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5495 Canotek Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K1J 1H4

 

 

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Extending the Garden Season

It always seems as if summer is too short.  Our gardens are winding down all too soon, as it seems like it was just yesterday when they burst to life.  There are things that we can do this time of the year to extend the garden season however, so that you can get the most your garden has to offer over a longer period of time.  Planning in advance, and putting in some work now will allow your garden to have a head start, so that you can enjoy its benefits first thing after a long winter. Take advantage of these tips and you will be able to enjoy your garden from the moment the snow melts until it falls again! 

Think Mums.  Whether you place them in decorative pots or tuck them in your garden beds, Chrysanthemums are a wonderful, inexpensive fall plant that will brighten up your garden when most plants are turning in for the season.   Their showy blooms come in a variety of colors such as mauves, reds, yellows, and oranges that will prolong the interest in your landscape. 

Plant Spring Bulbs.  Fall is the time to plant bulbs for spring.  Don’t miss this window of opportunity that will allow you to enjoy hits of color and beauty offered in the early season of spring with bulbs such as Narcissus and Tulips.  How exciting it is to see them emerge and brighten up our garden after a long white winter.

Clean-Up.  While it may be tempting to leave cleaning up our garden for spring time, we can benefit more if we take care of it in the fall.  Performing a thorough fall clean up will reduce the opportunity for pests and diseases in our garden, as this will minimize the amount of protection they will have to overwinter.  Cleaning up in the fall will also allow us to enjoy a tidy garden right away in the spring.  What better way to show off those spring bulbs we planted in the fall!  Don’t let garden refuse left from the fall deter the spectacle and beauty of these gems, after all, we need to be rewarded after our long hibernation. 

Prune.  Fall is a great time to take care of pruning most of our trees and shrubs.  What a way to get a jump start on garden tasks that will help keep our landscape looking young and vibrant.  Spring can be a very busy time when we are taking on new garden projects or planting those new perennials we just couldn’t resist!  All too often, pruning gets pushed aside and yet another year passes with our trees and shrubs getting neglected.  Why not take care of this now while there is less to do? With the leaves on the ground, it is also easier to see what we’re doing.

Add Mushroom Compost.  While you are planting your spring bulbs and mums, why not take the opportunity to amend your garden beds at the same time?  Adding a couple of inches of mushroom compost to your garden will provide some well needed nutrients for your plants and will improve the soil structure of your garden beds for the next season.  When spring rolls around you will find that you are ahead of the game and that your garden is all set to go!

Divide Perennials. Take the time to divide up any perennials that are getting too leggy, or that are getting too big for its space.  The fall is a great time to take care of this.  Your perennials can now focus on re-establishing so that next season they can use their energy for growing and blooming.

Think Ahead.  Have some plans for next spring?  Think about what you may be able to get done in advance for preparation, especially if you are hiring someone to help as things are usually less busy in the fall than in the spring.  Perhaps you need to remove an overgrown shrub to make room for a new project.   Take care of it now so that you can jump right in in the spring.  Getting a head start now will also motivate you to complete the project right off the bat instead of putting it off.

Why not do all we can right now so that we can prolong the enjoyment of our garden?   With a tidy garden that is ready to go and bursting to life with glorious spring bulbs, we can get an early start enjoying our garden in the spring.  And by paying some extra attention to our garden in the fall and treating it to some beautiful fall mums, we can extend the amount of enjoyment in our garden for as long as possible.  Gee, winter seems shorter already!

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