09 September 2020
A Garden Tip from Helen...
I mentioned last month that now is the time to take a critical look at the garden to decide what needs to be done to rejuvenate those areas that need help. Once the air temperature cools down, and you have decided which perennials you want to divide, choose a cloudy day on which to proceed. I look for the healthiest specimens that measure approximately 20% of the original size of the plant. Unfortunately, my plants are usually huge by the time I get around to dividing them, so this guideline does not work for me! I do try to schedule my transplanting after a soaking rain. If that is not possible, then liberally water the plants on the day before you intend to divide them, so you know they are well hydrated. Of course, a natural rain is best, because it is also better for the transplant to be replanted in damp soil. You might consider amending the soil, preferably with compost, before transplanting since some fertilizers can burn plant roots.
Now is the best time in our area to over seed the lawn. With cooler temperatures and heavy dews there is a better chance for grass seed to germinate than at other times of the year. Also, do not forget to sow lettuce seed now for fall harvest. Although aesthetically unappealing, leave the shriveled flowerheads on your perennials so the birds can dine on the seeds. And, do remember your houseplants that have summered outside – you should probably begin to debug them!
More pictures from my garden are below. On the left is a pot I was particularly happy with this year. The purple flowers on the right are salvia. The little pink flowers at the bottom are anemones.