Managing Your Gardens Fall

Posted Aug 1st, 2008 in From Vito's Desk

Gardening in the Garden City, a feature of the Senior's Review: Managing Your Gardens August / September issue - written by Vito M. Pirri. 


Late summer and early fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs and bushes. By planting now they will be well rooted by next spring. Always check for utility wires and gas lines before digging! It’s always best to call your utility companies to mark areas of caution, before you dig.

For optimum curb appeal, plant your garden beds with your selection of colors in mind, to contrast the siding or brick of your home. I would recommend that you shape, cut and edge your garden beds to your liking.

For soil maintenance, turn your existing soil well, and add to your beds a good triple mix soil. It is important to mound your beds to get a professionally landscaped appearance.

When planting your new plants, make sure you know how far apart from one another they should be. Consideration should be given to your plantings and the maximum size they will grow. Leave ample space. To know your property’s position to the sun and whether new plants are better in the sun or shade is important to keep in mind before purchasing or planting.

In preparation to planting your new tree, it is very important to dig the hole deep and wide. Remove the new tree from the pot, and loosen all roots by hand. Quite often many new plants are root bound.

Adding a triple mix soil, and watering as you plant, makes the roots well moistened and helps establish the plant in the ground. A good quality triple mix is composed of screened topsoil, rich in nutrients, compost and black loam. Triple Mix is ideal for new gardens, for top dressing existing gardens and lawns or replenishing depleted soil. I would also recommend mixing well, one bag of manure for every 5-bags of triple mix, before applying to your garden.

Watering your new or existing garden on a continuous basis is very important. If slugs are evident you should water in early morning or in the late evening. You must water on the base of the tree or plant, holding the hose on it for at least thirty seconds per plant. Mist all cedars, junipers, bushes and trees. I can’t stress the importance of water, water, water, when maintaining a beautiful yard. A good bed of mulch can help with weed control and keep your soil moist.  Consider applying landscape fabric under the mulch, pea gravel or brushed stone.

As a homeowner, you have a sense of pride in your homestead, how beautiful is your curb appeal? Is your outdoor living space enjoyable to sit and entertain in?  

When, “Maintaining Your Existing Garden”, you should remove all dead blooms. By removing a dead bloom, you help to give life to the rest of the plant, promoting new growth.                                                                                        

I also recommend fertilizing your plants, shrubs, roses and trees. Make sure you choose the right products for specific plants. Pests can also be a problem in your garden. The correct use of chemicals must be used for fungus on leaves, aphids on roses, weeds growing through your patio slabs or interlocking brick, etc. Weeding your beds, on a continuous basis, also helps with your curb appeal.

Late summer and early fall is also a great time of year to engage in “Light pruning and Yard Clean-up”.

As we get into latter fall, you will have less to concern yourself with, as the weather is getting colder.

Lawn fertilizer should also be applied at this time of year. In mid August to mid October I recommend an application of an Ultra Winterizing Weed & Feed 12-14-22 to control over 50 species of broadleaf weeds: 12 Nitrogen, 14 Phosphorus, and 22 Potassium.                                                                                                                                                                                                       
This is also a good time of the year for you to “Strip your pressure treated deck. To add longevity to your deck seal and stain, for the ultimate look and protection in the winter months and to add curb appeal to your home.