In the Garden Blog
Cincinnati's Garden Blog
Fall Gardening Tips
It’s Fall in Cincinnati! Our garden experts are answering your most common questions and providing their fall gardening tips.
Should I still water my plants in the fall?
If your yard receives less than 1″ of rainfall every ten days, you need to water your plants. Fall and winter provide good soil moisture for your larger trees, shrubs, perennials, and lawn. Proper moisture in the soil is an essential part of how well your plants will thrive in the winter and next spring. It means watering until the ground freezes.
How late can you plant in the fall?
As long as the soil is workable and the weather is good, you can plant throughout the year. Fall is an excellent time for planting most trees, shrubs, evergreens, perennials, roses, lawns, etc.
When to Prune Your Plants
Do last-minute hand trimming of evergreens, tree limbs, etc. In late fall, you can prune plants that have overgrown their location. However, save the most severe pruning for late winter/spring. Pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs in the fall will reduce or eliminate spring flowers, so prune after flowering to preserve spring flowers.
Check Your Soil
Fall and early spring are great times to have your soil tested and make any adjustments.
Start a Compost Pile
It doesn’t take much space. Today’s yard debris can become tomorrow’s garden gold as a soil amendment. Grass clippings, finely ground leaves, small sticks, vegetable trimmings from the kitchen, spent flowers and foliage, etc, can all be added to the compost pile.
Take Care of Your Pots
Empty or properly store containers and planters to prevent freezing and damages to the pots. If you are overwintering planted pots, move them to unheated garages, sheds, window wells, etc., after they have gone dormant and the temperatures have gotten consistently cold. Keep these plants cold to remain dormant all winter. Water once per month.
How to Care for Your Tropical Plants
Before night temperatures reach below 50 degrees, be sure to bring inside your tropical plants. Acclimate them in the shade for ten days before bringing them indoors. Then, be sure to inspect and treat insects and other critters before bringing them indoors. Check in the pots and soil for hitch-hikers as well!
Leaves and Lawn
Make sure to keep leaves from accumulating on the lawn, especially newly seeded lawns. In mature lawns, feel free to return some leaves to the soil by mowing them into more delicate pieces. Grass clippings and finely ground leaves create a thin layer composting right there in the turf! Be cautious not over to apply finely ground leaves to the established turf. Too much can be a bad thing.
Foundation Plants and Watering
You want to check soil moisture between foundation plants and the foundation. If that area is dry, water.
Protect Trees from Deer
Protect younger trees (3-inch trunk diameter or smaller) from deer damage (bucks rubbing) with trunk protectors. Protect deer browse susceptible plants with DeerScram / Liquid Fence / Repels All, etc. Also, consider nylon netting coverage.
How to Care for Summer Bulbs
Dig, clean, and store summer bulbs (cannas, tuberous begonias, gladiolas, caladiums, etc.) in a cool dark place for replanting next year. Let the early light frost kill the tops, then dig and store away.
Don’t Forget Your Evergreens.
Spray evergreens (as needed) with WiltStop for greater winter protection. Do this later in the fall. You can also spray rose canes for added winter protection.
When should you protect your Roses?
Late in the year, you can protect your roses after that plant has gone dormant and the soil is close to frozen. Reduce long branches as needed, but save severe pruning for next spring.
How to Help Your Winged Friends
Feed the birds and clean your feeders. Make sure your birds have a source of water over the winter, as well as landscaping for the birds, including evergreens, plants with seeds or berries, and thicker growing shrubs.