October 2020: Fall Garden Prep

Autumn sails in on a cool breeze and the changing color of the leaves. And every autumn, we can take stock of our gardens, and decide: what worked? What didn’t? What plants might we move or divide next year?

First things first: don’t deadhead. Don’t cut the stalks down – not yet. Don’t worry about those tangles. If you want a bird-friendly garden, the best thing to do is let all this stay until late winter. If you deadhead, you remove seeds that the birds can use as their fall and winter fuel. Cutting down stalks removes places where insects can hibernate. Leave the leaves in the garden beds as places for fireflies and Luna moths to overwinter. Standing stalks and tangles of plants allow animals to take cover.

If you have tree work to accomplish, now is the time to do it.

The winged euonymus is turning red or pink now. Cut it down! It is a gorgeous bush, but it is invasive and does not feed our local wildlife. Replace it with some highbush blueberry instead, and not only will you get gorgeous scarlet red color for fall, you also have the benefit of summer berries. Other choices for astonishing fall color include chokeberry, fothergilla, virginia sweetspire, and oakleaf hydrangea.

Looking for more fall bloomers for your garden? Check out our previous post.

Wondering where you can buy native plants? Here are two Connecticut nurseries:

Earth Tones Native Nursery, Woodbury, CT http://www.earthtonesnatives.com/

Native: A Native Plant Nursery, Fairfield, CThttps://www.anativeplantnursery.com/

Live in New York? Check out these nurseries:

Catskill Native Nursery, Kerhonksen, NY https://www.catskillnativenursery.com/

Long Island Natives, Eastport, NY https://longislandnatives.com/

Want to be part of the Pollinator Pathway? Check out this website: https://www.pollinator-pathway.org/