Fall season here, it feels like it’s on its way. Kids are heading off to school, and it’s not long before the stores start stocking Halloween candy.
We’re big proponents of making life easier, inside and outside your home. Let’s look at how you can begin to get ready for fall out in your yard and garden, as well as saving time and unnecessary work once the days start getting short.
Prepare those potted plants
It’s a twice-a-year ritual for many households: The Big Plant Move. All your tropical houseplants are blissfully happy out there in the warm weather, humidity, and sun - even if you aren’t. They’re getting bigger and it’s hard not to add to your collection as the summer goes on.
Plan ahead now for when you’ll be bringing your little green buddies back into the house. If you’re overwintering plants that will go dormant in a greenhouse or cool room, such as members of the ficus (fig) species, or some tender perennials like geraniums, take note of what can be kept together in the winter. Dormant plants will require less water and heat that your other pots.
Slow down on fertilizing your plants as the days get shorter. When they’re not actively growing, they don’t need it. You can also assess any plants that have gotten too large, and that will need some trimming back. Now is a good time to take any trimmings of plants you’d like to root and get them well on their way. Some gardeners keep their plants living on year to year by keeping only the smaller plants they’ve started from cuttings through the winter. This is also a good time to remember which friends have been requesting a start of one of your plants - get them a strong healthy one from a specimen that’s been flourishing all summer!
Get ready to clean up pots and give all your greenery a good spray with insecticidal soap before coming inside with you. Another good idea is to go ahead and get that heavy-duty plant dolly you’ve been considering. You’ll be able to roll your largest plants inside easily, and keep everything smoothly mobile as the sunlight shifts through the winter months.
Create a compost center
There is no better feeling than using all those fallen leaves for a better garden next Spring! Composting is a year-round activity - get your yard ready by putting together a sturdy compost bin before the leaves drop.
Every successful compost bin requires plenty of the “Browns”. You’ll have a rich supply of them in your leaf raking! Find a dry shady spot near a source of water (like a garden hose) for your new composting spot.
For lots of leaves, many gardeners prefer to run a mower over the piles to shred them into finer pieces that will compost faster and more efficiently. You can alternate the beginning layers of compost with “Green” additions such as lawn clippings while the weather still permits mowing. Keep adding a brown layer, then a green layer. Once you’ve established your initial layers, you’ll be able to add fruit and vegetable waste from your home - just make sure it’s buried in at least 10 inches of compost material.
After a winter of tending, you should be able to add the wonderful rich results to your garden beds and potting material. A well-constructed bin ensures that you’ll get beautiful, dark compost that’s great for the environment and your plants.
Set up your shelving
You may be looking at your wonderful, lush herb plants and thinking that it would be terrific to have them through the winter. It’s totally doable! Many herbs will do quite well in a sunny window. Wouldn’t it be nice to clip off a bit of mint for your hot tea, or add the crisp fresh flavor of some basil to your cooking?
Your optimal growing spot for your plants may not be ready for them. It’s a smart move to set up your shelves before you start bringing the pots inside. Adding a stainless steel shelf on a kitchen window or other spot with great lighting through the winter is the easiest way to enjoy your herbs and other greenery. It won’t be affected by water, and keeping it clean and presentable is as easy as wiping it down. Even if dirt spills - it’s no big deal. We carry a full range of sizes to fit any dimensions your home might require, and our finishes will complement any type of pots or decor.
Keep your relaxed summertime mindset going by getting ready for the change of seasons gradually. With a little bit of planning, your fall chores will go smoothly, your plants will thrive, and you’ll be ahead of the game next Spring. Sounds like a winner to us!