As perennials are finished and are cut back, now is the time to implement all those catalogue browsings, magazine dreaming, yard envy planting! Does this involve preparing new beds for fall planting? I have a few steps that are a must for fulfilling your planting fancies.

1. Scout out your new spot making sure that you know the sun’s pattern before you choose your plants.

2. Remove unwanted weeds or grass. I mean really dig deep and remove all the roots.

3. Turn the soil at least a foot deep.

4. Add six inches of organic matter: compost, leaves, or other shredded natural material.

5. Space transplants according to tag directions or fellow gardener instructions.

6. Set transplants so that the top of the rootball is even with the bed surface. Be sure to pull apart and spread the roots when placing in the hole.

7. Firm the soil around the plant once you have finished sowing.

8. Water thoroughly but gently so as not to dislodge soil.

9. Mulch, mulch, mulch with four inches to control weeds and to insulate new plantings. Do NOT use dyed or large, chunky mulch.

Your new beds are good to go for weathering the coming winter and rewarding you in the seasons to come.

What new perennial are you going to introduce into your garden?

Today I think

Only with scents – scents dead leaves yield,

And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed,

And the square mustard field;

It is enough 

To smell, to crumble the dark earth,

While the robin sings over again

Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

Edward Thomas

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