The weather changed again today, a lot colder than a couple of days ago. What a roller coaster week in weather it has been. So, before it gets too much colder it is time to get your flower beds ready for winter.
Fall is the perfect time to plant and fill in spots. Pansies & dianthus need a little bit of time to get used to the cold weather before it sets in. Fertilize and mulch your plants. Use a slow release fertilizer and one that is a low fertilizer like 3-4-4 and not 20-20-20 (produces top growth and not feeder roots). Mulching is important to keep moisture in and not allow the roots to freeze. No mulch around the plants exposes the roots to death. Mulch is most important going into winter.
Deadhead or not to deadhead? That is the question. What do you do? I prefer to leave most perennials in tact for winter for winter interest and for feeding the birds. It does make for some work in spring.