For gardeners, autumn is the ending of things, and the beginning of things. It’s sort of a tale of two years, and autumn’s gardener is the bridge between them.
I love autumn. It’s a reminder of the natural order of things, that all things happen in their time. It’s both the measure of things accomplished and the anticipation of things to come—all wrapped up in crisp air, brilliantly colored leaves, flocking birds, and a slowing down for much needed rest.
Autumn has its own set of tasks, a new Things To Do list just for this time of year.
As you go about taking care of things, stay aware of biting and stinging things that have also been busy all summer and are now getting themselves ready for the new season—including finding warmer places to sleep. Fall makes wasps a little manic, so watch out for them and for new nests they’ve built during the summer. Also, chiggers and ticks might be a bit more ravenous as summer starts winding down, so it’s not yet time to stop taking precautions against them. And keep an extra eye open for venomous spiders and snakes that are settling in for the winter, too. Just please, don’t kill the non-venomous ones. They all play important roles in the environment.
Want a legitimate excuse to not rake the leaves in the fall? Leaves create food and a habitat for butterfly larvae. The fallen leaves also build and enrich the soil. So STOP raking the leaves! Just leave them alone and let nature take care of it. (Besides, what would autumn be without the crunching of leaves underfoot?) —[copied from post from March 2017 Help Save the Bees and Butterflies—They Need You! ]
As they decay, the leaves under shrubs and trees become food for the plants that shed them. Autumn leaves feed the worms, who turn them into soil and plant food. Mowing over the leaves to break them up is okay, but please, don’t rake them up—except on perennial beds, where they can cause crown rot.
I’ve created a couple of checklists to make sure we don’t forget anything as autumn flows into winter. There’s one for finishing things up from this year and a separate one for starting new things—like fall planting and getting ready for next year’s garden. If you didn’t do any gardening this year, I’m sad for you—BUT you get to ignore the first checklist. If don’t plan to garden next year, I’m even sadder for you—BUT you can ignore the second one. If you didn’t do one this year, and you don’t plan to do one next year, you might be on the wrong page.
IF YOU HAD A GARDEN THIS YEAR:
The first thing you need to do is wrap things up. Yeah, I know: You’re kind of tired, your biological clock is winding down for the winter, it’s so hard to say goodbye, etc., etc., but you still have things to do! Click here for your AUTUMN’S GARDEN CHECKLIST—WRAPPING IT UP.
IF YOU’RE FALL PLANTING OR PLANNING TO HAVE A GARDEN NEXT YEAR:
Yay! So many things to look forward to! Click here for the LOOKING FORWARD TO SPRING CHECKLIST
Oh! One more thing: Follow Color Us Empowered on Facebook where I share the best articles, videos, and other information about all aspects of gardening (among other things) that I can find.
Got the checklists done? Great! Now sit back with some warm apple cider and a good book. And just relax.
But not for long, ‘cause here come the holidays!