"Helping Others Grow"                                                                         


Autumn Gardening

Ellen Wilson-Pruitt


Here are some suggestions for preparing your yard and garden for the upcoming winter:

  • Clean debris such as dead leaves etc. from beds.  If you have had a problem with fungal diseases such as  black spot be sure to dispose of all contaminated plant material.  DO NOT COMPOST CONTAMINATED PLANT MATERIAL.
    Trim rose canes to approximately 12  to 18 inches.  Long canes catch the wind, ice and snow in winter.  This may cause the canes to break below ground level and damage root area.

  • Mulch your roses and tender perennials to prevent heaving during freezing and thawing.  Also it is a good idea to mulch around all trees, shrubs as well as perennials that were planted this year to prevent heaving and retain moisture.

  • You may also plant trees, shrubs and perennials in the fall.  They suffer less from heat and drought stress but be sure to water and mulch well.  The fall is also a good time to plant fruit trees.

  • Be sure to secure all newly planted trees with twine, wire or rope to prevent whipping in the winter wind.  Be sure to cushion trunk to prevent girdling from what ever means you are tying the trunk.  A piece of garden hose over the wire or rope is a good choice.

  • Examine trees (even large shade trees) shrubs for any limbs that maybe broken or damaged.  Remove these limbs now before ice and snow does it for you.  Many times the damage to the specimen is more extensive when mother nature does the pruning.

  • If you have newly planted fruit trees you may wish to protect them with some sort of wire fencing to prevent deer damage.  Deer like to feed on young trees and can delay your fruit harvest at least 1 year.

  • You may also wish to spray your fruit trees with a dormant oil spray to protect them through the winter.

  • Check the stores for spring bulbs.  You may also order them through the mail but make sure you know when they will be shipped.  You may not wish to be planting bulbs on Thanksgiving.  I know it is very easy to say that the gardening season is over and not plant any bulbs but you will be greatly rewarded come spring if you make just a little effort now.

  • Also when you are purchasing bulbs to plant outside remember to buy extras for forcing indoors.  Remember you can also plant lilies as well as spring flowering species.