Gilbert H. Wild & Son

(and almost into Spring)

Moss Mountain Farm in November.

When visitors tour the grounds of Moss Mountain Farm, they always marvel at the perennials and annuals looking so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all the way into fall. And they start fishing for the secret to keeping those garden beds flourishing through the dog days of summer. Now that we’re at the tail end of those days, I’ll share those secrets now. Hopefully, you can employ those secrets through the rest of the season or file them away for next year.

  1. Cutting back: If flower beds were a metaphor for the human life cycle, this period might be midlife where things start to “creep” or broaden and widen. You must stay vigilant and trim up those creepers that would overpower the more timid plants. Plants like sweet potato vine, which can be thuggish and push over smaller flowers. It’s also helpful to cut back the spent blooms.
  1. Feedings: You should continue feedings, even though it’s hot. I usually give a dose of liquid fertilizer every third watering.
  2. Thinking ahead: The fall is an excellent time to get new varieties of plants started in your garden. I’ve found planting peonies, daylilies, lilies, iris and other perennials in the autumn allows them to settle in and they make a showier display the following spring.