The end of summer/beginning of fall is a great time to take stock of your gardens and yard and determine what worked and what didn’t. You can keep a notebook of these findings, or simply snap some photos with your smart phone and make notes to go along with them.
This summer was cooler than many past seasons. On average, New Jersey has about 18 days of temperatures above 90. This year, we had about 8. Rain was another matter – we had bouts of extended dry periods followed by intense rainfalls, followed by dry periods. Not an ideal water condition for most gardens and lawns.
When assessing your landscape, start by looking at your lawn – how did it do? Some overall browning of your lawn during the height of summer is normal dormancy due to high temperatures. Your lawn should start to green up and grow more rapidly now that fall’s typically cooler temperatures and increased moisture are coming. Notice if there are bare patches, brown sections, excessively weedy patches, or areas of yellow or discolored grasses. Here at Farmside, we can help you determine if a lackluster lawn has more to do with disease or infestation or could benefit from some simple fertilizing and feeding.
How are your trees and shrubs? Address any issues like broken limbs from summer storms, insect infestations or diseases now, so you can get your trees and shrubs in their healthiest state to deal with winter’s harsh, stressful conditions. Check to see if your plantings have thrived this season. Sometimes site conditions change that we have no control over. The neighbor’s new addition may now cast shadows in your yard you didn’t have before, affecting the amount of sun and light your shrubs and trees receive. No amount of fertilizer or feeding is going to help a sun-loving shrub that is now shrouded in shade. Relocation may be in order.
Finally, take a look at your perennials and annuals. How did they fare? Were there successful color combinations you want to repeat? Make note of it. Nature has a way of providing little surprises of beauty you hadn’t planned on. Years ago, seeds from a purple flowering geranium I had, migrated beneath my shrub roses. The following spring, delicate tendrils of purple petals were intertwined among the pale pink clusters of roses for a breathtaking look I would have never considered. A happy surprise!
Perhaps the opposite was true – the vision you had planned for your garden simply did not come to fruition. Now is the time to make notes about weather conditions, water demands, what you think may have gone wrong, (maybe a different variety or cultivar of the plant would have done better. We can help you there, too!). Call us – we’ll be happy to take a look at your landscape and explore possibilities with you.
In the meantime, share some of your favorite pictures of your garden with us. It’s a nice way to hold onto these sweet summer days just a little bit longer!