You really do gain a full season’s growth by planting in the fall, rather than waiting until spring. Plants get the benefit of cooler temperatures, warm soil, more rain, and less stress while they are starting to develop their root systems. When they come out of dormancy next year, they are much more vigorous and ready to take on the summer heat.
Many of us feel uncomfortable planting, knowing that winter is just ahead. But, once you’ve gardened in the fall, and seen the results the following spring and summer, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this before!
General Fall Maintenance:
Remove grass and weeds from beds
Re-mulch all beds in September – October depending on your winter hardiness zone
Planting beds: try to achieve a minimum 1″ depth and preferably 1 1/2″
When to divide perennials
· Does the plant look crowded?
· Does the center of the perennial seem woody or dry?
· Were flowers smaller or less prolific this past season?
If the answers to these questions are yes, it’s probably a good idea to divide. Divide or thin spring and summer blooming perennials, after they’ve finished blooming (those that are established three years or more) in October – November (Coreopsis, Salvia, Leucanthemum, etc.) Ornamental grasses are generally divided in the spring.
Monitor watering, and water manually as necessary.