It always seems like the gardening season was so short when we watch it slip away. We walk out and look at our pots, often displaying their richest colors of the years and feel that bitter sweet feeling knowing that the days are numbered. One day it freezes enough to worry about turning off the irrigation systems, and the next it is short sleeve weather. We watch the leaves change and fall on the grass that stays green without water. We enjoy the sunsets with a jacket on listen to the fountain from inside knowing that soon enough it will ice up and we will be sleeping with the windows shut. We watch the roses bloom knowing that we don’t even need to deadhead them or prune or feed them because there won’t be another generation anyway.
What is left is to plan ahead. Fall fertilizing will stimulate late season root growth and what is left will soak in over the winter to stimulate the soil for the spring. Mulch will protect plant roots from the wild temperature extremes that Santa Fe gives us, as well as retain moisture. Slowly clean up the plants as they die out, or watch them fade and clean them up all at once if you want to enjoy them for their last few weeks.