Fall Gardening – Where to Start?
Not sure what to do in the garden this fall? Here are some fall gardening tips that answer where to start.
I can’t believe it’s already mid-October!
The garden season is almost over and there is much to do before it ends.
It can almost seem a little overwhelming when you have a lot of gardens like me.
But I just break the tasks into smaller components.
For me, I like to start with dividing and transplanting in preparation for next year’s gardens.
So I start lifting tender perennials and bulbs, and preparing my houseplants for their return indoors.
Since the New Jersey weather is still seasonable, I’m moving some plants around to make room for new ones while tidying others that look diseased and dead for the season.
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Fall Gardening – Where to Start?
There are lots of places to start in when gardening in fall.
- planting spring bulbs
- digging and storing dahlias and other tender bulbs for winter
- making compost
- fall clean-up and making leaf mold
- dividing and transplanting
- starting new gardens
Since there’s much to do and I need to start somewhere, I often begin with dividing houseplants and perennials, repotting and transplanting.
It gives me an opportunity to see what I have and where I want them to go.
Or give them away to friends, family and neighbors.
So here’s what I’m doing this season before we wrap things up for winter.
Although we did not get a frost this week, I brought all of my houseplants indoors.
Looking ahead to the weekend, the temps may dip in the low 30’s overnight.
With the potential for the first frost, I’m playing it safe and bringing them inside now.
Because some are so big, I had to get them out of their containers, divide and repot them.
The two that needed the most attention are my lacy tree Philodendron and Sansevieria plants.
Both are too large, too heavy, and outgrowing their containers, so I divided them up.
The lacy tree Philodendron was growing like a monster.
Not only was it outgrowing its container, but several roots grew up and over the plant’s crown reaching toward the ground.
The roots extend reached from my upper deck and rooted in the ground about five feet below.
Because it was so root bound, this plant was very difficult to get out of the container.
It took both Chris and I a good hour to get this plant out without damaging the pot or the plant!
The lacy tree Philodendron was not easy to split but we eventually did it!
So now, instead of one plant, I have three.
Each plant is still quite large – not sure where I’m putting them inside yet.
My Sansevieria was also getting a little large for it’s current home.
Since this container was heavy, Chris helped me pick it up and dump the plant out.
Luckily, the Sansevieria came right out of the container and the root ball was easy to pull apart and divide.
I split it into five plants within minutes and probably could have done more, but I don’t know where I’ll put the five I now have.
Dividing and Transplanting Perennials in the Garden
Although I wrote a blog about Dividing Perennials, I wanted to touch upon it again because I am doing it now.
The best times to divide plants are in spring and fall, but I prefer to do it in the fall.
It’s much easier to see how it will look while the plant is leafed out and I don’t care if the plant looks bad after division because the garden is almost done for the season anyway.
Tweaking the Well Garden
After taking photos of my gardens weekly and seeing how each progressed through the 2019 growing season, I really want to address the well garden.
This bed has always seemed off-balance to me.
It is the only garden I didn’t put a lot of thought into when I started it.
Plus it doesn’t help that I squeezed plants in over the years that I wanted to add to my yard but didn’t have a home for yet.
When we built our addition and had to dig a new well, we wanted to quickly hide the equipment so I moved some Daylillies here to cover it with foliage.
It was supposed to be a temporary fix that I intended to change but never got around to it.
Do you do that too?
To fix this border, I need to remove most of the Daylillies in the center of the bed.
They have completely taken over this area and when they get cut back, it looks like nothing is there.
Because I squeezed Zebra Grass and Smoketree in here, they are much taller than the rest of the plants in this garden.
I want to keep them here though so I need to add some taller shrubs or small trees to balance out the garden.
I started digging up, dividing and transplanting large sections of the Daylillies and want to move most of them to the Vermont house.
Until we get up there, I need a holding ground for them in case we don’t get up there before the ground freezes.
So I transplanted them to my backyard borders and will take a group up when we go back.
As of now, I didn’t take them all out but reduced the overall size to make room for other plants.
I think I want to add a different Hydrangea variety and some sort of tall thin evergreen – maybe Sky Pencil Juniper if I can find it.
Whatever I pick up from the nursery will dictate how I rearrange this bed.
So stay tuned!
Although the gardens are starting to slow down, it is amazing how much they are still blooming!
And I love how they all look with the leaves covering the ground.
The foliage is starting to make a greater impact in the landscape.
Over the next few weeks. we’ll see how the foliage takes over and adds color without as many blooms.
Using foliage as color in lieu of blooms helps extend the gardening season and it is truly a magnificent process that I love to watch unfold every year.
Front Garden Tour
The front gardens still look amazing!
Since we have not had a frost yet, the spring annuals and Dahlias are still blooming, Sedum Autumn Joy is darkening with a deeper shade of pink almost daily and the leaves are starting to accumulate in the beds.
The Dahlias still look amazing! After this growing season, I am definately on the Dahlia train.
I cut a few to make some indoor arrangements for my daughter when she came home from school for fall break.
Since the first frost is quickly approaching, I plan to cut the rest and make one final arrangement before I have to dig them up and store them for the winter.
My fall front porch decor still looks really good too!
The Mums are starting to bloom and my urns look beautiful with the Ornamental Kale, Pansies and Dwarf Alberata Spruce.
All of my pumpkins and gourds are still intact with no damage – unlike last year!
To see what happened to last year’s display, click here.
The mailbox garden still looks incredible too! I love how it looks this year!
From the spring annuals, to Sedum Autumn Joy, the Pansies, Pumpkins and new mailbox, it looks very autumnal!
The diseased and dead Peonies will be cut back in the well garden this week.
I didn’t mind them while they were starting to die back, but now I’m ready to cut them down to the ground.
Smoketree and Zebra Grass are still going strong.
The foliage on Smoketree are starting to turn a coppery orange.
Callicarpa, AKA “Beautyberry” still looks amazing!
I love those purple berries and the leaves are starting to turn a bright yellow.
The sideyard woodland garden started turning color.
My favorite in this garden is the Oak Leaf Hydrangea.
It’s starting to change into a brilliant red.
The leaves are large and I just love this shrub when it blooms.
My Oak Leaf Hydrangea used to do so much better before Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey a few years ago.
It’s finally bouncing back and achieving a bushier growth with blooms.
Hopefully next year, it will continue to thrive.
Backyard Garden Tour
Since I brought all the houseplants indoors and am starting to lift out the Caladiums, the deck area is looking pretty bare but still looks really good!
We will start storing the deck furniture away soon to protect it from the harsh winter elements.
Although some of the perennials are starting to die back, the foliage is changing color and looks really beautiful back here right now.
Even the dried Joe Pye Weed flower heads still look amazing!
The Plume Poppies are still adding color, interest and texture to the backyard borders.
I am so appreciative that my friend and fellow gardener, Caroline, gave them to me a few years back.
The Burning Bush is just starting to change color.
I don’t tame these shrubs at all and let them grow as tall and wide as they want in the back border.
They will turn a brilliant red before dropping to the ground and let me tell you fall color on it is gorgeous!
The shed and vegetable garden area looks really autumnal with Sedum Autumn Joy, Joe Pye and the Ornamental Grass.
The shed color really bothers me though – I want to refresh this next year but am not sure what color yet.
UPDATE!!! See the before and after shed makeover HERE.
The fire pit garden still looks beautiful.
I love how Sedum Autumn Joy pairs with the Ornamental Grass and the red Adirondack chairs.
What Do You Think?
Are you making changes to your garden for next year?
I am really excited to work in the well garden over the next few weeks.
I love making changes and seeing how it pans out the following year!
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I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour and appreciate you joining me! If you missed a few tours or want to see how the garden has progressed during the growing season, you can see them here:
- 1st Week – Bulbs and Early Spring Perennials
- 2nd Week – Cool Season Vegetables and Spring Flowers
- 3rd Week – Growth, Change and Everblooming Design
- 4th Week – Growth and Transition in the Spring Garden
- 5th Week – Container Gardens and Outdoor Living Spaces
- 6th Week – Adding Color with Annuals
- 7th Week – The Importance of a Tidy Border
- 8th Week – How to Create a Hummingbird Garden
- 9th Week – Spring to Summer Transition
- 10th Week – Summer Perennials, Pest and Disease Control
- 11th Week – Summer Gardening and Patriotic Decor
- 12th Week – Caring for Gardens While On Vacation
- 13th Week – How to Create a Butterfly Garden
- 14th Week – Midsummer Flowers
- 15th Week – Summer to Fall Transition in the Garden
- 16th Week – Tidying Up the Late Summer Flower Garden
- 17th Week – Preparing the Flower Garden for Fall Plantings
- 18th Week – Best Plant for the Fall Garden
- 19th Week – Fall Garden Tip that Will Save You Money
- 20th Week – Easy Fall Garden Maintenance Tip
- 21st Week – Preparing the Garden for Winter