You Know What This Time Of The Year Is Good For?

You Know What This Time Of The Year Is Good For?

Enjoying the fruits of your labor in your native garden!!!!

This time of the year shows off the strength of your garden.  We are just past peak flowing time for most native gardens, but they are still quite beautiful and we can look forward to our fall flowers.  Take some time, sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty, the warm sun on your face, the smells, the sounds, the buzz of the bees, the fluttering of the butterflies, and the birds eating seeds and fruits.  The eclipse was something to behold, but Mother Nature is also quite impressive!  When reflecting on my backyard oasis, my favorite part is knowing that I had a small part in all this beauty.  This time of the year is great, but it can also show off some of the flaws of your garden as well, but not to fret, use this as an opportunity.

Make use of these moments to take note of where you need to fill in a few holes, add some bloom time diversity, color diversity, or just plain diversity :) I do this every year because there is little guessing of the location of supplemental plantings, sun needs, water needs, flower color opportunities, and structural interest.  

These are some of the issues I have seen over the years in my plantings; Do you have tall plants that are flopping over?  Try using some sturdy short to medium plants in front of them to prop them up instead of stakes or string.  Do you have some voids where weeds tend to creep in? Plant those this fall to save yourself time in the spring.  Do you have some areas that flower well in mid-summer but tend to lag in spring and later summer or fall?  Supplement those by over planting to incorporate bloom time diversity. Do your plants struggle and reach for light because the trees or shrubs may have grown over time and the light conditions have changed?  Consider pruning the trees this fall or planting more shade tolerant native plants to fill in the area.

Right now, is a great time to take note of these flaws and late summer and fall are a great time to do the planting.  Just like bulbs, native perennial plants installed in the late summer and fall develop their roots and get a head start in the spring.  This helps cut down on weeding frustrations and gets you a more mature planting with better blooms next year.  If the weather cooperates it also helps cut down on establishment watering because the fall brings more rain and cooler temperatures than the harsh summer.  I do this every year in my yard because of these benefits, but also because I have a bit more time in the fall. Every spring I am feeling a bit like the cobbler’s children because my yard is lacking the attention it needs.  I attempt to make up this deficit every fall with fall plantings.

Enjoy this time of the year, it disappears fast!! Happy fall planting!!!


Nick Fuller

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