HomeTips to prepare your garden for fall

Mary ChapmanSeptember 19, 20197 min

You’ve enjoyed your beautiful garden all summer long. As the cooler months are approaching, you’ll need to spend some time getting your garden and lawn prepped for fall and winter.

Here are the garden tasks you should work on over the next three months.

Garden tasks to tackle during September

The time you spend in your garden in September will pay dividends in the spring. To reduce the number of weeds in your lawn next season, pull all the weeds out now to prevent these pesky plants from spreading seeds.

If you have any clay pots around your garden, bring them inside now.

Make spring cleaning easy by placing netting over any water features in your yard. Collecting leaves is quick and painless when you have a net.

September is the perfect month to add compost or manure to all your garden beds. If you plan to change your landscaping, now is the time to plant spring bulbs, perennials and new trees and shrubs. You’ve got a good six weeks before frost in September in many parts of Canada which gives your new additions ample time to root.

Best of all, bulbs and other plants are typically on clearance at most garden stores so you’ll save some money and still enhance your garden.

Want to dry some of your herbs for cooking? September is a great time to collect herbs for the winter cooking. If you want to grow produce from seeds, collect those now, too.

While it’s still warm, spend some time cleaning your gardening tools and bird feeders. It’s one less thing to do in spring and it will prolong the life of your garden accessories.

Make sure you keep watering all your shrubs and trees (even evergreens) right until the ground freezes. Otherwise, you can end up with brown leaves in the spring.

October garden tasks

The leaves have fallen, the ground is harder and there is a bite in the air. Welcome October! This month you will focus clearing your garden of all diseased and dead plant matter.

Start by raking up all the fallen leaves. Add the leaves to your compost if you have one. Look for and remove any diseased sections from your perennials but don’t compost them.

Once your area has had one frost, check your garden for any dead annuals and remove them. Then, cut back your perennial foliage to prevent pests from making a winter nest here.  Trim your tall grasses away from your exterior walls and trees so it’s not enticing for rodents to build a nest during the cold months.

This month you should remove all your plants from your vegetable garden and pick up any fallen fruit.

If you have any tender bulbs in your garden (such as canna, dahlia and gladiola) dig these up and store them in your basement wrapped in a moist material until spring.

October is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Why? Because when the ground begins to freeze, the grass crowns will store the fertilizer for healthy growth come spring.

If your lawn furniture is still out, go ahead and pack that away until next year.

Final fall garden tasks to do during November

Winter is coming! Early November is the time to complete the final garden tasks of the year.

Start by clearing out the leaves from your gutters and downspouts. Next, turn off the water to the outside of your house and drain and store your garden hoses.

If you have fruit trees, wrap screening around the them to protect them from small animals. Then, get some mulch and spread it around the base of your rose bushes.

Dedication to your fall garden to-do list will make your spring garden tasks easier to do. And you’ll get better blooms and a healthier lawn with less effort.

Got any other fall garden prep tips? Let us know in the comments.

Mary Chapman

Graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA English Specialization and has completed several publishing courses at Ryerson University. She is a proofreader, editor, and content writer based in London, Ontario.

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