Sonoran Gardens’ Fall Gardener’s Guide
FALL GARDNER’S GUIDE FROM SONORAN GARDENS LANDSCAPING, DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
It may be difficult to believe as our temperatures still flirt with100 degrees, but Happy First Day of Fall! After a long summer this is the time of year to get outside, enjoy the weather and give your garden the attention it is seeking. The warm soil temperatures and cool air temperatures of early fall combine to produce a second spring in the desert southwest. This advent of cooler weather signals the beginning of the fall planting season and the beginning of preparations for the approaching winter season.
This is an ideal time to add new plants to the garden. Choosing the right plant for the location in which it is to be planted, taking the time to plant it properly and watering it regularly after planting will greatly improve it’s chances of establishment and long term survival.
Add color to the garden by planting cool season annual flowers. Petunias, pansies, snapdragons, lobelia and sweet alyssum are all good selections. They can provide color thru out the entire fall and winter season when planted at this time of year. Before planting add lots of organic matter to the planting beds and apply starter fertilizer at the time of planting.
Reduce watering to all plants as the weather cools and the days shorten. The cooler weather and reduced sunlight decreases the plants need for water. Reduce the frequency of watering not the length of time. If you were watering 3 times a week for 1 hour, reduce this to 2 times a week for 1 hour in the fall and to 1 time per week for 1 hour in the winter.
When frosts are predicated cover tender plants with sheets, frost blankets or newspaper. Lights can be placed under the coverings as a heat source to increase the protection. The growing tips of cold sensitive cactus can be protected by covering the tips with Styrofoam cups or blankets. Remember to remove coverings when the temperatures increase the next day so that the plants can receive the sunlight they need to grow.