Give your lawn and garden some TLC this fall

| September 8, 2015

COSHOCTON – Just because its fall doesn’t mean it’s time to stop giving your lawn and garden some tender loving care.

Now is the perfect time to plant your hardy bulbs like crocuses, daffodils and tulips.

“You need to look at the size and diameter of your bulbs and plant them three times that in the ground,” said Tammi Rogers, program assistant, ag and natural resources, master gardener volunteer coordinator. “If your bulb is one inch in diameter then you need to plant it three inches deep in the ground. If it’s three inches in diameter, plant it nine inches deep. It’s a good rule of thumb, but you don’t have to be exact.”

Some people like to add bulb fertilizer, but Rogers said that is not necessary.

“The best time to fertilize these kinds of plants is actually right after they are done blooming,” she said. “It will seep down into the ground and the roots and help them the following spring.”

While the best time to divide your bulb plants is in the summer, Rogers noted that it is ok to move them if you happened to be digging and come across some.

“Nine times out of 10 they will do just fine if you plant them and move on,” she said.

Another good project to tackle in the fall is planting trees and shrubs.

“The earlier you can do this, the better,” Rogers said. “Bulbs are hardy and forgiving. I’ve planted some up until the ground has frozen and been fine, but you can’t do that with trees and shrubs. They need to establish a good root system before winter. If not, the roots can heave out of the soil and our cold winters will freeze them out completely.”

Fall is a good time to plant trees and shrubs because the soil temperature is warm and we typically have more rain at this time of year.

“If we aren’t getting rain then you need to water them not daily, but weekly and make sure it’s a deep soaking,” Rogers said. “They need a gallon of water per one inch diameter of the trunk per week. Even established trees and shrubs could use watering before winter. Make sure they are well watered going into winter and give them an extra drink before it freezes.”

You also can add some extra color to your flower beds this fall.

“If your annuals are starting to look bad try incorporating some mums, pansies, primroses or asters,” Rogers said. “Cleaning up the edges around your landscaping, sidewalks and curbs also can make an entire area look neater.”

When your annuals start to look brown you can sprinkle their seeds around before you pull the plants in hopes of them growing again next year.

“Marigolds and zinnias are great for this,” Rogers said. “Collect their seeds and spread them around and then look for their seedlings next year.”

Another way to get a jump on your spring gardening is to pull weeds now.

“Any weeds left that are perennials will be back next year if you don’t get them,” Rogers said. “An annual’s sole purpose is to produce seeds so if you let them go you will have more of an issue next spring. Keep up on your weeds and over a couple of years you will notice you hardly have any and you will prevent more work for yourself.”

You also can’t stop cutting your grass just because summer has faded to fall.

“You have to cut your grass until it stops growing and in the fall it’s going to grow faster because of the cooler weather and the fact that we typically get more rain,” Rogers said. “Now until the middle of September also is a good time to plant grass seed if you have some bare spots. It’s easier to establish now than in the spring.”

This time of year it is ok to cut your grass a little shorter than in the summer. Rogers suggests setting your mower for two to two and half inches in the fall versus the two and a half to three inches that is recommended for summer.

“A lot of people also apply lawn fertilizer in the fall,” she said. “This will help get your lawn up and going faster in the spring.”

Rogers welcomes people’s questions and said they can contact her by phone at 740-622-2265, e-mail [email protected] or stop by her office in the county services building at 724 S. Seventh St., Room 110. The OSU Extension Office has fact sheets on several topics including hardy bulbs, lawn care and trees and shrubs.

[email protected]





Tags: ,

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.