Living Columns & Blogs

There’s so much to do in the fall garden


▪ Now is the time to dig and divide ornamental grasses and liriope. Re-plant immediately so the roots don’t dry out.

▪ Mandivilla vine is a semi-tropical plant that will sometimes survive winters in the South with a little care. Here are two options. 1: Use 3 inches of mulch, like pine straw, around the base of the plant to protect the roots from freezing. 2: Dig and pot the vine. Bring indoors by a sunny window.

▪ If your roses had problems this year with disease and insects, rake up the old mulch, leaves and debris. Apply fresh mulch.

▪ Now is the time to spray dormant oil on trees and shrubs. Spray during the cooler months, when the temperature is between 40 degrees and 85 degrees, to kill aphids, mites, mealybugs, scale and lacebug.

▪ When buying chrysanthemums, look for plants with a symmetrical shape, flower buds that are closed, and ones that are free from disease and insect problems; no yellowing leaves. Buy large plants.

▪ When looking to add trees to the landscape, now is the time to check their fall colors. In addition to size, flowers, hardiness and maintenance, remember that many trees add to the color of the landscape with beautiful fall leaf color.

▪ Now is the time to remove any decayed or shriveled fruit, often called mummies, to prevent disease and insect problems.

▪ Plant unused areas of the vegetable garden with a cover crop like clover. Let it grow throughout the winter and turn it under three weeks before spring planting.

▪ It’s time to start thinking ahead to the holidays. To get the best selection of Christmas decorations, now is the time to plan. It really doesn’t take much to have a beautifully decorated home and landscape for the holidays — if you know how. There are companies (like mine) that help homeowners with holiday decorations that can maximize Christmas decor with big or small budgets. So, from consultations to complete installations, take the work and the guess work out of holiday cheer.

Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at or 478-345-0719.