Summer has come to an end. Autumn officially starts on Saturday, September 22, 2012. It was a hot and dry summer for my area. Drought conditions caused a tough season for plants, trees, and lawns. Rainfall is about 7 inches below normal for the year to date. Thanks to some preparation and a lot of watering, my garden did quite well.
Now is the time to get ready for fall. Here are some autumn tips and to-dos:
- Fertilize shrubs, trees, and groundcovers now (before the end of September).
- Fertilize mums for more blooms.
- Cleanup perennial and annual plants by removing faded flowers and dead foliage.
- Apply lawn weed preventer in the last week of September. (Check specifics for your lawn type).
- Inspect outdoor container plants you plan to bring indoors for insects. Treat accordingly.
- Plant shrubs and trees.
- Shop for spring flowering bulbs. Do not plant them until late November.
These tips and to-dos are for zone 8. If you live in a different gardening zone you can always check with your local garden center for more information. Also check out Gardenality and Walter Reeves websites for more seasonal gardening information for the south (zone 8).
Remembering summer is easy with photos. My Project 365 has been a great way to document something from each day. Most all the pictures I take are of plants, flowers, and food. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. The first is swamp hibiscus and it bloomed on the second day of summer. The photo of it is at the top of this post.
Heirloom tomatoes were available early. These were some from my local farmers market:
Basil also grew quickly. I had to frequently trim off the flowers to keep it growing and so it would not get bitter:
Succulents loved the hot, dry weather. This is a new one I planted this year and I love the pink and green colors:
Okra started arriving in the markets. It made for a special treat of fried okra one day:
Baby Tut Papyrus always adds interest to my patio. I had to water it almost twice daily to keep it happy:
The miniature white rose plant did wonderfully. It seemed to like being on my deck rail. Now it is planted in my front garden after I accidentally blew it off the rail with my backpack blower (oops).
Obedient plant bloomed later in the season. The flowers are so interesting, like little cups:
Marigold was a blast of color. This is from my friend’s garden. I want to plant some in my garden soon:
Are you ready for fall? I am getting there. There is still much to do. And I will miss so much of summer. I will not miss the hot weather though. The cooler temperatures will be so nice.