By JAROD TANKSLEY
According to the calendar, summer and its scorching long sunny days are just about ready to move on! Next up? Autumn with its wonderful crisp days and cool nights! Even though everyone is buying the large baskets of mums, pumpkins and Halloween candy, now is also the time to start thinking past this season to what you want to see growing or blooming in your yard for spring.
Now is a perfect time to replace a few shrubs, trees or grass that might not have survived the summer. If you enjoy vegetable gardening, there are a variety of cool-season vegetables such as spinach, chard, cabbage or some lettuce varieties that can be planted now and still be harvested before the harsh temperatures of winter arrive. This is also the time to consider planting tulip, daffodil, iris or other bulbs for Spring viewing. If you have squirrels or deer that like to pass through your yard for a snack, consider varieties that are labeled as pest or deer resistant. Bulbs require a period of cold weather before they are ready to bloom in the spring so plant those items closer to the heavy frost time frame for more success.
Gardening at this time of year is a little more forgiving with cooler days and nights, fewer bugs and more rainfall to allow plants a good start before the cold weather of winter arrives. The soil is still warm enough to allow plants a good start. Try to end your fall planting about four-to-six weeks before the first hard frost, which is usually close to the end of October or early November in Middle Tennessee.
As you wind down your summer schedules and ease into the cooler days of fall, take some time to clean up flowerbeds, gardens and lawns and do some planning and planting now for next spring! October is usually the best time to reseed and fertilize the yard.
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Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265
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