Fall Gardening FAQs
With cooler temperatures and the changing of the seasons comes many gardening questions. Here are a few of the most common questions we get this time of year. Let us know if you have any questions of your own and we’ll get you the answers you need!
Q: Do I have to cut back the perennials in my garden?
A: Generally speaking, most perennials require very little care at this time. Once frost has hit, go ahead and clean up the garden a little bit, but it's more for aesthetics than the plants. Cut down the dead stems and foliage once they have turned brown and yellow from the cold. Though, some of the plants, like coneflowers, rudbeckia and goldenrod, have seed heads that can remain to feed the birds through the winter.
The perennials you need to prepare for the winter are any newly planted ones. Once the soil freezes in the late fall, go ahead and mulch their bases to protect the root system from the winter. Do not prune them at this time, but let them die back naturally.
Perennial or ornamental grasses should not be cut back in the fall. Leave the grasses standing as they will be great decorations during the fall and winter seasons. Once spring comes around, remove the browned foliage and seed heads.
Q: How do I prep my roses for the winter?
A: Roses should be left alone this time of year. Remove all the leaves and foliage it has dropped from the area around the plant. Prune any spent flowers from the roses, unless it is a rugosa variety. Then mulch the bases once the ground freezes unless it is a Knock Out or rugosa rose. If it is one of these varieties, it does not need to be mulched.
Q: I kept my houseplants on my front porch during the summer.When do I need to bring the plants indoors?
A: The specific date to bring them in by varies with the weather, so it changes each year. There are two ways to tell when you should start packing it in: the first is when the leaves start falling from the trees. The second is when overnight lows start dropping below 45 degrees. Once these cooler nights start to occur, you will need to begin to make the adjustments for bringing in your plants.
Q: How do I keep bugs from coming in with the plants?
A: Wash the plant down with a light spray on all sides of the leaves to get rid of any bugs that might be on the plant
Q: How can I keep squirrels from eating my pumpkins?
A: Spraying your pumpkins with shellack is the easiest way to keep any little critters from snacking on them. Another home-remedy is to use hair spray on your pumpkins. These products create a texture that throws the squirrels off your pumpkin and makes them pretty undesirable to anything that would snack on them.
Q: Which plants will last the longest into the season in my containers?
A: Fall is a great time to replace the tired looking plants that have weathered through the heat of the summer. To get the most bang for your buck, it’s great to replace them with plants that can withstand the cold. Some of these plants include ornamental kale and cabbage, pansies, hardy mums and other perennials like heuchera. Other plants that do well this time of year, but need to be watched if there’s a frost warning, are ornamental peppers, petunias, vinca vine and geraniums.