Annuals - Only buy summer annuals now if you need quick color for a few weeks. Now is the time to be planning for winter annuals (cool season hardy annuals that bloom all winter). Iceland Poppies and Pansies (buy and install in the last week of September-first two weeks of October- protect from full sun on days above 90 degrees). For more about choosing and caring for Pansies watch The Gardening Tutor video Pansies 101.
See Our Latest Blog Post: The Renaissance of The Garden in Fall.
Tasks To Do
Prune- Finish pruning many blooming plants, such as Veronica, Lobelia, Erigeron and others by the first week of September so they have time to bloom before frost. Watch The Gardening Tutor video on Shearing Plants to Encourage Flowers or Foliage. Prune roses to encourage more blooms before winter. Wisteria-thin out any crowded or overly long stems now to make it easier to cut back flowering stems in winter.
Fertilizing- Apply one last dose of fertilizerfor the season to shrubs so the new leaves have time to mature before frost begins at the end of October. Container plants too will appreciate another round of fertilizing (Mary uses Maxsea). Watch The Gardening Tutor video: Two Quick Methods of Fertilizing.
Mulch: Apply a thick layer (at least 3 inches on top of soil) of compost as mulch in planting beds that will have winter annuals growing in them. Also, the veggie garden soil will appreciate some amending with compost and mulching on top with compost too. Veggies such as Spinach and Lettuce love being planted directly into compost. The key is to keep the compost moist, this means more watering when the compost is new because when it's new it is hydro-phobic (repels the water).
Bulbs: Spring flowering bulbs are in nurseries now. Choose bulbs that are blemish free and heavy for their size.