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Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Autumn Garden

by AJ Fanter, All About Lawns Columnist

As the summer begins to wind down, plan ahead for the cooler autumn season in the garden. Here is a list of ten tips to follow as you work in the garden this fall.

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  1. Plant perennials. Fall is a great moment to plant those hearty year-rounders, the plants and flowers that look lovely and keep their health despite the climate. Chrysanthemums, boltonia, angelica, salvia and aster are all low garden maintenance.
  2. Don't be straightforward with your plants. Curving lines are great for a garden, as some plants tend to follow the beat of their own drummer when they grow. Planting in straight lines may only frustrate you when they don't grow that way, and curving lines give your garden a more creative appearance anyway.
  3. Keep the soil most. Don't let the cooler temperatures fool you; this is easy to forget, but essential to the success of your garden, and especially new plants and flowers. The autumn season brings rain in many climates, making this one an easy step to follow.
  4. Let shrubs and trees shine. After a summer in the heat, soil is usually much more workable than in the early spring. Enhance your garden with a border of shrubs, or plant a new tree or two to take root during the winter season.
  5. Plan for the future. Your kids' college tuition won't grow itself, right? Neither will your spring bulbs. Plan flowers like daffodils and tulips now, giving them chance to take root during the winter and be ready to bloom by spring.
  6. Don't leave out compost. All those leaves that fall between September and December? Great for compost, which you can use in your garden during the spring after it "matures" during the winter.
  7. Play Mary Poppins. Feeding birds in your garden is a common fall gardening tip, providing shelter and sustenance for these flying friends. A small bird house, bird feeder, or bird seed on plant heads are nice autumn touches.
  8. Mum's the word. Mums are strong perennials that offer color to your fall garden, and should last as temperatures drop and moisture increases.
  9. Protect your spices. If you have herbs growing in your garden, now is a great time to bring them inside in pots and let them flourish there. Basil, tarragon, parsley, marjoram, and other common garden spices need a cool, dry, sunny place to grow during the fall months.
  10. End-of-fall tip: don't give up on perennials. If your hearty perennials start to fade, do a little bit of garden maintenance in advance: park the location with a stick and give them until spring to come back. They may be more resilient than you think.

These tips can have your garden looking beautiful and healthy until Thanksgiving and beyond.


About the Author
AJ Fanter is a freelance writer based in Reno, NV.

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