Posted on October 9, 2018
It’s tempting to put your gardening tools away once the days get shorter. However, a green thumb does not go away when the leaves turn brown. In many ways Autumn is the perfect time to work outside. The temperature is cool, the bugs are mostly gone, and the soil is just right for trees, tulips, and second season crops. It’s also the perfect time to prep your garden for spring. Here are a couple helpful hints and to-do’s for the season.
Autumn leaves are beautiful on trees but annoying when they cover your lawn. Put them to good use! Leaves are an abundant source of carbon for your compost bin. They can also be used as a top dressing for your garden.
Make Your Own Seed Bank:
Collecting seeds is a perfect way of preserving the quality of your flowerbed and saving some money in the process. Make sure to collect them in a mason jar or paper bag, and always label!
Plant a Tree or a Shrub:
The nice weather means there’s still time to plant trees and shrubs. The ground is still warm from the summer months without being too hot, and the precipitation is just right without making it too wet to plant. It allows these plants to develop deep and intricate root systems over fall and winter, and flourish once the spring and summer seasons arrive.
As the Gossamer Summer fades and the temperature drops, it’s time to get your spring bulbs growing. Tulips, Alium, and Hyacinth bulbs should be planted when the temperature gets to about 40-50 degrees, but a couple weeks before the first frost. Remember to stake these young trees or shrub so they don’t bend or break during ferocious seasonal storms.
Second Season Crops:
Unfortunately it may be too late to plant second season crops in 2018. Even the hardiest and fastest growing crops need 30-75 days to mature, and once it gets cooler, it can double that time. However, Maryland’s generally warm early Autumn means you can put things like Radishes as late as the end of September! Then there are overwinter plants like Garlic and Onions which can be planted in the winter and harvested next summer.
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