Coming Soon: Grand Finale of Color

Coming Soon: Grand Finale of Color

by Sandy Swegel

Quit tidying up. There’s something you seldom hear. Sanitation in the garden is important year-round, but September is special in that we are slowly building up to the grand finale of Fall Color that changing leaf color brings. You can help make that more spectacular in your garden.

Leave colorful fruit where it falls. Keep the leaf blower locked up. This is the time to let the red hawthorn berries litter under the tree.  Likewise, crabapples and plums can be beautiful fallen amid leaves. In the vegetable garden, pick the huge squashes that are past their prime, but leave a few gnarly yellow gourds or huge white patty pan squashes next to the plant to show off in the crisp fall light.

Plant fall plants. Fall blooming crocus are sending up vivid purple heads now. I’ve spread them around so they come up like wildflowers here and there. I do the same with fall mums at the garden centers. I pick the smallest pots I can find and plant them here and there throughout the garden…like little mushrooms of bright color popping up.

Water if it’s dry. Lots of places had a drought this summer so you need to water to be sure that trees and perennials go into winter well watered. You also want to water so that the last leaves on plants stay in place and turn color instead of just drying up brown and falling off. A fall garden that is too dry just desiccates into brown ugliness.

No more deadheading. Let the rose hips turn brilliant orange on spent flowers.  Leave the finished sunflowers in place for little finches to land on.  Keep picking up diseased leaves and apples so rotten they call every raccoon in the neighborhood to gorge. But otherwise, get out the rocking chair and wait for the show.

Photo Credits: http://shysongbirdstwitterings.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html

 

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