It was a chilly 8 deg this morning in southern Ontario…fall is in the air! Now is the time to take stock of what survived over our scorching summer and grab some deals as the garden centres get ready to empty their inventory. Just make sure what you buy has been watered well and looks healthy or it may be too stressed to survive the winter. Even the garden centres were hard pressed to keep up the watering this summer. Perennials and shrubs can all be planted in September and have enough time to settle in before the frosts. And of course its time to plant spring bulbs…tulips should be planted first while daffodils and others can be planted through October.
If your lawn was scorched over the summer, loosen the soil with a rake and put down grass seed, fertilizer and water well. The cooler days and still warm soil will encourage quick and lush growth. Studies have shown that using a high nitrogen fertilizer in the fall is best for our northern grasses so use one with a high first number and save your winter fertilizer for later November/early December.
The leaves may fall early this year especially if we don’t get much rain this month. Remember to mulch them if you can, even with your lawn mower. They are a wonderful free natural fertilizer and mulch!
Be sure to have some flowers or food for the monarchs and hummingbirds as they prepare to fly south for the winter. I snapped this one on my later flowering phlox. It was very thorough in checking all the blooms for nectar!
Phlox, fall asters , and sedum are all a favourite with the butterflies. Many of our native grasses are host plants for the caterpillars and are lovely and drought tolerant to boot so be sure to plant some next year.
If you are feeding the hummingbirds increase the ratio from 1:4 to 1:3 for extra energy. Enjoy the cooler weather and happy gardening 🙂