Transitioning Your Summer Garden to Autumn

fall gardening supplies in NJ

Summer may be over, but the gardening season is still underway.

You may not be as busy as you were when everything was in full bloom, but there’s still work to be done that will have you visiting your local NJ garden centers.

Here are a few tips for helping your garden make the switch from summer to autumn.

1. Plant fall vegetables…and trees

There’s no need for your vegetable garden to take the season off. When fall arrives, try planting some cool-weather vegetables: broccoli, mustard greens, winterbor kale, beets and spinach are also good choices for our region.

If you don’t have the space in your yard, try growing vegetables in a container that gets a good amount of sunlight. A visit to your nearby NJ garden centers can help you decide which autumn veggies will work best for your garden.

Meanwhile, early autumn is the perfect time to plant a few trees. The days are warm, there’s no frost at night, and your soil has had several months to absorb summer warmth.

2. Goodbye summer annuals, hello fall flowers

By the time September comes, your summer blooms will likely have begun to wither and fade. Still, that doesn’t mean your garden will turn colorless. Just replace summer annuals with fall flowers such as mums, which can withstand the season’s cooler weather.

3. Plan your herb harvest

The start of autumn is an ideal time to begin harvesting any herbs you might be growing. Plants like rosemary, basil and sage develop their strongest flavor just before they bloom. Snip in the early morning – once the dew has tried – and store them someplace dry.

Fresh basil can also be frozen and stored for later use. Just chop the leaves into fine bits, cover them in olive oil and freeze them in an ice cube tray. Once they’re frozen, pop out the cubes and keep them in a freezer bag.

4. Prune your shrubs

Your hedges might need a haircut by the time autumn arrives. Once temperatures get cooler, it’s time to trim your shrubs and bushes. Cutting away dead branches can foster growth.

If you prune during a warmer stretch, it can put strain on your plants. Avoid pruning during rainy weather, as this can encourage fungal diseases.

5. Take indoor plants back inside

Many people use the summer to give their indoor plants an added dose of sun, water and fresh air. If you’ve been keeping your indoor plants outside, it’s time for them to come in…slowly. Have them spend a week or two in a shadier part of your yard so they’re used to the dimmer light indoors. Check with the experts at your nearest NJ garden centers for more tips.

Are you ready to make the switch to an autumn garden? The experts at Mendham Garden Center can help. We’ve spent decades working with NJ customers to help them get the most out of their plants, flowers and vegetables, no matter the season.