Shorter and cooler days at this time of year do not mean we should neglect our flowerbeds and vegetable patches. Too many people think the gardening season ends on Labour Day although climate change is making our summers longer and the fine days ahead are the perfect time to prepare our gardens for winter.
Here are a few timely tips:
• If you haven’t already done so, it is time to bring in all the indoor plants you put out near your front door, driveway or pool deck. Indoor plants are happier outdoors during the summer but risk withering once the temperature drops below eight degrees Celsius.
•The same should be done with any annuals you want to keep indoors, such as geraniums, fuchsias and herbs.
• Pick any vegetables that are sensitive to cold, such as tomatoes and peppers. Carrots, on the other hand, can easily withstand the first autumn frosts.
• Dig up summer bulbs such as gladioli and dahlias. Let them dry for a few days and then store them in a cool place for the winter.
• This is the time of year to plant tulip, narcissus, crocus and other bulbs. Garden centres offer a wide variety of bulbs that will flower beautifully in the spring but a surprising number of people don’t realize that the time to plant them is now, in the fall.
• Lastly, if you are thinking of making changes to your garden next spring, take photographs now. It will make planning easier and tell you exactly where you planted those perennials.
Translation: Brian McCordick