Fall Gardening – Some Necessary Chores

Show off fall blooming plants like this Mexican sage if the garden is pruned and cleaned.

Remove spent hydrangeas blossoms just below the blooms on florist type hydrangeas.

Perennials like coneflowers need to have their spent flower stalks removed at the base of the stem once they finish blooming.

Weeding the garden is one of the most important fall chores. If this damn weed is not removed, it will throw off hundreds of seeds per plant. Try to pull it up by the roots.

Finally some cool weather. While I will be planting many plants like pansies soon, cleaning the garden needs to be done before planting. Weeding is especially important, as many of them have produced copious amounts of seeds that will germinate next year. Damn weed (that’s what folks call it) is the worst of the weeds in my garden, so I try to pull every one, even the tiniest I see, up by the roots. If not, I will be invaded next year. Be sure to dig out nut grass and remove the nut like nodule on the root, if you do not want to deal with it next year. Other chores are to remove all the hydrangea blooms that have died or faded. If they are the florist type remember that next year’s blooms occur on the stems that the plant has now, not the new shoots next spring. So if you cut the bloom stems to the ground, chances are you will not have blooms next year. On perennials that put up scapes or tall flower stems, be sure and cut them to the ground once they have finished blooming. Wait to remove leaves until they are killed by frost. This is one of many chores that needs to be done. One thing I would wait on doing is to mulch. Wait until the leaves fall, and then the fresh mulch will look good all winter.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Fall Gardening – Some Necessary Chores

  1. I planted two Sunshine Ligustrum next to my front walk; North side of the house where it gets late afternoon sun. Seller said that planting it there would work and other articles said the same. The plant name threw me. Hoping this beautiful plant works as have the azaleas on the other side of the walk. Otherwise I will transplant the Ligustrum in the spring. This is a great website.

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