Fall Garden Activities

  • Written by Molbak’s Garden + Home
Plant alliums in the garden now, and they’ll take center stage in the spring.
September and October are busy times for the NW gardener. You’ll find that time spent now in the garden will reap big rewards when spring arrives. So pull on the gardening gloves, drag out the wheelbarrow, and get ready to celebrate autumn in the garden!

This is an ideal time to cut back and divide summer-blooming perennials and refresh bare spots in your garden beds and outdoor containers. You’ll need a sharp shovel or gardening fork to dig up and divide your plants. Dividing actually rejuvenates the plant and leads to better blooms next spring—and you can share your favorites with friends. Perennials that respond well to fall dividing and replanting include peonies, daylilies, hostas, bee balm, lamb’s ear, catmint and penstemon.

While dividing your perennials you might find a few spots that could use a boost of fall color. Two incredibly versatile perennials for fall are Heucheras and Euphorbias. Both come in a wide assortment of shapes and colors and their foliage complements classic fall plants like mums, asters, and ornamental cabbage and kale. If you are more in the mood for trees or shrubs, there are many that showcase brilliant fall color – Japanese maples, barberry, Hypericum and blueberries are excellent choices.

As you clean up and pull out spent annuals, it is a terrific time to tuck in some bulbs and overplant with cold-hardy pansies or groundcovers.  It’s a quick and easy way to ensure many months of seasonal interest and beauty in the coming year.  In January, “Flore Pleno” snowdrops are a welcome sight with their delicate, nodding white and green flowers. “Katharine Hodgkin” dwarf iris is small but commands attention with its pale blue and white striped flowers accented with yellow. In early spring, tulips aptly named “Valentine Candy” feature lovely shades of vivid red, pink and white. Deer-resistant “Orangery” daffodils shine with stunning double centers and lovely frilled petals. Want dramatic flair? For late spring blooms, go tall with graceful alliums; “Globemaster” sends up a striking purple, 40” high drumstick-type flower that reach a whopping 10” round. Allium “Nectaroscordum” stands 2-4’ tall and has colorful, bell-shaped florets. Once you are done planting, add a layer of compost to your soil to increase nutrients and improve drainage all winter long.

“Electric Lime” Heuchera truly stands out in the fall garden.
Take advantage of our current run of good weather and get out in the garden! Once your garden is ready for fall, snap a photo and send it our way via Facebook. Look for our fall outdoor container contest coming to our Facebook page in the coming weeks. We’d love to showcase your hard work and creativity.

Want to learn more? Join us this weekend:

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