Submitted by Merilyn Cranford, Somervell County Master Gardener
Another hot summer is almost behind us and everyone should be looking forward to cooler weather and Fall time. However, those fantastic gardens that were planted last spring are now looking downright shabby. Daylilies and hostas are starting to look tired, with yellowing foliage and spent bloom stalks.
But just because it’s nearly Fall doesn’t mean you have to give up on the garden and wait until spring to clean it up. In fact, this colorful season offers some of the most pleasant weather for working outdoors. It doesn’t take a lot of time and money to have a beautiful fall garden, but you need to get started by cleaning up what’s left over from spring before adding anything new for fall.
Cleaning up may not mean more work than a swift tug of the old plants for quick removal. But if you’re more proactive and get to work while the old plants are still somewhat green, just snip tall stalks back with pruners. Cut near the base of the plant, down to the foliage, to keep plants looking tidy. With cleanup taken care of, you can see what holes need filling and go shopping.
Some suggestions for your consideration might be Hamelin fountain grass, Indian blanket, Pineapple sage (salvia), Chrysanthemum, Blue mist, Sedum, Mexican heather and other ornamental grasses. Play with color, be creative and don’t be afraid to be different. Also, don’t forget that fall is bulb planting and dividing time.