With the long, hot summer months on the go, it’s time to get your garden ready for a little fall facelift and rejuvenation.
Here are some autumn chores to consider for a new lease on your landscape:
Remove all summer weeds from your garden and get it cleaned up.
Cut back all dead or withered flower heads from perennials.
Remove summer annuals and set out some cooler plants for the winter.
Plant the lesser known bulbs now like sparaxis, babiana, freesia, “paper white” narcissus, tritonia, muscari, snowflake, watsonia, nerine, polianthus, alliums, crocosmia, scilla and brodiaea.
Review your micro irrigation system for leaks/chewed off emitters (from coyotes, skunks or possums.)
Might have to add more emitters for increased size of plantings or change water volumes as needed for cooler months ahead.
Turn your soil over in bare spots. Add digested compost, worm castings, chicken manure and gypsum to get the soils ready for new plantings.
Trim back rangy and shrub type of plants to get them back into shape.
Time to review of all your trees for a touch up of safety pruning.
Fall is a good time for thinning, dividing and replanting perennials out into other areas of the garden and you can save money from your own stock plants.
Fall is a good planting time with the cooler temperatures not only in the air but also in cooler soils.
Get your veggie beds prepped for beets, carrots, pole beans, radishes, and many types of leafy lettuce, garlic, asparagus, onions and cabbage.
Start your new plants from organic seeds. The seed catalogs abound this time of year with a lot of heirloom types and hard to find varieties.
Set out some blueberry plants in the garden, many southern high-bush are self- pollinating like emerald, misty, jewel, jubilee and sharp-blue.
The dragon fruit or pityhiyas are creating quite a stir these days as an exotic fruit with a real yummy flavor. Plant these with a support system for they are climbers. Contact; Dragon Fruit lady Linda Nickerson at (760) 451-0320 for complete updated information.
Consider some of the wonderful Asian veggies as a supplement in your diet. Go on line to find seed sources, for most nurseries do not carry them.
Care for your garden tools, by sharpening, oil cutting edges, and sand wooden handles with linseed oil.
Do you have rosemary, bay tree, or lemon verbena shrubs in your landscape? Save money from the high cost of those herbs in the small bottles and very expensive in the market by growing your own.
Take command of the garden and grow your own, for food is not going to get any cheaper in the markets, and do it organically for wholesome, fresh veggies, right out your kitchen door.
Consider getting your neighborhood together and start a street-block “food-shed;” it’s the wave of the future. Families get together and set a plan of who grows what, and share the bounty from the earth throughout the year. It’s fun, communal and gets the kids involved as part of this recipe for life. It’s like the old fashion community barn raising and getting to help out and know your neighborhood.
Plan for street food potlucks, share recipes and expand the horticultural horizons that have so much to offer by growing and sharing, call it a “veggie and food hootenanny.” Bring in a little music as well to make it festive, enjoyable and memorable experience for your whole clan.
Fall is an inspirational time to set some new gardening goals and think about the art of permaculture in growing and sustaining a better way of living for you, your family and friends.
Roger Boddaert Maker of Natural Gardens can be reached at (760) 728-4297.