What's Up Rec?

Fall's here, time to put your garden to bed


The leaves are beginning to grace us with their magnificent fall colours, and bulb planting season is upon us.

Along with planting spring flowering bulbs in the fall, did you know that this is the perfect time of year to plant trees and shrubs? Planting trees in the fall prior to the ground freezing allows the tree to get settled in its new home before it goes dormant for the winter.

With fall upon us and a few frosts behind us, our plants will soon be preparing themselves for winter. The perfect time for putting your garden to bed for the winter is when your perennial foliage changes colour and starts falling to the ground.

Putting your garden to bed usually involves removing those last weeds, removing annual plants, working amendments into your existing flower beds and planting spring tree 1flowering bulbs, trees and shrubs.

It also involves the raking and removal of leaves – especially those that are diseased – from your lawns. Leaving heavy accumulations of leaves on your lawn over the winter will result in turf damage. To prevent this, they should be removed or mulched.

Fall is also a great time to clean your gutters of any debris that may be preventing the water from your roof from running off.

Taking the time now in the fall to tidy up your lawn, gardens and homes will help to prevent issues this winter and next spring.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

This continues to ring true in many of the facets of life – including gardening.

Planting Trees for a healthier tomorrow

The Town of Amherst recently partnered with TD Bank to celebrate the sixth annual TD Tree Day by working to build up our urban forest through the planting of native trees in our parks and greenspaces.

This year’s event took place on Saturday, Sept. 14. It saw volunteers and Recreation Department staff plant 15 trees at the Robb Centennial Complex and 15 trees in Curry Park.

A mix of maples, oaks, birch and ironwood were among the native species selected to be added to our urban forest.

It is crucial to the longevity of our urban tree canopy to plant a diverse mix of trees in our parks and greenspaces. Doing so gives us a fighting chance against pests or diseases like the Emerald Ash Borer or Dutch Elm Disease. If we consciously make the effort to plant a mix of trees, the impact of losing a tree here or there to these pests or diseases is much less than if an entire yard, street or park were to lose every tree.

When planting a tree or shrub here are a few easy steps to follow:

  • Plan for tomorrow. Match the size, form and habitat of the mature tree to the area where you intend it to grow.
  • Dig the planting hole at least three times the width of the root ball and as deep as the height of the root ball of the tree or shrub.
  • Healthy soil equals healthy roots. Add nutrient-rich compost to help encourage healthy root growth.
  • Mulch to help insulate and keep the soil moist. When mulching, keep the mulch away from the base of the trunk, think of it as making a “mulch donut,” not a “mulch volcano.”
  • Stake the tree as needed, especially if you happen to be planting in a windy area.
  • Water daily, as needed, for the first couple of weeks until the roots can become established.

What’s Happening

Learn what is happening around the community by visiting our free community events listing and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you have questions, community events and information to share, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 902-667-6500.

Here is a taste of what’s happening around Amherst:

  • Friday, Oct. 4 – 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Amherst Farmers Market – Amherst Lions Club
  • Saturday, Oct. 5 – 10 a.m. to noon – MADD Road Rally – Amherst Lions Club
  • Wednesday, Oct. 9 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – YMCA Pickleball – YMCA
  • Thursday, Oct. 10 – 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Youth Drop In – YMCA
  • Friday, Oct. 11 – 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Friday Fun Times – Maggie’s Place