Don't Put Your Garden to Bed!
Taking Care of Your Fall Garden
Fall gardening is a pleasant experience: the heat (in most areas) is gone, the bugs are dying and many of your spring plants are flourishing. The real business of gardening in the fall is to encourage what you already have, and to replenish as you see fit.
Many of your perennial herbs will benefit from a 'trim' - this is not a drastic 'cut back' that you do in the cold winter months, but merely a shaping up where you cut off any dead or dying stems, trim back to encourage a bit of new growth if you have time before frost, and clean up those dead flowers. Remember that those dead heads are essential food for our feathered friends, so you may want to leave them alone.
Cleaning and Trimming
Cleaning your beds is important. Any decomposing plant material should be gathered up and composted for next spring's garden. Check around the plants for any pests, or signs of disease. DO NOT compost this material!
As you clean, and trim, remember that much of what you are cutting back can be preserved for use in the winter.
If your annual herbs are definitely in decline, go ahead and pull them out. However, if you have time before a frost, careful trimming can encourage a bit more growth!
Growing in the Fall
Once you've done the basic Fall Cleaning chore, the fun begins. Take a step back, look at your space (or container) and decide what you want to GROW. If you have the proper climate, add some wonderful annuals to your garden - who doesn't want to keep the fresh taste of basil all fall? Or Nasturtiums for both color and flavor! Color is essential in those warmer climates where Lantanas are considered perennial and will provide year round color! For those in colder climates, there are plenty of perennial herbs that will provide generous blooms, and planting in the Fall gives you a chance to have bigger and better blooms next spring. Consider Echinacea (we have both Magnus and Purple Coneflower or Digitalis, as well as Feverfew and Rudbeckia.
With over 100 herbs to choose from, the number of perennial herbs that are essential to any garden would be perfect in ANY fall garden. Herbs are so multi-talented that your choices are almost endless. A kitchen garden with an endless supply of Italian Parsley that has been known to come through a snow storm! Most culinary herbs are hardy to the lowest zones, so take your pick!
Enjoy the fall garden from now until your frost date. Depending on where you live, that could be months from now. For some of you, that term doesn't even 'compute' So, take a few hours to do your chores, and then take all the time in the world to dream about your fall garden.
We are here to help!