October perennial care

Mon. Oct. 3, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  October perennial care

Fall is underway, albeit a little slower this year, with the splash of red and golden hues in our lovely state! I hope you have a chance, amongst your chores, to get out and enjoy.

Maple and Burning bush

Maple and Burning bush

fall color

Nerstrand Big Woods

There’ve been some great sales at local nurseries as well.  Your purchases should be in the ground and establishing themselves for a delightful display next year!

Right now you can collect seeds of coneflowers and rudbeckia.  Cut the heads off in the afternoon when the plant is dry, open the flower head and collect the seeds.  Be sure to label them, unless you like surprises!

A how to from Fine Gardening magazine ‘Collecting and Storing Seeds’

coneflower seedhead

coneflower seedhead

coneflower seeds

coneflower seeds

Milkweed seeds

Milkweed seeds just because they’re pretty!

Cutting back your perennials is up to you.  I would suggest you cut out any diseased foliage and also take out your hostas.  If you do have some flower seeds left from your Hosta, you can leave them as the birds will munch them over the winter season.

to be left up for winter

to be left up for winter

You’ll need to decide what kind of look you want for your winter garden.  What I call the “Mr. Clean” look with no ‘dead stuff’ left standing or the “Lazy Susan”, which is a bit of a misnomer and not just because this is my method!  I like to leave many of my ‘dead’ perennials standing for winter interest.  A little know fact, Salvia and mums actually seem to overwinter better when the dead stems are left standing.  They also attract birds to your landscape.  And who doesn’t need to see a pretty bird or 2 in the winter time!

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