The season is changing, and that means there's a new seasonal to-do list for anyone with a green thumb.
In this edition of our gardening show Grow, GLT's Mike McCurdy talks with Illinois State University’s Patrick Murphy about action to take in the garden this fall.
For all you frugal folks, you can collect seeds for use next year. Some can just go right into the ground, like acorns. (Just be sure to discard any acorns you find with tiny pinholes. That means they’re damaged and won’t grow. You can put them in water for a few days. If they sink, toss them.) Other seeds, like from a Kentucky coffeetree, need to get scuffed up a bit next February or March before being planted. The seed is too thick and durable on its own to germinate, so scuff it up with nail clippers or a file.
- If you’re taking annuals out of your ground-level planting areas, leave time at the end to soak those areas with water when you’re done. That’ll close up those spaces where you’ve slightly changed the structure of the soil in the bedding area. A good practice before winter arrives.
- As leaves fall, raking your lawn is pretty standard. But it’s OK to leave your leaves (get it?) that may blow over to your planting areas. You can also rake them up from turf and deposit them on or bury them in your planting beds. The leaves will break down over winter. That organic compost is handy.
- Now is also a good time to prep for pruning. Murph says winter dormancy is the best time to trim our leafy plants and our trees. So mark those limbs now with a big fat marker or rubber band so you know where to cut.
Listen to the full episode below:
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.