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Fall garden maintenance and bulb planting

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  • Oct 8th, 2021 9:25 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 3, 2003
2081 posts
291 upvotes
GTA

Fall garden maintenance and bulb planting

I'm in the GTA. Is this the right time to:
1) plant tulip and allium bulbs?
2) do fall garden maintenance (e.g., cut back shrubs and perennials)?

The weather's been so nice it's hard to cut things back!

Thanks!
8 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
2849 posts
1227 upvotes
Mississauga
I know.. all my stuff us still green.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
5362 posts
1620 upvotes
Toronto
Too early I think, still 20degree daytime. Plants may still try to sprout new growth if cut now.

Bulbs I usually wait until as late as possible, like when temp just gets to freezing. Less time out there for the squirrels to dig the bulbs out.
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2017
1771 posts
1981 upvotes
West GTA
Don't cut back until it's a bit cooler or you'll get some regrowth. For perennials (that die to the ground at first frost), just wait until then. They're busy storing nutrients for the winter and cutting them back now will harm them. For shrubs, wait until near-dormancy as you don't want tender regrowth. For bulbs, plant them now in my opinion so they can be established before winter, you might get more coming up and they may come up a bit stronger. If you plant them into near-frozen dirt they usually come up fine, but they have no time to develop any root system.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 3, 2003
2081 posts
291 upvotes
GTA
Thanks for the replies. Would it be okay to cut back the ones that have already started to lose their colour (e.g., sedums) and/or have already done their blooming for the season (e.g., Oriental/Asiatic lilies, Siberian Irises, liatris)?
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2017
1771 posts
1981 upvotes
West GTA
Gigi wrote: Thanks for the replies. Would it be okay to cut back the ones that have already started to lose their colour (e.g., sedums) and/or have already done their blooming for the season (e.g., Oriental/Asiatic lilies, Siberian Irises, liatris)?
If the leaves are still green then you should leave them alone. It's busy storing nutrients for the next year, if you cut them down now you'll damage it. Wait until it yellows on its own. It'll either yellow as days get longer or yellow once the frost kills the top growth. If in doubt it's usually better to wait until later. Some plants actually do better if they only get trimmed back in early spring!

For shrubs, spring-flowering shrubs (old wood) are best trimmed back immediately after flowering. Fall-flowering shrubs (new wood) are best trimmed in either mid-fall or early spring. Mutant twice-flowering shrubs... well, no good time really.
Jr. Member
Aug 24, 2010
143 posts
134 upvotes
I do mine in November. A full fall clean up, pickup leaves, branches off the property, cutback plants, cover roses, Plant bulbs etc
Of course I hire someone for this
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2017
1771 posts
1981 upvotes
West GTA
One thing I do think people should be aware of when cleaning up the garden is that many insects rely on brush to nest. If you rake up all the leaves and trim every leaf then you'll kill a lot of bees, butterflies, moths and other insects you'd want to keep. Leaving some brush in the garden until mid-spring (when the bugs really start flying a lot) can help pollinators and other beneficial insect life.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Nov 23, 2005
106 posts
18 upvotes
Brampton
Is now the time to apply fall fertilizer in the GTA?
By the way to everyone in this thread especially the few experts that routinely reply. My lawn has been getting better and better thanks to this thread

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