Autumn tips: rose seeds, herbs, new garden, spreading compost & more

herbs, compost, rose hips, birds in snow
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Here are six reminders–or perhaps new ideas–for activities that Western New York gardeners can do in autumn.

Start roses from seeds

Yes, you can actually start roses from seeds, and autumn is the time to do it, said David Clark, CNLP.

The seeds are inside the rose hip, which is the fruit of the plant. It’s a green or red ball that forms when the rose flower drops off. See more in the article “How to start roses from seed using rose hips in autumn.”

You can also learn more from Clark in his gardening classes at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Herbs all winter

There are many ways to have herbs available all winter, said Pam Jones, Master Gardener Volunteer, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County.

The techniques include:

  • Growing herbs on a windowsill
  • Hanging herbs
  • Microwaving
  • Solar drying
  • Refrigerating
  • Dehydrating
  • Using an oven
  • Freezing
  • Making herbed butter

See more in the article “9 ways to preserve herbs, including drying and freezing.”

Start a new garden bed

If you want to plant in a new area of your yard next spring, prepare the garden bed now with lasagna gardening.

Apply layers of material, such as cardboard and leaves, as if you were making lasagna. This technique is helpful, too, if you have clay soil. See more in the article “Got clay? Don’t want to dig? Want a garden over lawn? Try lasagna gardening in autumn.”

Spread your compost

If your compost is ready, spread it around perennials you have planted recently, on a bed where you are going to plant garlic, or other areas that need compost. Removing the compost from your bin also gives you more room for the coming crop of tree leaves that you can use in your compost.

Note: Don’t use compost or other mulch to create mulch volcanoes.

Water for birds

Do you have a lovely fountain for birds during the summer?

What can you do for them during the winter?

Learn ways to provide water sources for birds during winter in this edition of Bird Notes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Pull weeds

We should be getting some sunshine this week, so put on a light jacket and enjoy the outdoors.

If the soil is soft from recent rain, it will be easy to pull the weeds.

Concentrate on any weed that is going to seed. Get them out before the seeds are able to spread.

Also make sure you get out any tree seedlings, such as maples, that you don’t want. When you spot them early, you can yank them out easily. When they’ve grown larger, you’ll need to use a shovel to remove them. Also watch out for vines such as trumpet vine.

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