Even though summer will soon be coming to a close, that doesn’t mean that you need to hang up your gardening gloves and shears. Instead, there are many things that you can do to turn your summer landscaping into a wonderful addition for fall. Here are some garden design ideas that you can easily implement without much effort:
Add an Autumn Flair
One of the things you should do is remove all of your dead or dying annuals and replace them with hearty fall plants, such as mums or ornamental grasses. You can also place gourds and pumpkins around your home and yard, and cover arbors and lamp posts with dried cornstalks.
Place a Fire Pit
If you don’t already have one, this time of year is great for installing a fire pit or fire bowl. Not only will it look good in the overall design of your garden, but it can take off the chill when the autumn nights get a bit cool.
Plant for Spring
You can also check out local nurseries for great bargains at the end of the summer season. Shrub and trees that might have been expensive in the spring are probably heavily discounted, and you can still plant them now. They should have plenty of time to settle in before going dormant for the winter. Just make sure to keep them well-watered until that happens so they can establish their roots.
Renovate Your Garden Beds
Fall is also a great time to move and divide your perennials. You should definitely do this a few weeks before your first frost is scheduled to hit. This gives them time to recover from the shock of being transplanted, and it will allow them to get new roots established before winter. It also gives you a chance to clean up any dead plants and debris.
Think About the Wildlife
Though your annuals are dying, and your perennials are going dormant, most local wildlife are going to have to stick it out through the winter. So, as you are designing your fall garden, try to leave plants that have seed heads, such as coneflowers, through the winter. This way, birds and other wildlife have something to eat during the colder months.
Add Some Sustainability
This is also an ideal time to add some eco-friendly practices into your gardening routine. For instance, instead of bagging your fallen leaves, shred them with your mower and use the leaves to enrich the soil. You can also add any leftovers to your compost pile. You can use leaves to winterize your compost pile, too. Just make sure to cover with a permeable cloth so that the moisture will stay in.
Plan for Spring
The autumn is the best time to plant spring bulbs, which are great to fill in any dead spots within your perennials. Consider daffodils or hyacinths near your front door, as you will be itching to smell the flowers by the time the spring comes around.
Protect Your Pots
It’s also a good idea to protect your pots during the winter, especially if you live in a cold climate. Wash and store any terra cotta pots in a dry and cool place. You don’t want them to freeze, as they will crack. Stone, metal, or plastic pots are fine to set out, and they can even be used for winter or fall arrangements.
Finally, take this time to make plans for the spring and summer. Think about what went well and what you might want to change. Also, consider any new additions to your garden that you want to make such as a new patio, water feature, or path.