Fall Garden Prep Tips

fall garden maintenanceMany gardeners are big fans of fall. The brisk, cooler weather is the ideal setting for spending time with nature and enjoying the great outdoors. Not too hot, not too cold, and full of festive seasonal pleasures like pumpkin and apple picking. It’d be a shame not to experience autumn in its full beauty, so make sure you’ve got your fall garden prep to-do list handy.

To ensure your plants and yard stay happy and healthy, it’s essential you take into account the necessary upkeep that comes with the new season. Certain things need to be done to your garden—whether you have a container or vegetable or plot garden—and we’re about to help you make sure they’re all on your radar. The autumn air sets a fantastic atmosphere for giving your garden some TLC so it can last through winter and eventually spring. So put on those gardening gloves, get your stool out, and let’s get started.

To-Do List

Early Fall Garden Prep

  • Plant any spring bulbs (except tulips), shrubs, trees, fruit bushes, and other spring-blooming flowers (pansies, wallflowers, bellis daisies) for early spring colour to accent fall flowers.
  • Plant any container perennials that you’d like to overwinter outside.
  • Cut back perennials but leave seed heads for our bird friends.
  • Weed thoroughly after pruning back your perennials.
  • Try hardy varieties such as Igloo Mums.
  • Wrap mildly tender exotic varieties in fleece to protect them from frost.
  • Cover mildly tender perennials with a thick mulch of bark chips or straw.
  • Remove tender varieties by cutting back the stems and gently lifting the tubers/rhizomes from the ground. Clean the soil from them and store them in trays of dry compost or sand. You’ll want just the top of crown to be visible. Keep the trays in a cool, frost-free place until spring when you can replant.
  • Bring your houseplants back indoors, first checking for pests and diseases.
  • Add a soil improver to increase the health of your beds. This increases water retention and nutrient retention and encourages earthworms and helpful soil microorganisms.
  • Apply an autumn lawn fertilizer to established lawns.
  • Plant evergreens for winter interest.
  • Plant onions and garlic.

fall garden maintenanceMid-Fall Garden Tasks

  • Prune your hedges for the final time.
  • Cut back faded perennials about 5 cm (2 inches) above ground level.
  • Move poorly placed plants.
  • Disconnect hoses and drain for storage.
  • Use this time to install the rainwater collection system you’ve been thinking about.
  • Clean your greenhouse or garden shed to help reduce overwintering pests and diseases.
  • Clean and sharpen garden implements, have your mechanical tools serviced.
  • Dig up annuals and add them to your compost heap.
  • Trim late-flowering shrubs to reduce wind damage in the winter.
  • Prepare for your winter wonderland by making space.
  • Afterwards, rake up fallen leaves and compost to keep things clean.

Fall is a great time to take stock of your garden and plan any changes or additions you’d like to make for spring. Thinking about planting some Rozanne or some of her lovely friends? Click here to see a list of online retailers!