16 ESSENTIAL FALL GARDEN TASKS

16 ESSENTIAL FALL GARDEN TASKS

  1. When available, pop ‘Icicle’ pansies into spots where summer annuals have been cleared out. They will bloom until December, then lie down for the winter. Cover them with evergreen cuttings until earliest spring, when they’ll be ready to sprout new flower buds.
  2. Leaves are garden gold. Spread small leaves of trees, such as honeylocust, birch, beech, ginkgo and silver maple (or shredded large Norway maple leaves), under shrubs and over all exposed soil. They will degrade into mineral nutrients; worms will turn them into fertilizer.
  3. Take a gamble and throw seeds of hardy annuals where you want them to bloom next year. Larkspur, poppies, cleome and cosmos will frequently take root from seeds sown in autumn and conditioned under winter snow.
  4. Plant bulbous Asiatic and Oriental lilies in late fall to ensure flower bud set. When planting is delayed until spring they may not get enough chilling and come up blind, with no flowers.
  5. Wait until the soil has frozen before mulching autumn-installed plants. After freeze-up, a thick mulch of leaves and evergreen cuttings will keep their root balls safe from the heaving action of frost.
  6. Lift big, fibrous clumps of summer phlox, hostas and Siberian irises and divide with a sharp spade or knife; tease apart fleshy roots of daylilies. Late-blooming perennials such as Michaelmas daisies and obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana), purchased in bloom, can go directly into garden beds (see #5).
  7. Plant garlic in October, in a sunny spot with lots of manure dug in. Set individual cloves eight centimetres deep and 15 centimetres apart, and mulch with five to eight centimetres of leaves. Hard-neck Rocambole garlics such as ‘Music’ are the hardiest strains, and, when planted in October, can be harvested in July, just as the first cherry tomatoes turn red.
  8. Autumn is a good time for planting evergreen trees and shrubs. The evergreens’ root systems pump water all winter, so be sure to water them well before the ground freezes. And don’t hesitate to purchase deciduous flowering shrubs at discounted prices. Even after a summer in containers, they’ll adapt and make strong root growth in cool autumn soil.

 

As autumn leaves drift by your window, it may be tempting to look outside and think idle thoughts about nature taking care of itself. But like the rest of us, Mother Nature needs a good kick in the pants once in a while. Here are some fall do’s and dont’s, plus tips to help your garden get a jump-start on spring.

WOODLANDS HAZARD ABATEMENT

WOODLANDS HAZARD ABATEMENT

RENEWING OUR URBAN FOREST

The town continues to treat municipal street trees to protect against Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). However, the EAB infestation has had a devastating effect on our woodlands. Most, if not all of the town’s 43,000 woodland ash trees are now dead or dying.
The town is following best forest management practices to remove dead and dying ash trees to reduce the risk to the public and to help our woodlands regrow.
Ash tree removals from all 280 woodlands will be phased over ten-plus years.

2015 WOODLANDS HAZARD ABATEMENT PROGRAM

This year, tree removals begin in 22 woodlands in the area of town where the insect was first detected and levels of infestation are now extreme. Woodlands that have more than 50 per cent ash will be managed first. In addition to ash trees, other trees that are identified as a safety risk or are compromising the health of the forest will be removed.
Trees designated for removal or other work will be marked:
• A yellow dot or slash or an orange X indicates the tree will be cut down
• An orange dot indicates the tree will be pruned
Operations are scheduled to begin the end of August or early September, as weather and ground conditions permit.
Review the 2015 Woodlands Hazard Abatement program map (pdf, 1.34 MB) to find all properties in this year’s program.
To review the proposed schedule of the Woodlands Hazard Abatement and Woodland Maintenance programs open the 20-Year Woodland Management Plan map (pdf, 12 MB)

TEMPORARY WOODLAND PARK CLOSURES

Portions of select woodlands will be temporarily closed while trees are removed. Areas will be reopened once they are safe for public access. A schedule and list of woodland closures will be posted on the Temporary Woodland Park Closures page as the information becomes available.

NATURAL REGENERATION

While the town will establish intensive planting sites in select areas, natural regeneration will account for most of the regrowth in the woodlands.
There will be a significant change in the appearance of the woodlands following tree removals. Logs, branches and wood debris left on the forest floor will eventually break down, nourishing the soil, and aid in the natural regrowth of shrubs and trees. Visit the Iroquois Shoreline Woods page as a prime example of how a forest can regrow over time.

FSC CERTIFIED

By following best forest management practices, the Town of Oakville is the first lower-tier municipality in Canada to have all 280 of its woodlands achieve Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification through the forest certification program of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest. The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
For further details please review the Frequently Asked Questions page.
To learn more about the town’s EAB management program, visit the Emerald Ash Borer page.

 

“There will be a significant change in the appearance of the woodlands following tree removals. Logs, branches and wood debris left on the forest floor will eventually break down, nourishing the soil, and aid in the natural regrowth of shrubs and trees. Visit the Iroquois Shoreline Woods page as a prime example of how a forest can regrow over time.”

Rina DiRisio
B.A., SALES REPRESENTATIVE
Lifetime resident of Oakville

Rina DiRisio

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