Imagine if you will a fall garden, with its welcoming path, enchanting colors and the glisten of a recent rain on the leaves. Fall is 100% my favorite time of year. As our family makes plans to gather for the holiday season, I like to prepare the garden so that it looks complementary to both the weather and the decorations to come.
Whether you have a Halloween party and thanksgiving dinner planned, or if you simply want to prepare your space to sip a pumpkin spice latte in and feel that fall weather coming on. Our essential fall garden preparation tips will set you up for success.
1. Remove Weeds
This job never seems to end I know. But honesty of you only manage to do this one job, it has the most impact. Both aesthetically and for the health of your plants. Below are our top tips for weeding.
- Gloves help protect your hands from spiky or pokey weeds.
- Using weeding tools can make everything easier.
- Check out our home made weed killer recipe. To blast the weeds on your steps, patio or driveways.
2. Clip all dead branches or flower heads
After your summer blooms start to drop, your garden may start to look a little too Halloween graveyard for September if you know what I mean. Lots of seed heads and old sunflower stalks. Personally, I like to keep a few seed heads for the fall garden, but I remove anything that looks scruffy or dead.
Simply go around with a pair of clippers and clear away anything that makes the garden look untidy. Cut back any perennial shrubs that are dying back, and pull any annuals that have died. Be sure to collect and save any seeds that you may want to use in the spring!
3. Generously feed all trees and flower beds
Now that your soil is free from weeds and dead plants, get your favorite plant food and give the soil a generous feed to help your plants look glorious by the holidays. Our favorite options are
- Fish emulsion
- Blood Meal
- Home made compost
- Tomato food
- Specific plant foods for what you are growing is also always a good way to go.
4. Start fall vegetables for harvest vibes
If you have a vegetable patch, containers or a raised bed. It’s not too late to start some fall vegetables. What says ‘Harvest Season’ more than a beautiful bed of thriving vegetables in a fall garden? Some fall seed options include..
- Mustard greens
5. Fill beds with fall color
The best part of fall for me, second only to the smell of apple pie, is the colors. I love all the reds, golds, oranges and browns. I love the turning leaves and everything about the garden at this time of year.
If your garden needs a little fall color, it’s easy to add some. Once your soil is ready for planting, head over to your local nursery and select some annuals or perennials with fall colors. Choose a few colors in larger groups to create a more natural effect.
Interesting plants to look for include
- Annuals or perennials in Dark reds, Chocolate colors, Red and bronze foliage
- Plants with Dark foliage
- Grasses for texture
- Classic Fall sunflowers
- Pumpkin Vines mixed into the flower beds
6. Choose a lush looking dark mulch and put down generously
If you have read some of our other posts, you know that our number 1 favorite thing to make our garden look beautiful is mulch. We love mulch. You can’t have too much mulch!
Mulching improves water retention, rots nutrients into the soil over time, and reduces weed growth by blocking light.
You can choose from a variety of mulches, however in the fall, if you are also thinking of aesthetics, you can choose a mulch to complement your fall garden.
We love Kellogg organic grow mulch, because it has a lovely dark brown color, and when the beds are full with a couple of inches of mulch it looks seasonally rich and ‘fallish’.
7. Clean the exterior of your house
This might seem like a little more of a summertime activity, but it’s perfect to do right before you put out your fall decorations. Simply run around the perimeter of your house with a either a broom or a window washing pole, and wipe away all the cobwebs. Use the hose to blast off any dirt marks off the walls. Especially if you have a white house like we do it makes a big difference.
Give the porch or deck a good brush, And clear away any pots or containers that look worse for wear. Think of it as clearing the canvas getting ready for your beautiful fall decorations.
8. Organize your decorations and add your ‘first signs of fall’
And now for my favorite part, not technically a gardening task but an essential part of this season. Head on into your storage and pull out all the decorations that you will be using throughout this fall.
As we have a young child I’d like to decorate for the seasons, but this decoration is totally not necessary. You could have simply fall colored garden and it would look beautiful with or without decorations.
I like to take this opportunity to quickly take a look through our seasonal decor (up to thanksgiving) and make sure they’re not jumbled up. Nothing worse than getting to thanksgiving and realizing you forgot to put out your favorite Halloween decoration that was hiding in a bag of pumpkins.
Once do you have all your decorations organize pull out some to start the season. I like to start with a few simple decorative pumpkins, some signs to hang and a couple of miniature scarecrows to put in the vegetable beds.
Decorating and layers like this allows you to add Halloween items, and simply remove them and add a few more full items at Thanksgiving. Layering your fall decorations like this makes it easier than redecorating every few weeks.
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