The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and fresh…autumn is here. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery and perfect weather this fall and do some essential garden maintenance…it could be the key to a luscious garden next year. Plus you will have much less work to do when spring arrives, giving you more time to focus on planting.
Here are twenty gardening tasks you can do in the fall to help create a greater garden come spring and summer.
- Spread an even layer of compost or manure over garden soil, through the winter with freezing and thawing it will get worked into the soil.
- Collect seed from open pollinated vegetables and flowers. Store them in a cool, dry place and save them to sow your garden next year.
- Encourage birds to make your backyard their home by cleaning your bird feeders. Birds are beautiful and help keep pests at bay.
- Get a head start on cleaning up your garden by potting up your herbs and healthy plants and bringing them indoors or pick some flowers for drying. Use them to do some creative fall decorating.
- Water your shrubs, trees and perennial plants until the ground freezes, if you experience minimal snowfall then continue to water them through the winter. Don’t prune shrubs, tree or woody plants until they are dormant.
- Cut back on your perennials. Start with those that are diseased or had a pest problem and be sure to remove and dispose of immediately. Feel free to leave some perennials like chrysanthemums, they can act as winter mulch.
- Clean all of your gardening tools and containers before you put them away for the winter. Don’t leave them exposed to winter conditions. The better you take care of them the longer they will last. Fall is also a good time to sharpen your pruners.
- Start cuttings now before time gets away from you. You never know when the frost will set in and your plants will transplant better next spring if you do.
- Remove all dead annuals that are unlikely to come back next year.
- Harvest everything even if it is unusable. Leaving them rot near your garden will attract unwanted animals.
- Clean those overgrown areas you’ve been avoiding. Not only will it look better, but it will help keep weed and pests away from your garden.
- Plant rhubarb, garlic and flowering bulbs before the ground freezes. Sow seeds of spinach, they’ll start growing in early spring. Fall is also the perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs.
- Protect your plants, shrubs and trees from animals who might like to feast on them. Put up fencing and tree guards where necessary.
- Apply mulch to protect your plant and suppress weeds. Also apply mulch to base of grafted roses and remove in the spring.
- Pull any weeds you see, you’ll thank yourself come spring!
- Label plants you want to divide in the spring, it’s best to mark them while they are in bloom.
- Start a compost pile while your cleaning…it’s the perfect time.
- Test your soil. Run a simple pH test and amend your soil if necessary. This will give the amendments time to absorb as they are generally slow acting.
- Till your garden. It exposes insects to the elements and birds making them less likely to survive.
- Mulch your leaves. They compost themselves into leaf mold that can be used as fertilizer.
Put You Garden to Bed
We agree that it’s sad to see summer go and say goodbye to the gardening season. But it’s time to put your garden to bed and settle in for the winter knowing your garden is all tucked in. If you follow these steps, your garden will thank you when you awaken it the spring.
Do you have any questions about cleaning, preparing or protecting your garden this fall? Contact the Blossom Town Team, we’d be happy to help. Or stop by and ask us in person, then you can take a peek at our fall mums, ornamental kale and fall décor.
Please share. Do you have any fall gardening tasks to add to this list?