By Salvita Gomes Makhani

Toronto – Canada





Preparing Your Garden For Fall




Well you may be thinking, summer has just started.  My plants are in full bloom.  Great!


It’s the best time to now survey of your garden.  Keep note of dull empty spots that need to freshen up next year.  And if you think you want to compete with your neighbor’s tulip festival next spring: fall is the time to plant those bulbs.  And… if you are one of those generous kind, who wants to share your plants with a nagging friend, again fall is the time to divide plants and win some hearts.



Fall is also a good time to check your lawn, feed and seed those bald patches.  Cover and

protect with a jute cloth the new shrubs and young trees.  If it is a brand new location, you are in luck.  This is the best time to plan a garden.


Think Spring – Summer – Fall.


Most people are fascinated with Spring bulb pictures in the store, without any idea of their

height, size or bloom period.  Remember, next to every bunch of Spring flowers, add a Summer or Fall plant so you have a symphony of color all year round.


Tall plants should be at the back, then the border flowers, groundcovers right at the edge or pathways.



A few tips from Salvita’s Gardening Nook:


  1. Never plant on a hot sunny day, wait till the sun cools and plant in the evening, always

water after planting even it they predict rain.  They need a good soak.  Also they need to

be watered till they look stable (at least a week).


  1. Tulips need to go at least 8 inches below soil, once they are done you can have annuals

or perennials growing on top of them.  Remember Spring bulbs will come year after year

and multiply underground so place your perennials accordingly.  Sprinkle Bone Meal or

Blood Meal to enrich the soil as well as to keep our four legged garden friends away.


  1. Trim and dead-head all your plants, except a few that could feed birds in winter. This is

a good time to collect seeds for next year or at least spread the seeds in the location you

want color next year.  A lot of seeds need to go through a freeze to germinate the next

year especially poppies so, do not save indoors for Spring sowing.  Many others can be

sown directly when the soil is warm.


  1. If you grow Dahlias, fall is the time to pull out the tubers. After the first frost or when

all blooms are done, cut off the stem 8 inches above the ground.  Let the tubers settle for

2 weeks then lift them up, dust off the soil and store in peat moss or wood shavings in a

cool dark place – NOT in your Garage.  They should not be exposed to temperatures

below freezing.


  1. Mums give a splash of color in Fall right till the snow falls. Many of them are hardy and

survive the Winter and will give you blooms for many years to come.  They also spread,

hence Fall is a great time to divide or move them to those other dull spaces only after the

blooms are done, and you can also move them in the Spring.


  1. Time to stop feeding all plants. Roses need to be mulched, to be protected from the

harsh weather.  Leave the last blooms on so that they produce rosehips and add color in

the snow as well as feed the birds.  Sprinkle some Epsom salt for a lush growth next

Spring.  Miniature roses are most hardy.  If you have climbing roses, trim them, train

them, and shape them, so they are the envy of the neighborhood next year.


  1. Herbs need to come indoors. If you have tropical plants they will not survive our

Canadian Winter.  Get them into a sunny location in the house.  Some annuals can be

over Wintered in the house for next Spring, like Geraniums, Begonias, Exhibition

Chrysanthemums.  Remember all plants need some watering to keep roots alive.



If you would like to learn more about caring for your Dahlias & Chrysanthemums, you will find a lot of information at the Canadian Chrysanthemum & Dahlia Society website.


Gardening should not be a chore, rather a therapeutic experience, of relaxation and bliss, which will also help ease those aches and pains with gentle exercise, plus the fresh air will vitalize your brain.


A lush garden is a haven for butterflies and birds, you certainly want to hear them sing to

bring peace and joy to the neighborhood at the end of a chaotic day.


Happy Gardening!  It would be my pleasure to answer any questions —


Salvita Gomes Makhani



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