by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Swinging Into Fall The cooler temperatures and shorter days herald the coming of fall. The Autumnal Equinox is on September 22 this year, marking the beginning of the fall astronomical season. There’s lots to do in the yard and garden to wind up this year’s growing season and prepare for winter. If you haven’t already, early September is a great time to sow some lettuce and other greens in the vegetable garden. They will come up and give you a nice supply for salads later in October. To extend your greens crop into late fall, prepare to cover them with a f loating row cover like Reemay® if a hard frost is forecasted. Don’t forget to seed root crops like beets, carrots, turnips and parsnips. They might not grow very large this fall, but if you cover them with straw they will overwinter to be harvested in the spring. If you do harvest this fall, they will be small and tender. September is an excellent time
to establish new perennial f lower beds. Dig, divide and replant overcrowded beds of cannas, day lilies, violets and Shasta daisies. Spread a liberal amount of organic matter, such as compost and bulb fertilizer, over the area. Mix this into the soil, at least six to eight inches deep. Space divisions at least one foot apart in all directions so that root competition will not be a problem for several years. Don’t forget to add lilies to the perennial bed for years of beauti83