Summer is behind us a long time ago, the trees are showing more and more colorful leaves, the gardens are turning brown, yellow and purple, the days are getting shorter and the evenings and mornings are cooler. This is a sign that autumn is fast approaching. We will advise you on how to take care of the garden and everything that is in it before winter, so that you can easily welcome the next season.
Hide potted plants home
At the beginning of autumn, the potted plants that are sensitive to low temperature, decorating the terrace or balcony, should be brought home.
Sow and plant the plants
Many plants, mainly annuals (black seeds, cornflowers, poppies, marigolds, gypsophila) will bloom the next season earlier if sown in the fall. From mid-September, biennial plants (mallow, bluebells, foxgloves, pansies, daisies) and perennials can be transplanted to their target sites so that they can take root before winter. Large clumps can be divided. Plants planted with a lump of soil take best.
Feed the plants
A universal fertilizer for autumn use is compost (it can be fertilized until the end of November). For fertilizing trees and shrubs, mature compost, which is spread under plant crowns, or phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (nitrogen fertilizers are not used in autumn, because they extend the vegetation period of plants, which may cause them to freeze). Fertilizers should be distributed around the plants in a circular pattern (most active roots are on the edge of the crown), they can also be mixed shallowly with the soil.
Plant the bulbs
Spring-flowering bulbs that winter in the ground can be planted in September and October. It is worth doing it before the first frosts, because the bulbs must have time to take root before the onset of winter (until the middle of October, you should plant the bulbs of ornamental garlic, iris, sapphires, scallops, tulips, lilies and crocus bulbs).
After the first frosts, the places where the bulbs were planted should be covered with a 2-4 cm layer of bark or peat, dry leaves, straw or spruce branches. At the beginning of autumn, you can plant or replant some coniferous trees and shrubs, as well as evergreen plants. If we do this later, they may not be able to take root before the coming winter. In heavy soils, rooting may be more difficult; then planting is better to postpone in the spring.
Protect the plants from frost
Perennials are protected against frost in autumn, against soil freezing (usually it is done only in November). This can be done by mulching the soil with bark or leaves, as well as manure. Mulching prevents temperature fluctuations in the soil and helps to keep it moist. The plants are watered and trimmed to a height of about 15 cm, also covered with pine or spruce branches. The grass roots that are sensitive to frost should also be covered with twigs in the fall. Perennials that do not winter in the ground (dahlias, begonias, gladioli, gilding) need to be dug up, remove the above-ground parts, and the underground ones – rhizomes, tubers, bulbs – slightly dry, thoroughly cleaned and put for the winter in a dry, airy, cool room – at a temperature of 5 10 ° C. Bulbs should be stored in boxes filled with peat or sawdust, arranged so that they do not touch each other.
Regardless of the covering, some plants should be protected by the so-called mounding, that is sprinkling the roots with soil, leaves, bark or sawdust – up to a height of 20–40 cm. Even if the shoots are frozen in harsh winter, the branches will bounce off the lower, covered part of the plant in spring. This is how it is worth protecting hydrangeas, roses, clematis, young specimens of palm maples and buds. In periods of drought, evergreen plants should be watered even in winter – during the thaw, water evaporates through their leaves, which exposes the plant to drying out. Evergreen plants should also be shaded with shading nets that do not let in UV radiation and protect against wind. Potted plants overwintering on the terrace – properly secure. A small root ball, a small water supply, strong winds and winter sun rays increase evaporation, which makes the plant vulnerable to freezing.
The easiest way is to place the pot in the soil and make a mound of soil around the plant. If this is not possible, you can wrap the pot with straw or corrugated cardboard and place it in a wooden crate or in a cardboard box filled with bark, dry leaves or even newspapers or polystyrene pieces.
Plants wintering in this way should be placed as close to each other as possible and their shoots should also be secured, as in garden plants, with straw mats, coniferous branches, agrotextile (one that provides the necessary light access) or dry leaves (you can first wrap the plant loosely with a net, and then pour the leaves inside).