lawns it is recommended to fertilize in early September and then again in late October. This fall feeding will help your lawn store carbohydrates and provide a quicker green-up in the spring. Please note that in Suffolk County all lawn fertilizing must be completed by October 31st. Application of lawn fertilizer is prohibited between November 1st and April 1st.
The region of the country where you live should determine when you apply mulch. For the northeast, it is recommended to mulch the garden bed (after it has been weeded) once the ground freezes. Mulching too early in the fall may mean that water may not reach the roots in the soil at a time when watering is crucial. Once the top of the soil freezes, (late November) go for it.
Decker's Nursery is aiming to be THE horticultural resource center on Long Island. To that end, we're always happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to drop a comment below or stop by the store any time to chat with our experts. We're here to help educate and inform.